Sunday, March 3, 2024

Remembering Jerry Blavat, 82, Philly’s International DJ and TV Personality Extraordinaire, The Geater with the Heater


Jerry Blavat died this week at age 82. He battled myasthenia gravis, a neuro muscular disorder that is a cruel disease.

Jerry was Philadelphia’s music diplomat, an international celebrity, deejay, and TV personality. Everyone in the music business knew him and loved him. He was indefatigable, a total music cheerleader. We were not close pals, but I admired him. He was always there to root for people. I remember how much he liked Phoebe Snow back in the day, and he was also a fan of my film, “Only the Strong Survive.”

“The definition of the word mensch is Jerry Blavat,” says my friend Joyce Moore. She knew him a long time but not even as long as her famous husband, Sam Moore, of Sam & Dave. It was Jerry who stood down the infamous Morris Levy, owner of Roulette Records, when the duo wanted to break their contract and move to Atlantic Records. Blavat, Sam recalls, marched them into a Miami club and secured Levy’s reluctant agreement.

Everyone in rock and roll has a Blavat story. He simply loved the music, loved the business. On radio he was nicknamed “The Geater with the Heater.” He literally made groups like the Four Seasons and the Isley Brothers, was instrumental in the careers of Todd Rundgren and Daryl Hall, and everyone from Philadelphia International. If there’s Mt. Rushmore of disc jockeys, with Cousin Bruce, Alan Freed, Murray the K, and Wolfman Jack, Jerry Blavat is there with them.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News