Jay & The Americans - This Magic Moment (1969)

Jay & The Americans - This Magic Moment (1969)
'60s #1 Hits ON WLCY Radio




"This Magic Moment" is a song composed by lyricist Doc Pomus and pianist Mort Shuman. It is one of their best-known songs. It was recorded first by Ben E. King and the Drifters and made No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 during 1960. The version by Jay and the Americans in 1969 went to No. 6, earning gold record status. The song is used in David M. Evans' film The Sandlot and was also featured in David Chase's television show The Sopranos in the episode "Soprano Home Movies". The session musicians Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller hired to play on this record include Phil Bodner on sax, Ernie Hayes on piano, Bucky Pizzarelli and George Barnes on guitar, George Duvivier on bass, and Shep Sheppard on drums.

Lou Reed's version, from a Doc Pomus tribute album, Till the Night is Gone, featured in David Lynch's film Lost Highway. It was also covered by horror punk music band the Misfits for the album Project 1950 and by indie rock band the Mountain Goats for their first cassette release Taboo VI: The Homecoming.

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  1. Jay and the Americans began in New York in 1961 with a real Jay (last name Traynor) on lead vocals. This original incarnation of the group had success with their second single—"She Cried" (United Artists #415) in 1962. The song reached Top Five, but when follow-ups failed to catch on, the original Jay opted for a solo career and signed with ABC Records (but met with little success). At this time, the group put out feelers for a new lead singer and found a powerful vocalist from the Empires, who had recorded one single for Epic Records (#9527) titled "Time and a Place" backed with "Punch Your Nose." Born David Blatt, he chose the professional name of David Black while with the Empires and was coerced into becoming Jay Black upon taking the reins as front man for the Americans. Never consistent hit makers, this new version of the band managed to accrue nine Top Forty hits over a seven year period. Many of those hits were cover versions: "Only in America" (United Artists #626) was originally recorded by the Drifters; "Cara Mia" (United Artists #881) by David Whitfield; "Some Enchanted Evening" (United Artists #919) by Perry Como; "Crying" (United Artists #50016) by Roy Orbison; "This Magic Moment" (United Artists #50475) by the Drifters; and "Walkin' in the Rain" (United Artists #50805) by the Ronettes. In the very early 1970s, Walter Becker and Don Fagen, later of Steely Dan, were members of Jay and the Americans' touring band. Hits for Jay and the Americans ceased in 1971, but Black enjoyed a long run as a very popular draw on the oldies circuit. Jay Black also took many stabs at a solo career for a myriad of labels, but success eluded him. Eventually, his well-known gambling debts caught up with him, and he was forced to sell his ownership of the group's name, and today performs as Jay Black, the Voice.

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