Legendary Philadelphia disc jockey Jerry Blavat aka “The Geator with the Heater” and aka “The Boss with the Hot Sace” has died. He was 82 years old. Blavat passed away from the effects of myasthenia gravis and related health issues at VITAS Inpatient Hospice at Jefferson-Methodist Hospital.
Blavat’s family issuing the following statement confirming his passing:
On behalf of our family, we would like to thank all of you, Jerry’s friends from near and far, for the outpouring of prayers, love, support, respect, acknowledgment, and appreciation for what he meant to all of you, especially in such a difficult time for our family.
We know how much he was loved by you, his loyal fans and friends, and we know the “Geator” will live on in our hearts forever. But for us, our grief is truly indescribable in losing the man we’ll forever call “Daddy.”
Jerry passed away from myasthenia gravis and related health issues at VITAS Inpatient Hospice at Jefferson-Methodist Hospital this morning.
Jerry proudly said, “Life is precious, and I am happy. And when I am happy, I want the world to be happy.” So he lived life to the fullest and enjoyed sharing life with all of you.
His love for Philadelphia only superseded his love of music. He was proud of this great city, and nothing made him prouder than the impact the music from Philadelphia made on the world.
Jerry wished for a big celebration of life. A big one is planned, and all are welcome. We will gather on Saturday, January 28, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (1723 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA). A viewing will begin at 9 a.m., with mass scheduled at 11:30 a.m.
Please continue to share your memories of Jerry. We are enjoying them. He loved all of you.
The Boss with the Hot Sauce is with the Big Boss Now.
Blavat was considered a Philadelphia icon and was a pioneer as the Rock and Roll sounded exploded more than 60 years ago. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In addition for being a disc jockey with an encyclopedic knowledge of music, Slavat was a best selling author (You Only Rock Once: My Life in Music), concert promoter, nightclub owner, and a family man.
Blavat’s career started in 1953 as a lithe, on-air dancer on the original Bandstand on Philadelphia’s WFIL-TV before Dick Clark took the program national. Blavat then moved on to his role as the tour manager for the doo wop vocal group Danny and the Juniors, before getting a job as comedian Don Rickles’ valet in 1958–59.
Blavat then started spinning records at various clubs in the Philadelphia metropolitan region. This led to a radio gig at WCAM-AM in Camden, where his knowledge of music and ability to connect with his audience helped his star grow. Eventually this led to his radio program being syndicated.
The moniker “Geator with the Heater” came up at a time when disc jockeys all had handles. The name “Geator” was derived from Alligator and “Heater” fit because it rhymed.
This lead to a tv-gig, The Discophonic Scene which started in Philadelphia and then was syndicated nationwide. He recorded the song Discophonic Walk/Back to School as a part of Jerry Blavat and the Yon Teenagers.
There were other things. In the 1960s, he became a partner Philadelphia-based record labels, Crimson and Lost Nite, a co-owner of a Record Museum, and a co-owner in some record stores. He made appearances on television programs such as The Monkees and The Mod Squad.
As he moved to the latter years of his career, he continued to be a disc jockey moving to the “oldies’ circuit and also doing live events.
Blavat is survived by his daughters Kathi Furia (Robert), Geraldine Blavat, Stacy Braglia and Deserie Downey, his grandchildren Joseph Downey, Frankie Braglia, Jeffrey Smullen, Samantha, Rodden and Kristina Furia, as well as his great-grand-children. Blavat is also survived by his devoted partner of over 30-years Keely Stahl.
Photo Credit: Jerry Blavat Social Media
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