Legendary Philadelphia disc jockey Jerry ‘The Geator’ Blavat dies at 82

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.

He died at 3:45 a.m. Friday in hospice care at Jefferson-Methodist Hospital from the effects of myasthenia gravis and related health problems.

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He is survived by four daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and his longtime partner Keely Stahl.

Blavat recently suffered medical issues related to a shoulder injury and had to cancel an upcoming show at the Kimmel Cultural Campus due to his health, according to his website.

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Born in South Philadelphia to a Jewish father and Italian mother, music ran through his veins from childhood. “The Geator” was widely known as one of the early rock-and-roll DJs who revolutionized the profession and developed the “oldies” format.

Blavat starred 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. Producers of the Channel 6 show in Philly discovered that their popular dancer was under the age limit, but kept him on to help select records.

Years later, he went on to host “The Discophonic Scene”, a dance show that featured some of the biggest stars of the era.

Blavat’s enthusiasm, talent and natural ability to know what would strike teenagers led first to a syndicated radio show, then a television show in the 1960s.

For decades he entertained audiences with shows throughout the Philadelphia region and spent his summers down by the coast where he owned the popular dance club “Memories in Margate”.

It was a career that led to many friendships with great entertainers such as 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 showed up there,” Blavat said of “Memories” during a 2022 interview with New Jersey Internship.

With his famous nicknames “The Geator with the Heater” and “The Boss with the Hot Sauce”, he hosted countless dances and helped break many acts, including the Four Seasons and the Isley Brothers, and also boosted Philadelphia artists such as Bobby Rydell .

He performed regularly in the Italian American Parade in Philadelphia and was a guest for many years on 6abc’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In 1993, Blavat was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance’s Hall of Fame. You can find his name on the Walk of Fame along the Avenue of the Arts in Center City.

Since 1998 he appears in a permanent exhibition in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; he was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

When asked about his disc jockey career and rise to fame, Blavat told 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 know making people happy, that fulfilled my life.”

Blavat never wanted to stop sharing his love of music and Philadelphia.

No matter what, that beat will always pulse through the city’s veins with the liveliness and spirit that only the “Boss with the Hot Sauce” could spread.


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 an inductee.

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