Philadelphia radio legend Jerry Blavat has died at the age of 82
Jerry Blavat, Philadelphia radio legend, has died at the age of 82. FOX 29’s Bob Kelly shares the details of his dear friend’s life.
PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia radio legend Jerry Blavat has died at the age of 82, his family announced Friday morning.
Born in South Philadelphia, Gerald Joseph Blavat, he began his entertainment career as a bandstand dancer at the age of 13.
At the age of 20, Blavat began hosting his own radio show, which showcased his bright and vibrant personality, which captivated the region.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 15: Disc jockey Jerry Blavat attends Fox 29’s ‘Good Day’ at FOX 29 Studio in Philadelphia, PA on May 15, 2015 in Philadelphia, United States. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
Over time, Blavat adopted several nicknames, such as “The Boss with the Hot Sauce” and “The Geator with the Heater”.
Blavat was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 1998 he became part of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame’s Museum of Radio and Records.
Blavat coined the phrase “Keep on rockin’ because you only rock once,” which he later used as the inspiration for his 2011 biography, You Only Rock Once: My Life in Music.
He remained active in radio, running the Geator Gold Radio Network and “Memories” in Margate.
Voted “Best Philly Icon” by Philadelphia Magazine in 2018, Blavat is immortalized on a mural in South Philadelphia along with other local music legends, including the recently deceased “Wildwood Days” singer Bobby Rydell.
“Philadelphia down the line”: Pete Ciarrocchi, CEO of Chickie’s & Pete’s, remembers Jerry Blavat
Chickie’s & Pete’s CEO Pete Ciarrocchi reflects on the life and legacy of Philadelphia radio legend Jerry Blavat.
Blavat’s family released a statement on Friday, urging Jerry’s friends to keep sharing their memories of him.
“Jerry proudly said, ‘Life is precious and I’m happy. And when I’m happy, I want the world to be happy.’ So he lived life to the fullest and enjoyed sharing life with you all,” the statement said, in part.
Many of Jerry’s friends shared their many memories with the legend.
“I’ve been dancing on the dance floor since I was 18 and Jerry has become a huge part of our Saturday afternoons and Saturday nights,” said Dawn Ranieri, from Margate.
“He would snap his fingers and give everyone names,” recalled his girlfriend Ann Catania.
Chickie’s and Pete’s CEO Pete Ciarrochi recalled, “He’s a clicker. He said, ‘You’re the best, there’s nobody better than you. You’re the greatest.'”
“He knew Dionne Warwick, he knew Frankie Avalon, he knew Smokey Robinson, but you were just as important to whoever he was talking to,” noted Hughe Dillon with Philly ChitChat.
His closest friends say he is a walking encyclopedia of music, a health advocate and a generous man with a big heart.
“Losing him in Philadelphia is like losing the Liberty Bell. It’s such a big part of the city,” Ciarrocchi added.
“I wanted to be him. He was so good with his energy, his connection to people, creating an atmosphere, a party atmosphere,” Dillon said.
Wherever Blavat went, there was fun and entertainment.
“Geator, your language, your words – we will always think of you and you will always be a part of Chickies and Petes and my family,” Ciarrocchi said.
“The world is a better place and a better place because we had it, but sad because Jerry is gone,” Ann added.
Jerry’s life will be celebrated at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Saturday, January 28th. A tour begins at 9:00 a.m., the fair is scheduled for 11:30 a.m