Jerry Blavat

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Jerry Blavat
Gerald Joseph Blavat

(1940-07-03) July 3, 1940 (age 81)
ShowGeator Gold Radio
CountryUnited States
WebsiteOfficial website

Gerald Joseph "Jerry" Blavat (born July 3, 1940),[1] also known as "The Geator with the Heater" and "The Big Boss with the Hot Sauce,"[2][3][4] is an American disc jockey and performer who has been a major influence in promoting oldies music on the radio. A Philadelphia icon, he gained local fame hosting live dances in the area, leading to his own independent radio show, on which he introduced many acts in the 1960s to a wide audience, including the Four Seasons and the Isley Brothers.[citation needed] Blavat was born in South Philadelphia to a Jewish father and Italian mother.[5]


In 1953, Blavat debuted on the original Bandstand on WFIL-TV with Bob Horn and Lee Stewart. In 1956, he managed a national tour for Danny and the Juniors, and he worked as Don Rickles' valet in 1958–59. He got his start in radio in 1960. By 1963, his show was syndicated in Camden, Atlantic City, Trenton, Pottstown, Wilmington and Allentown. He said he refused to follow a playlist, "playing music from the heart, not a research chart." [6] During the 1960s, Blavat was a partner in the Lost Nite and Crimson record labels, with Jared Weinstein and Collectables Records' founder Jerry Greene.[7] Together, the three also owned Record Museum, a now-defunct chain of record stores based in Philadelphia.[7]

From 1965 to 1967, Blavat produced and hosted a weekly television show in Philadelphia called The Discophonic Scene, a dance show for "all my yon [sic] teens" along the lines of American Bandstand (which began in Philadelphia a decade earlier), referring to himself as "the Geator with the Heater" and "the big boss with the hot sauce." He guest-starred on television shows including The Mod Squad, The Monkees, The Tonight Show, and The Joey Bishop Show. He appeared in the movies Desperately Seeking Susan, Baby It's You, and Cookie.[8][9] In 1972, Blavat purchased a nightclub in Margate, New Jersey, and named it "Memories".

Alleged Mafia connections[edit]

In 1981, Blavat was having dinner at a South Philadelphia restaurant with Greek mob boss Chelsais "Steve" Bouras and several other guests when Bouras was shot dead in a contract killing.[10]

In the early 1990s, an investigation by the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation into organized crime's influence in the liquor business made public Blavat's association with the Bruno-Scarfo crime family. During the investigation, Thomas A. DelGiorno, a former Scarfo family capo, testified that Blavat had regularly paid a "street tax" to the crime family, had purchased a $40,000 yacht for crime boss Nicodemo Scarfo and was one of several individuals who purchased a condominium in Florida for Scarfo. In exchange, the criminal organization secured employment for Blavat throughout the state and also kept union organizers out of Blavat's nightclub. Del Giorno also testified that Blavat regularly served as a driver for crime boss Angelo Bruno. Blavat pled the fifth[11] and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.[12]

Recent activity[edit]

In 1993, Blavat was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Hall of Fame.[13] In 1998, he was included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of a permanent exhibit in its Museum of Radio and Records. In 2002, he was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's "Hall of Fame". On January 15, 2020, Blavat celebrated his 60th consecutive year on radio.

Blavat continues to broadcast on local radio seven days a week and perform at several record hops and events a week in the greater Philadelphia area.[1][14] He has been producing oldies concerts at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia every year since January 2002. He was a regular columnist for the Atlantic City Weekly for over 20 years and now writes his column, "Geator Gab," exclusively for the New Jersey Free Press. He has been a member of the New York Friars' Club since 2010 and has been the emcee of Time Life's annual Malt Shop Memories Cruise since 2011. His night club, Memories, where he continues to DJ during the summer, has been operating in Margate, New Jersey, since 1972. As of 2020, Blavat is a DJ for oldies radio station WVLT (FM) 92.1 in the South Jersey area, for the University of Pennsylvania's public radio station WXPN in Philadelphia, for radio stations WTKU-FM and WOND in Atlantic City, WBCB (AM) in Bucks County and Trenton, and WISL (AM) in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. In 2020, Jerry expanded his radio network to the internet station Tyme 102.9 WTYM-DB in Zephyrhills, Florida.

In July 2011, Blavat's autobiography, You Only Rock Once: My Life In Music, was published by Running Press. After its third printing it was released two years later in paperback and as an audiobook in 2014.

Blavat was voted "Best Philly Icon" in a 2018 reader's poll conducted by Philadelphia magazine.

Personal life[edit]

Blavat has four daughters. He has been separated from his wife since 1976 and has been in a long-term relationship since 1989.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cruisin' 92.1 - W V L T". Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Jerry Blavat". Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  3. ^ "TESS -- Error". Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  4. ^ "TESS -- Error". Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  5. ^ Blavat, Jerry (2011). You Only Rock Once. Running Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0762442157. Archived from the original on 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  6. ^ Blavat, Jerry (2011). You Only Rock Once. Running Press. p. 363. ISBN 978-0762442157. Archived from the original on 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  7. ^ a b "Lost Nite Album Discography". Archived from the original on 2008-08-02. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
  8. ^ "Jerry Blavat - Dossier". Archived from the original on 2008-03-29. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
  9. ^ "CRUISIN' 92.1, WVLT – Jerry Blavat Bio". Retrieved 2008-06-22.
  10. ^ Strauss, Robert (August 19, 2001). "IN PERSON; His Patter and Platters Still Rock the Shore". New York Times.
  11. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. (January 19, 1992). "Mob Sway Over Bars Called Strong". New York Times.
  12. ^ "Archives -". Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Philadelphia Music Alliance Hall of Fame Bio". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2012-05-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Jerry Blavat Finds the Fountain of Youth - Philadelphia Magazine". 21 April 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2018.

External links[edit]