Don McLean: ‘American Pie’ was written in Philly and first performed at Temple

    Philly just scored a major win.

    Long thought to have been written in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Don McLean’s American Pie has been playing on radios, record player and iPods everywhere since it debuted in the ’70s.

    Now we’ve come to find out the eight-plus minute song has origins right here in Philly.


    “Was the song written in Saratoga Springs? The answer is no. The song was written in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” McLean says in the Saturday edition of the Post Star.

    The first time he performed it? Not in a Saratoga Springs Cafe, but at Temple University. American Pie became the No. 1 song in the nation in early 1972.

    Bye bye, Miss American Pie, hello Philly.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.