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posted to Facebook on Saturday.

"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," the band 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." Bandmate and the Americans vocalist Sandy Deanne told The Associated Press that Black, born David Blatt, died on Friday due to complications from pneumonia.

Black was commonly known in the 1960s as "The Voice" for his crooning, doo wop-inspired vocals. He was the second singer for Jay and the Americans, replacing Jay Traynor, changing his stage name to Jay to match the group. His last name, Blatt, was changed to Black by mistake. "I was on the Mike Douglas show," he toldThe Forward in 2014. "One day, Mike asked me what my last name was and I mumbled Blatt, but he heard Black. He said, 'Black?' I said yes, a little lie. But everyone loved the name. Mike Douglas died without knowing he named me."

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Together Jay and the Americans recorded major hits including "Come a Little Bit Closer,""Only in America,""Cara Mia," all featuring Black's honeyed vibrato. Beyond his signature voice, Black was often known as much for his sense of humor on and off-stage. "The first clubs we played," Black toldThe New York Times in 1994, "if you were good, they let you live. But I had this special talent. I could make people laugh."

After the group disbanded in 1973, Black would go on to pursue a solo career, and continued to perform until 2017. He had to give up performing under the Jay and the Americans band name when he was taken to bankruptcy court in 2006, leaving the group free to reform with a new singer, but he was free to perform under the name Jay Black. "That's my legacy," he said in 2006. "It's what I leave behind when I'm gone."

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Listen to the Sonoma County Birdwatch!

fullerThroughout the week, we play short segments about what birds are out in Sonoma County and what they sound like, from Harry Fuller. Here's what we've aired so far. Harry spent his working career as a TV and Internet newsman in the Bay Area.  He’s been leading bird trips and writing about birds for thirty years.  He has written three natural history books: Freeway Birding, I-5 San Francisco to Seattle; San Francisco’s Natural History, Sand Dunes to Streetcars; Great Gray Owl in California, Oregon & Washington. He blogs regularly about birds: atowhee.blog.  And he frequently leads birding trips on the Pacific Coast. Check him out at http://www.towhee.net/.

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Our podcast "Living Downstream" has been named by the Global Center for Climate Justice as one of "Five Climate Justice Podcasts You Need to Follow." Wow: https://bit.ly/2Xkbs0D

Listen to some recent episodes! Generations in Houston's Fifth Ward Contend with Contamination, Cancer Clusters will break your heart, and perhaps solidify your resolve to make change. The Sea Next Door is told in true partnership with the community living near California's Salton Sea, an environmental powder keg, where the state has no idea how to avoid a coming health disaster.

Get them here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Dana RebmannDana Rebmann tells us all where to go in our regular Hiding Places segments.  Dana lives in Santa Rosa and writes about travel, nature, wine, and anything that makes folks smile for Hemispheres, AARP, TravelAge West,Diablo Magazine, Sonoma Magazine, The Telegraph.com, and more. Dana loves adventures that get her outside, especially near or in water. Check out our interactive map of her top 50 Hiding Places.

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