Jay Traynor

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Jay Traynor
Background information
Birth nameJohn Traynor
Born(1943-03-30)March 30, 1943
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
DiedJanuary 2, 2014(2014-01-02) (aged 70)
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Occupation(s)Pop, doo-wop
Years active1960s–2014

John "Jay" Traynor (March 30, 1943 – January 2, 2014) was an American singer.


Traynor 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 group's first hit, "She Cried", which was followed up by the album 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".[1] Later in the 1960s, 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 began a career working behind the scenes with such 1970s acts as Mountain, West, Bruce & Laing, The Who, Ten Years After, Yes, and gospel singer Mylon LeFevre.[citation needed]

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 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. [citation needed]


Traynor died on January 2, 2014, of liver cancer at a hospital in Tampa, Florida, at the age of 70.[2]



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. ^ The first Jay and the Americans, 2007-03-18, retrieved 2010-06-25
  2. ^ Notice of death of Jay Traynor, abcnewsradioonline.com, January 2, 2014.

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