Big Jay McNeely

Big Jay McNeely was there when the emotions of rhythm and blues gave birth to rock and roll. His honkin' sax style gave raw and bold tones to the feelings behind the R&B and Jump Swing styles of the early 1950’s, all of which played a key role in the popular musical trends that would follow.  Like many other early artists, Jay was not always credited for the songs he wrote and recorded during this incredible time of African American musical influence on pop music.  Fortunately, in later years, he was given credit and some of the royalties he deserved.  Through it all, Jay keep gigging, longer than many of his peers, performing past the age of 90.  To say the least, Big Jay was a pioneer!


Interview Date:
May 23, 2013
Date of Birth:
April 29, 1927
Deceased Date:
September 16, 2018
Job Title:
Musician, Saxophonist

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