His passing was confirmed in a post published on Saturday to the band’s official Facebook page. “Today, we mourn the passing of David Blatt a/k/a Jay Black and we acknowledge the great successes we had with him both as a partner and as a lead singer,” a spokesperson wrote. “We shared both wonderful and very contentious times, and much like an ex-wife, we are so proud of the beautiful children we created. We’ll always remember The Voice.”
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The artist born in Brooklyn on November 2, 1938 as David Blatt joined Jay and the Americans as lead singer in 1962, stepping into the role previously occupied by John “Jay” Traynor. With them, he’d record albums including Come a Little Bit Closer, Blockbusters, Sunday and Me, Livin’ Above Your Head, Try Some of This!, and Sands of Time, among others. Additional hits from Black and his band included “Only In America”, “Walkin’ In The Rain,” and a version of the song “This Magic Moment,” popularized by The Drifters. Given his skills as a singer, Black would come to be referred to by his bandmates and by fans as “The Voice.”
Jay and the Americans was at the height of its output in the 1960s, officially disbanding in 1973. In the years in between, Black and his collaborators would appear on numerous music programs and variety shows, including Upbeat, Hullabaloo, Shindig!, Where the Action Is, The Merv Griffin Show, The Clay Cole Show and The Mike Douglas Show.
Black continued performing after the breakup of his band—all the way up to 2017. Outside of music, he was also an occasional actor, appearing in Lennie Weinrib’s 1966 film Wild Wild Winter, and in William A. Graham’s 1977 TV movie Contract on Cherry Street, starring Frank Sinatra.
Plans for a memorial have not yet been disclosed. The announcement from Jay and the Americans can be found below.
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