Jay Black, frontman of ’60s rock band Jay and the Americans, died at the age of 82.
Agreed to Rolling Stone, Black died Friday, Oct. 22nd, from complications of pneumonia. Black also suffers from dementia.
Jay Black David Blatt was born in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park. After a brief stint in front of doo-wop group The Empires, he took over as lead singer of Jay and the Americans in 1962, replacing original singer John “Jay” Traynor. Joining Jay and the Americans, Blatt agreed to consider Jay Black’s professional moniker.
Jay and the Americans saw most of their success with Jay Black leading the singing. “Come a Little Bit Closer,” released in 1963, topped No. 3 on the Billboard 200. The second top 5 single followed in 1964 to “Cara Mia.” The band’s third and final top 10 single came in 1969 with “This Magic Moment.”
With the exception of Jay Black, group members split in 1973 to pursue solo projects. Black continues to perform as Jay and the Americans with rotating musicians.
In 2006, Jay Black filed for bankruptcy due to gambling debts, and sold the naming rights to Jay and the Americans to former bandmate Sandy Deanne. Deanne later teamed up with Howard Kane and Marty Sanders, and signed a new singer for Jay and the Americans ’third incarnation. In his later years, Jay Black performed under the moniker “Jay Black The Voice.”