He was probably best known as the the original Jay of the ’60s pop group Jay & the Americans, and he sang the lead vocals on the group’s first Top 10 hit, “She Cried,” back in 1962. But John “Jay” Traynor actually had quite a career beyond that. In fact, prior to forming Jay & the Americans, he had already toured and recorded as the lead vocalist with the Mystics, who recorded several hits in the late ’50s and early ’60s.
In 1977, Traynor relocated to the Capital Region, where he worked at WNYT-TV and sang in a number of Local 518 bands, including George & Friends and the Joey Thomas Big Band.
In 2006, he left the Capital Region for Florida where he became a member of Jay Siegel’s Tokens.
Jay Traynor passed away this morning at a hospital in Florida after a two year battle with liver cancer. He was 71 years old.