Skip to comments.Jay and the Americans Singer Jay Traynor Dead at 69
Posted on 01/04/2014 3:29:27 PM PST by a fool in paradise
Jay Traynor, the singer best known for his stint as the original lead vocalist in Jay and the Americans, has passed away at the age of 69 following a struggle with liver cancer.
ABC News Radio reports that Traynor, who had recently been performing with the Tokens, died in a Florida hospital. His passing was confirmed by Jay Siegel of the Tokens, who was described as acting as a family spokesperson in ABCs report.
Jay and the Americans rose to prominence in 1962 with the hit single She Cried, which was supposed to be the B-side of their song Dawning but caught on in its own right after a DJ in San Francisco decided to put it in rotation instead. When further hits failed to materialize, Traynor left the group; as he recalled in a recent interview, he needed money and wanted to avoid being drafted by the Army, so he joined the Marine Reserves instead.
After completing his service, Traynor held down a series of music industry jobs, including working as a song plugger for Warner Bros. (according to Traynor, he was responsible for hooking up Gordon Lightfoot with his early country hit Ribbon of Darkness), managing ticket sales for Woodstock, and serving as a road manager for the legendary Bud Prager, who managed a stable of acts that included Mountain and Cream.
Eventually, Traynor returned to singing, performing and recording as a solo artist before touring with Siegel and the Tokens. He was a pro
he was very versatile in his vocal style, from rock and roll to Frank Sinatra, Siegel told ABC News Radio. His demeanor and his look were a perfect fit for my group
he just did a great job onstage and more than that, he did a great job offstage. He was a true gentleman, a very humble guy and I considered him like my brother. He was a great talent and a good friend.
Number 9? Number 9? Number 9?
I saw him in 2012 St Pete..great show..and his voice was still magnificent..he looked healthy.
What is it about 2014 seems that famous people have been dropping like flies these past few days
It’s going to seem to happen at a quicker and quicker pace as the years go, too.
Come A Little Bit Closer & Pretty Woman were out at the same time. I imagined PW is be a hot Latin female “walking down the street,” no doubt influenced by the two timing senorita of CALBC
But not Jay Traynor. Jay Black did that song
His real name wasn’t Jay, actually, but K.
(Is he the second of today’s deathly trio?!)
Now that you mention it, I realize that you’re correct, but I can’t remember the song as recorded by Jay Traynor.
I will be 60 this month, so 69, and Phil Everly’s 74, seem too young to me.........
Phil Everly at 74...
...and now Jay Traynor at 69. And we’re only 4 days into 2014.
That was Jay Black. I believe the second lead singer of the group. I'm confused too.
Trivia question. What two famous musicians once played on the touring band of Jay and the Americans (with Jay Black)?
I have a photographic memory in the mornings (I can remember photographs).
Later in the day, I remember books and stuff.
RIP Jay. Great Song. But I when I look at the old videos, Jay looks like Carl Sagan. But back in the day I didn’t know Carl.
Phil - US Marine
Jay - Us Marine
Guard those streets of gold, marines! Then again, He’ll probably ask you to sing with the Heavenly Choir.
John “Jay” Traynor (March 30, 1943 January 2, 2014) was an American singer. He was the third lead vocalist of the Mystics, singing falsetto on “The White Cliffs of Dover” and lead on “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “Blue Star”. Later, he started Jay and the Americans with Kenny Vance and Sandy Yaguda, and was the original lead singer. He sang lead on the Americans’ first hit, “She Cried,” which was followed up by the LP, She Cried. All recordings were produced by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, who produced numerous artists and wrote many hits for Elvis Presley, the Drifters, the Coasters, and many more.
Traynor left the Americans, releasing solo records, including “I Rise, I Fall” on the Coral label in 1964. His name on the label was denoted as “JAY ... formerly of Jay & the Americans”. Later in the ‘60s, he released “Up & Over”, produced by Dennis Lambert for Don Costa Productions. The song became a big hit with the UK “Northern Soul” underground dance clubs. Traynor was replaced in the Americans by David Blatt, who agreed to perform under the stage name Jay Black. After working for Woodstock Ventures, the company that put on the “Woodstock” festival, Traynor then began a career working behind the scenes with many ‘70s acts (Mountain, West, Bruce & Laing, The Who, Ten Years After, Yes, and gospel singer Mylon LeFevre).
In 1977 Traynor moved to Albany, New York, near his roots in Greenville and worked at WNYT as a studio camera operator. He then performed with cover bands (George and “Friends”), jazz trios, and finally as the male singer with the Joey Thomas Big Band, where his love for Frank Sinatra’s music began. The Big Band put out a few CDs with Traynor, including Live On WAMC & The Sinatra Show. In 2006, Traynor received a call from Jay Siegel, and he toured with Jay Siegel’s Tokens for the remainder of his life.
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