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Nugget of Knowledge: Don McLean’s ode to fallen rock stars

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Holly said she liked "American Pie" but disagreed with its central idea

(WYTV) – Don McLean’s 1971 classic, “American Pie” is, in part, about the fateful plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, JP Richardson and Richen Valens February 3rd, 1959.

McLean was 13 years old and was folding newspapers for his paper route when he looked at the headline and saw the news of the plane crash and a dozen years later wrote a song about it.

That’s the line, “February made me shiver, with every paper I’d deliver.”

In the third verse, MClean sings, “I can’t remember if I cried, when I read about his widowed bride.”

The bride was MarĂ­a Elena Holly.

Buddy and Maria got married just two weeks after they met at a music publisher in New York, where she worked.

She was pregnant when he died, but suffered a miscarriage a few days later.

Mrs. Buddy Holly still controls much of the continuing business related to Holly’s music, but doesn’t own the songs. Paul McCartney owns them.

Holly said she liked “American Pie” but disagreed with its central idea.

“Buddy may not be here, but the music has not died,” Holly said. “It is still alive and well.”

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