PHILADELPHIA CREAM — 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 died at 3:45 a.m. Friday morning at the Jefferson-Methodist Hospital Hospice from the effects of myasthenia gravis and related health issues.
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 his medical condition, according to his website.
Born in South Philadelphia to a Jewish father and an Italian mother, music has run through his veins since 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 has appeared in several TV shows and movies, including “The Monkees,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Baby, It’s You,” and “Cookie.”
In 1953, he made his debut on the original bandstand at the age of 13. The producers of the Channel 6 show in Philadelphia discovered that their popular dancer had not reached the age limit, but let him stay to help choose records.
Years later, he hosted “The Discophonic Scene”, a dance show featuring some of the biggest stars of the day.
Blavat’s enthusiasm, flair, and natural knack for knowing what would affect teenagers led first to a syndicated radio show and then a television show in the 1960s.
For decades he entertained crowds with shows throughout the Philadelphia area and spent his summers on the shore 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.
“Everyone went 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 scene.
With his famous nicknames adopted “The Geator with the Heater” and “The Boss with the Hot Sauce”, he organized countless dances and helped break up many acts, including the Four Seasons and the Isley Brothers, also boosting Philadelphia artists like Bobby Rydell.
He appeared regularly in the Italian American Parade in Philadelphia and was a guest for many years in the 6abc Thanksgiving 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 Arts Avenue in Center City.
Since 1998, it has appeared in a permanent display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; he was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2002.
Asked about his disc jockey career and his rise to fame, Blavat told the New Jersey Stage: “So my life has been made up of wonderful people. And if it ends tomorrow, I won’t have any regrets because I made people happy, and making people happy filled my life.”
Blavat never wanted to stop sharing his love for music and Philadelphia.
Either way, that beat will always vibrate through this city’s veins with the vibrancy and zest that only “Boss with the Hot Sauce” could impart.
This story has been updated to show that Jerry Blavat is on permanent display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but has not been inducted.
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