1965 Jay and the Americans – Let’s Lock The Door (And Throw Away The Key)
Jay and the Americans scored a top ten single with She Cried, their second release. After their next few singles failed to find an audience, their lead singer, Jay Traynor, left the group. Two members of the Empires then joined the band in 1963, guitarist Marty Sanders and singer David Black. David had to agree to change his name to “Jay” so the group could continue on as Jay and the Americans.
The group found another top ten hit in 1964 with a song written by Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, and Wes Farrell: Come A Little Bit Closer. The single reached #3 on the Hot 100, becoming the band’s most successful single. The song Cara Mia would return them to #4 on the chart the next year.
In between those two successes, they released the single Let’s Lock The Door (And Throw Away The Key). Wes co-wrote the song with Roy Alfred. The single stalled at #11 on the Hot 100 in February 1965.
A few more hits followed in 1968 and 1969. The touring band after that briefly included Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, who left and formed Steely Dan in 1971.
Jay and the Americans disbanded in 1974. Jay Black toured on the Oldies Circuit as Jay and the Americans for a few decades.
A third “Jay” fronted the band, beginning in 2006. Some of the original members of the band purchased the rights to the group’s name and recruited Jay Reincke as their lead singer. That group even recorded two new albums in 2010 and 2011.
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