PHILADELPHIA — Jerry Blavat, the legendary disc jockey known as “The Geator with the Heater” and “The Boss with the Hot Sauce” has died, Action News has learned. He was 82 years old.
He passed away at 3:45 am Friday at Jefferson-Methodist Hospital hospice from the effects of myasthenia gravis and related health problems.
He leaves behind four daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his longtime partner, Keely Stahl.
Blavat was recently suffering from medical issues related to a shoulder injury and had to cancel an upcoming show at the Kimmel Cultural Campus due to her health, according to to your website.
Born in South Philadelphia to a Jewish father and an Italian mother, music ran through his veins from childhood. “The Geator” was widely known as one of the first rock and roll DJs who revolutionized the profession and developed the “oldies” format.
Blavat appeared in several television shows and movies, including “The Monkees,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Baby, It’s You,” and “Cookie.”
In 1953, he debuted in the original Bandstand at the age of 13. The producers of the Channel 6 show in Philadelphia found out that his popular dancer was under the age limit, but let him stay to help collect records.
Years later, he went on to host “The Discophonic Scene,” a dance performance that featured some of the biggest stars of the day.
Blavat’s enthusiasm, talent and natural ability to know what would affect teenagers landed him first on a syndicated radio show and then on a television show in the 1960s.
For decades, he entertained crowds with shows throughout the Philadelphia region and spent summers on the coast where he owned the popular “Memories in Margate” dance club.
It was a career that led to many friendships with great artists like Sammy Davis Jr., Don Rickles, and even Frank Sinatra.
“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 setting.
With his famous nicknames “The Geator with the Heater” and “The Boss with the Hot Sauce”, he hosted countless dances and helped break up many acts, including the Four Seasons and the Isley Brothers, and also propelled Philadelphia artists such as Bobby Rydell.
He appeared regularly in the Italian American Parade in Philadelphia and was a guest for many years in the 6abc Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In 1993, Blavat was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Hall of Fame. You can find his name on the Walk of Fame along the Avenue of the Arts in Center City.
Since 1998, it has been featured in a permanent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; he was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame in 2002.
When asked about her career as a disc jockey and her rise to fame, Blavat told the New Jersey Stage: “So my life has been about wonderful people. And if it ends tomorrow, I won’t regret it because I made people happy and By making people happy, I filled my life.”
Blavat never wanted to stop sharing her love of music and Philadelphia.
No matter what, that beat will always pulse through the veins of this city with the vibrancy and enthusiasm that only the “Head of Hot Sauce” can convey.
This story has been updated to show that Jerry Blavat is part of a permanent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but was not a member.
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