Jerry Blavat, the legendary DJ known as “The Geator with the Heater” and “The Boss with the Hot Sauce,” has died, Action News has learned. He was 82.
He died at 3:45 a.m. Friday in hospice at Jefferson-Methodist Hospital, surrounded by his four daughters. Blavat recently had health problems because of a shoulder injury, and his website says that he had to cancel a show at the Kimmel Cultural Campus because of his health.
The exact reason for his death was not known right away.
He was born in South Philadelphia to a Jewish father and an Italian mother. From the time he was young, music ran through his veins. “The Geator” was one of the first rock-and-roll DJs. He changed the way the job was done and came up with the “oldies” format. Blavat was in many movies and TV shows, such as “The Monkees,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Baby, It’s You,” and “Cookie.”
At the age of 13, he made his first appearance on the first Bandstand in 1953. The show’s producers found out that their most popular dancer wasn’t old enough, but they let him stay to help pick records.
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Years later, he hosted “The Discophonic Scene,” a dance show with some of the biggest stars of the time. Blavat’s enthusiasm, talent, and natural ability to know what teens would like led to a syndicated radio show and then, in the 1960s, a TV show. He put on shows all over the Philadelphia area for many years and spent the summers at the beach, where he ran the popular dance club “Memories in Margate.”
“We’ve all been there. There, my mom cooked for Sinatra. There, she also made food for Sammy Davis, Jr. In an interview with the New Jersey Stage in 2022, Blavat said of “Memories” that Chuck Berry had played there.
With the famous nicknames “The Geator with the Heater” and “The Boss with the Hot Sauce,” he hosted a lot of dances and helped break many acts, like the Four Seasons and the Isley Brothers. He also helped Philadelphia artists like Bobby Rydell.
He was always in the Italian American Parade in Philadelphia and was a guest in the Thanksgiving Day Parade on 6abc for many years. Blavat was put into the Hall of Fame of the Philadelphia Music Alliance in 1993. Along the Avenue of the Arts in Center City, you can find his name on the Walk of Fame.
Later, in 1998 and 2002, he was put into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame.
“Everybody’s been there. My mom cooked for (Frank) Sinatra there. She also cooked for Sammy Davis, Jr. there. Chuck Berry appeared there,” Blavat said of “Memories” during a 2022 interview with the New Jersey Stage.
No matter what happens, that beat will always run through the veins of this city with the energy and excitement that only the “Boss with the Hot Sauce” could bring.
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.