Jay and the Americans started out as a small band of students at New York University. When the quartet, led by John 'Jay' Traynor, auditioned for producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, they signed the band and provided them with their new, catchy name. They had their first hit with 'She Cried', but following the flop of the next two singles, Traynor decided to leave the group. Guitarist Marty Sanders joined the group with singer David Blatt, who agreed to change his name to Jay Black to take on the role of front man. Their next single, with the new line-up, was 'Only in America'. They followed that up with 'Come a Little Bit Closer', 'Cara Mia', 'Got Hung Up Along the Way' and 'Living Above Your Head'. They had further successes with the Drifters cover of 'This Magic Moment' and 'Walkin' in the Rain', but in 1973 the group split. Jay Black continued to perform as Jay and the Americans until 2006 when he filed for bankruptcy; he sold the band name to founding member Sandy Deanne. Following this, Deanne reunited with former members Sanders and Howard Kane and brought in a new front man, John 'Jay' Reincke and they reformed as Jay and the Americans.