Jay Black, Lead Vocalist of Jay and the Americans, Dead at 82

by Samantha Whidden
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Jay Black, the lead vocalist of the popular 1960s American rock group Jay and the Americans has passed away at the age of 82.

According to Rolling Stone, Jay Black’s family confirmed that he died on Friday (October 22nd) from complications caused by pneumonia. It was revealed that the singer had suffered from dementia during recent years. Black retired from singing following his last live performance in 2017.

Jay Black’s family shared in a statement, “New and old fans continued to marvel at the strength and range of Black’s voice through his last concert in 2017. Appearing mostly in the tri-state area and Florida, Black’s concerts were heavily attended and most sold out.”

Jay Black’s family also said wrote that the late singer had a special bond with his fans who came to his annual sold-out shows at the Westbury Music Fair.

“He thought of them as family. Knew many of their names. And he would dedicate songs to them from the stage. And meet with them after the show.”

Jay and the Americans were formed in 1960. The initial bandmates were John “Jay” Traynor, Howard Kane, Kenny Vance, and Sandy Deanne. Traynor was notably replaced as lead singer by Jay Black. Following the change of vocals, the band grew in popularity. Their hits include Come A Little Bit Closer, Cara Mia, and This Magic Moment

The band eventually split in 1973. Although all of the bandmates moved, Jay Black continued to perform as Jay and the Americans. Black filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and sold his ownership of the Jay and The Americans name to Deanne after she reportedly bid $100,000 for the name. Following the name purchase, bandmates Deanne, Kane, and Mary Sanders and recruited a Jay sound-alike singer. 

The Current Jay and the Americans Speak Out About Jay Black’s Passing 

Following the announcement of Jay Black’s passing, the current members of Jay and the Americans took to their Facebook page to announce their condolences to the late singer’s family and fans.

“Today we mourn the passing of David Platt aka Jay Black. And we acknowledge the great successes we had with him both as a partner and as a lead singer. We share both wonderful and very contentious times. And much like an ex-wife, we are proud of the beautiful children we created. We’ll always remember The Voice.” 

Fans also expressed their sympathy for Jay Black’s loved ones. One fan wrote, “My sincerest condolences, gentlemen. May God rest Jay’s soul and have him singing on heaven’s main stage as befitting that extraordinarily beautiful voice the lord blessed him with to share with us all. Sincere condolences to Jay’s family too.”

Another fan added, “Beautifully & Perfectly Said. I’m so sorry, guys. Prayers for him, his family, friends, and all who love him. May he Rest in Peace. Hugs.”

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