From Our Listeners

Letters: A Daughter's Connection To 'American Pie'

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Melissa Block and Audie Cornish read emails from listeners about a daughter's connection to her father through Don McLean's album "American Pie."

AUDIE CORNISH: Now a correction. Followed by your letters about we made you cry. Correction first. On Friday's program, in a story about Amazon's latest Kindle device, we said that Apple does not offer an iPad with a 4G wireless connection. In fact, some iPad models do include a 4G connection.


And now, on to those tears. They were shed over a connection of a different type.


DON MCLEAN: I met who girl who sang the blues, and I asked her for some happy news.

BLOCK: In our final installment of the series Mom and Dad's Record Collection, listener Mel Fisher Ostrowski shared a story about this song, "American Pie." She said it helped her bridge the gap between a father she hardly knew and her baby boy.

MEL FISHER OSTROWSKI: And I still sing it to him all the time. I sang it to him on Saturday night.

BLOCK: And then, she sang it to us.

OSTROWSKI: (Singing) They caught the last train for the coast, the day the music died. And they were singing...

BLOCK: Oh, you're gonna make me cry.

OSTROWSKI: I'm sorry, Melissa. You've made me cry.

CORNISH: Well, Melissa and Mel were not the only ones getting misty. We got dozens of appreciative emails and online comments about this interview. Randall Jones(ph) of Smyrna, Tennessee writes, this was the most touching story that I have ever heard anywhere. I do not cry very often, but this story brought me to tears. I just wanted to say thank you.

BLOCK: There were a couple of you whose eyes remained dry, including Rebecca Whetstein(ph) who posted this at, this story was a long, trite trudge and waste of airtime weeping for an editor. She adds, this was gaggingly self-indulgent.

CORNISH: Still, most of you loved it. Daphne Sorous of Laurel, Maryland wrote us after hearing this story in her car. She says this - by the time you played the end of the song, I was singing out loud and crying like an idiot. At that moment, I stopped at a red light and looked through the rear view mirror and saw another woman in her car singing out loud and crying like an idiot, as well, which of course, made me laugh.

BLOCK: Whatever your response, we do like hearing from you. Write to us as, just click on contact us at the bottom of the page.


MCLEAN: And they were singing, bye-bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from