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.
Just yesterday, we lost one of The Righteous Brothers to Rock & Roll Heaven. We just recently lost Lou Reed who took a walk on the wild side and never returned. Dan Fogelberg will never warble "That Old Lang Syne" again in which the snow turned to rain after drinking a six-pack in his car after meeting an old flame.
Ray Manzarek of The Doors has joined the Lizard King and will never make that creepy organ music again. The one dude who played in for that rock band whose name I can't remember right now is also gone, gone, gone.
John Stewart, who had that big hit song "Gold" is now gone with the "Midnight Wind." Bob Welch who gave us "Ebony Eyes" is also no longer with us. Even Donna Summer, queen of disco, has now gone to the great disco in the sky. Speaking of disco, the one guy who killed disco back in 1979 with his "My Sharona" is also gone - Doug Fieder of The Knack. And the list goes on and on and on.
Half the Beatles and 2/3 of the BeeGees dead dead dead. Andy Gibb too. Davy Jones of the Monkees is now in, well, Davy Jones' locker. So is Gerry Rafferty and Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols. One of the Beastie Boys is now dead and so is Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone.
And the list of the rock music dead goes on and on. Al Wilson, Wilson Pickett, Andrew Gold, Warren Zevon, Juice Newton, Laura Branigan, Clarence Clemons all gone, gone, gone.
I can keep going but I think I made my point. We are very quickly running out of musicians and soon there will be no more music being made unless we find a way to make all these deaths STOP!
RIP and thanks for the music.
....think Kenny Vance once sang with them
As noted here, most of the well-known hits from Jay and the Americans were sung by Jay Black real name - David Black:
Walkin’ in the Rain
Come a little bit Closer
This Magic Moment
Some Enchanted Evening
Steely Dan I think
This Magic Moment:
Unless I’m mistaken, Juice Newton is still with us...her long-time song writer and producer, Otha Young, passed away four years ago, but Juice (as far as I know) is still alive.
Cara Mia--David Whitfield (1954)
Only in America--Jay & the Americans (1963)
fagen and becker.
I didn’t know Juice Newton had passed. Was she still calling herself “Juice”?
Hullabaloo & Shindig - afterschool
I didn’t know Juice Newton had passed. Was she still calling herself “Juice”?
She’s still alive
That magic moment
I sure skated around the rink to that one....they always played that when it was ladies choice.....
And the same redhead always asked me....and I went to be polite...God love her
When Gary Puckett goes...alas...or Grass Roots....or BJ Thomas...
To come of age in the late 60s....it was wonderful
R.I.P. What a glorious voice he had!!!
I think I’m talking about Jay Black...
Yep - and as a bonus, time flies too. As a kid, Summer lasted a long time. These days, I can blink and it's over.
“To come of age in the late 60s....it was wonderful”
Absolutely! Wouldn’t trade those years for anything.