Philadelphia – Action News has learned that legendary disc jockey Jerry Blavat, known as “Geator with the Heater” and “The Boss with the Hot Sauce,” has died. He is 82 years old.
He died at Jefferson Methodist Hospital’s hospice at 3:45 a.m. Friday from myasthenia gravis and related health issues.
He is survived by four daughters, grandsons, great-grandchildren and his long-term partner Killi Starr.
According to his website, Blavat recently had medical issues with a shoulder injury and had to cancel an upcoming performance at the Kimmel Cultural Campus for health reasons.
Born in South Philadelphia to a Jewish father and an Italian mother, music has been in his blood since childhood. “The Geator” is best known as one of the early rock DJs who revolutionized the industry and developed the “oldies” format.
Blavat has appeared in several television shows and films, including “The Monkees”, “Desperately Seeking Susan”, “Baby, It’s You” and “Cookie”.
In 1953, at the age of 13, he made his debut on the original Bandstand. The producers of a Channel 6 show in Philadelphia discovered their popular dancer was under the age limit, but let him stay to help pick the record.
Years later, he went on to host “The Discophonic Scene,” a dance show featuring some of the greatest stars of the era.
Blavat’s enthusiasm, talent and natural knack for understanding what affects teens led first to a syndicated radio show and then to television in the 1960s.
For decades, he entertained audiences with shows in the Philadelphia area and spent his summers on the coast with his popular dance club, Memories of Margate.
This career has led to many friendships with big names like Sammy Davis Jr., Don Rickles and even Frank Sinatra.
“Everybody’s been there. My mom was there cooking for (Frank) Sinatra. She’s still cooking for Sammy Davis Jr. there. Chuck Berry was there,” Blavat said in 2022 said of “Memories” in an interview with The New Jersey Stage in 2010.
Known by his popular nicknames “Geator with the Heater” and “The Boss with the Hot Sauce,” he hosted countless dance parties and helped break up many shows, including The Four Seasons and The Ashley Brothers, and also promoted Philadelphia artists like Bobby Rydell .
He is a frequent presence at Italian American parades in Philadelphia and has been a guest at the 6abc Thanksgiving Day Parade for many years.
In 1993, Bravat was inducted into the Philadelphia Music League Hall of Fame. You can find his name on the Walk of Fame on the Avenue of the Arts in Central City.
Since 1998, he has appeared in the permanent exhibition of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; in 2002 he was inducted into the Broadcasting Pioneers Hall of Fame in Philadelphia.
When asked about his career as a disc jockey and fame, Bravat told The New Jersey Stage, “So my life has always been about nice people. If it’s over tomorrow, I don’t regret it because I make people happy, And it enriches my life by making people happy.”
Blavat never wanted to stop sharing his love of music and Philadelphia.
Regardless, that beat will always run through the pulse of the city with the energy and enthusiasm that only “Hot Sauce Boss” can deliver.
This story has been updated to indicate that Jerry Blavat is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s permanent exhibit, but is not an inductee.
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