Jump to content

Jay Black

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jay Black
Black in 1965
Background information
Birth nameDavid Blatt
Born(1938-11-02)November 2, 1938
Queens, New York City, U.S.
DiedOctober 22, 2021(2021-10-22) (aged 82)
Queens, New York City, U.S.
GenresRock and roll
Years active1960–2017
Formerly ofJay and the Americans

Jay Black (born David Blatt; November 2, 1938[1] – October 22, 2021) was an American singer whose height of fame came in the 1960s when he was the lead singer of the band Jay and the Americans. The band had numerous hits including "Come a Little Bit Closer", "Cara Mia", and "This Magic Moment".[2]


Black was born in Astoria, Queens and grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park.[1] In his later career, he was known for touring New York State and Florida, singing, mainly solo, and preceding his singing with a comedy routine. Jay and his brother spoke Yiddish fluently.[citation needed] In 1966, he recorded a Yiddish song "Where Is My Village" about the Holocaust. He had four children, one of whom is American musician and singer-songwriter Beau Black.[1][3]


Jay Black was the second, and more widely known, Jay to lead the band Jay and the Americans, the first being Jay Traynor. Black had previously come from the doo-wop group The Empires, where he had sung lead on their 1962 lone Epic Records single "Time and a Place" b/w "Punch Your Nose" (Epic 5-9527). He had previously used David Black as his professional name, but changed his first name to suit the band's existing name. He would later bill himself as "Jay Black and the Americans" after the original band had broken up. The band had numerous hits, including "Come a Little Bit Closer", "Cara Mia", and "This Magic Moment".[2] The Americans split up in 1973, and Black would continue to perform, billing himself as "Jay and the Americans".[4]

Black (first from right) with Jay and the Americans in 1965

In 2006, Black completed bankruptcy proceedings in Manhattan, after he accrued a $500,000 debt in back taxes to the IRS as a result of his gambling addiction.[4] The IRS initially sought to force him to sell the rights to perform as "Jay Black" as well as the trademark for "Jay and the Americans" in order to satisfy his debt to the IRS. Black did, however, win a partial victory in the case, which granted him the right to continue to use the name "Jay Black", but he was required to sell the rights to perform as "Jay and the Americans". The trademark to "Jay and the Americans" was purchased by former members of "Jay and the Americans".

He lost the right to perform as "Jay Black and the Americans" and later performed as "Jay Black The Voice", but would still sing songs by the Americans. In 2011, Black performed for PBS, showcasing his longstanding range at age 72. His final performance was in 2017.[5]

Health issues and death[edit]

In a 2014 interview, Black suggested that he might have been suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, but that was not officially diagnosed.[6]

Black died from pneumonia in Queens on October 22, 2021.[1] At the time of his death, it was confirmed that he also had dementia.[7]

Jay and the Americans discography[edit]


Year Album
1962 She Cried
1962 At the Cafe Wha? (Live Album)
1964 Come a Little Bit Closer
1965 Blockbusters
1966 Sunday and Me
Livin' Above Your Head
1967 Try Some of This!
1969 Sands of Time
1970 Wax Museum
Wax Museum, Vol. 2
Capture the Moment


Year Title B-sideFrom same album as A-side except where indicated
1961 "Tonight" "The Other Girls"
1962 "She Cried" "Dawning"
"This Is It" "It's My Turn to Cry" (Non-LP track)
"Yes" "Tomorrow" (from Come a Little Bit Closer)
1963 "What's the Use" "Strangers Tomorrow"
"Only in America" "My Clair de Lune" (from She Cried)
"Come Dance with Me" "Look in My Eyes Maria"
1964 "To Wait for Love" "Friday"
"Come a Little Bit Closer" "Goodbye Boys, Goodbye"
"Let's Lock the Door (And Throw Away the Key)" "I'll Remember You" (from Livin' Above Your Head)
1965 "Think of the Good Times" "If You Were Mine, Girl"
"Cara Mia" "When It's All Over" (Billboard #129)
"Some Enchanted Evening" "Girl"
"Sunday and Me" "Through This Doorway" (from Jay & the Americans Greatest Hits!)
1966 "Why Can't You Bring Me Home" "Baby Stop Your Cryin'"
"Crying" "I Don't Need a Friend"
"Livin' Above Your Head" "Look at Me, What Do You See"
"(He's) Raining in My Sunshine" "The Reason for Living (For You My Darling)"

(from Livin' Above Your Head)

1967 "You Ain't as Hip as All That Baby" "Nature Boy"
"(We'll Meet in The) Yellow Forest" "Got Hung Up Along the Way"
"French Provincial" "Shanghai Noodle Factory"
1968 "No Other Love" "No, I Don't Know Her" (from Capture the Moment)
"You Ain't Gonna Wake Up Cryin'" "Gemini (Don't You Ever Wonder Why)"
"This Magic Moment" "Since I Don't Have You"
1969 "When You Dance" "No, I Don't Know Her" (from Capture The Moment)
"Hushabye" "Gypsy Woman"
"(I'd Kill) For the Love of a Lady" "Learnin' How to Fly"
"Walkin' in the Rain" "For the Love of a Lady" (from Capture the Moment)
1970 "Capture the Moment" "Do You Ever Think of Me" (Non-LP track)
"Do I Love You?" "Tricia (Tell Your Daddy)" (from Capture the Moment)
1971 "There Goes My Baby" "Solitary Man"


  1. ^ a b c d Sandomir, Richard (October 25, 2021). "Jay Black, 82, Whose Velvety Voice Was the Americans' Hitmaker, Dies". The New York Times. p. A22. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Cara Mia: The Best Of Jay Black CD Album". www.cduniverse.com.
  4. ^ a b "Singer Jay Black Wins Right to Own Name, Jay and the Americans Singer Is Awarded Right to Own Name in Bankruptcy Court - CBS News". CBS News. February 9, 2009. Archived from the original on February 9, 2009. Retrieved March 29, 2023.
  5. ^ Jay Black - Cara Mia live 2017 (Final Performance), retrieved March 29, 2023
  6. ^ Schleier, Curt (October 22, 2014). "How Jay Black Got Kicked Out of Yeshiva". The Forward.
  7. ^ Kreps, Daniel (October 23, 2021). "Jay Black, Jay and the Americans Singer, Dead at 82". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 23, 2021.

External links[edit]