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Jay and the Americans

by Ben McLane, Esq.

Jay and the Americans were formed in 1961 in Brooklyn, New York. The group auditioned for record producers Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller who signed them to United Artists. Their first hit "She Cried" (top 5, 1962) was sung by the original vocalist, Jay Traynor. Soon thereafter, Traynor was replaced by Jay Black who san lead on all future recordings by the group. Jay and the Americans were a stable unit for the entire 1960s, and recorded many big hits, among them "Come A Little Bit Closer," "Cara Mia," and "This Magic Moment." Although the act mainly recorded the songs of outside writers such as Neil Diamond, Ron Dante and Boyce and Hart, they also managed to record some of their own excellent material (e.g., "Livin' Above Your Head," "No, I Don't Know Her," and "Got Hung Up Along The Way"). In the late 1960s, future Steely Dan members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen toured as back up musicians for Jay and the Americans and even arranged the last hit by the group "Capture The Moment" (1970). The Americans without Jay recorded as Moonshine for United Artists in 1970. As of this writing, Jay Black continues to tour occasionally.

Copyright 1996, Ben McLane
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