Jerry Blavat, who spent eight decades as “The Geator with the Heater” and “The Big Boss with the Hot Sauce” on Philadelphia radio, has passed away at the age of 82.

Gerald Joseph Blavat was born in South Philadelphia on July 3, 1940, to a Jewish father and an Italian mother.

At the ripe old age of 13, Blavat discovered his true love and rose to local renown. Blavat began her career as a teenager working with DJ Bob Horn on the first American Bandstand. After becoming a regular on the programme, Blavat went on to DJ all over the region.

A few years later, he oversaw the tour of a musical act, met actor and comedian Don Rickles, who later served as his valet, and by 1960, he had his own radio programme.

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From Camden to Atlantic City, Pottstown to Allentown, his show was syndicated throughout the Delaware Valley. He was able to make others happy while listening to the radio. “I play music from the heart, not a research chart,” he is quoted as saying.

Blavat was dubbed “the Geator with the Heater” by some and “the Boss with the Hot Sauce” by others. According to the Kimmel Center, he hosted live dances, pioneered the “oldies” format on radio, and gave many acts their big break, including the Four Seasons and the Isley Brothers. Blavat was still hosting dance events this fall, playing “oldies but goodies.”

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In 1972, he opened the ‘Memories’ club in Margate, New Jersey.

Flowers were put outside the doors of the club after Blavat’s death. Blavat used to perform in the club very frequently and was very loved in the area. 

Blavat wrote a book called ‘You Only Rock Once,’ in which he discussed his relationships with Sammy Davis, Dick Clark, and even Angelo Bruno, an underworld figure he knew from his neighbourhood. Blavat was also inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame on Broad Street.

According to New Jersey Stage magazine, one of Blavat’s shows featured Dionne Warwick’s debut performance. Later, he appeared in the documentary Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, which is now available on HBO Max.

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In a Facebook post, he explained that he had to “very reluctantly take the advice of my doctors and medical team to hold off on all performances until my physical therapy was finished and I was strong enough to be out there again.” He had previously cancelled a performance at the Kimmel Center scheduled for January 28.

He leaves behind four daughters in addition to a devoted fanbase.