Jay’s parents were active in church choir and his mother was a pianist trained in the classics - music was always
important in his family.
His interest in rock and pop began with the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. Jay played John in outdoor
“concerts” for the neighborhood. He and his friends used brooms for guitars and mop handles for mic stands.
He learned to play his first real guitar, a Gibson Melody Maker, with lifelong friends and fellow musicians Ken
Rayba and Darryl Hugley. Ken and Jay learned a lot by copying instrumentals by the Ventures. They still play
the occasional gig together. Darryl and Jay pounded Hendrix and Cream tunes in a garage band with Don
Jackson on drums. He moved to bass and joined Ken and drummer Art Finley to play his first "real gigs".
As kids they played parties at the town hall in Estral Beach, a Milan high school dance, and even blew out the
power at Hoover school auditorium in Lincoln Park blasting a psychedelic tune by the Blues Magoos.
Jay has played bass in country and classic rock bands since the 70's. He performed in local clubs when they
were much busier, many with live music 5-7 days a week. One band of note was a country band in the 80's
called Backwoods. They played the Hilltop in Jellico TN, the Country Bar in Sarnia, Ontario, local clubs like
Augies, Angies, Urban Cowboy, and as the on and off house band at Nashville North for a couple years. He also
recalls playing one of the first Detroit Downtown Hoedown concerts.
Jay feels it’s been an honor to play in bands with excellent local talent over the years. “Tommy Cook (piano)
Southern Rein and Vocal Point band, and Rob Bourassa (guitar), Backwoods Band, are the two most talented
musicians I've ever known. Jack Rainwater, Southern Rein band, as a guitarist and entertainer, has a wonderful
style all his own. No one sings like JR Muniz (Vocal Point band and recently retired member of Legend). Jay
Jordan (steel) Backwoods Band; Don Burton (singer and guitar & bass player) Southern Rein and Vocal Point;
Glenn Wilson, (singer and drummer) Southern Rein and Vocal Point; Byron Cook (drums) Vocal Point band and
Legend; Darrell Honeycutt (singer, group sax and flute) Southern Rein, Vocal Point, and Legend; Dick Johnson
(singer and guitar) Side by Side band; Al Alotta (banjo) and Bill Jackson (singer and banjo) Side by Side band;
and of course, Ken Rayba (singer and guitar) with way too many bands to mention”.
His favorite music are oldies, classic rock and country and his favorite song changes weekly. Swing and
standards from the 20's-50's are a big influence. Bob Wills, Jimi, Clapton, Beatles, Merle Haggard, Dwight
Yoakam, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, and Johnny Rivers are timeless. Jay’s current favorite artists are Wilco,
Jason Aldean, Tom Petty, Jamey Johnson, Zak Brown and Taylor Swift.
All of the exposure Jay has had to music, talented musicians & singers has strongly influenced his own natural
musical talents. He is an excellent singer himself and plays a wicked & rockin’ bass guitar and is a welcome
addition to LEGEND The Band.