Jerry Blavat – Geator Gab

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Jerry Blavat – YouTube

Geator Gab for January 2022

Once again, greetings and salutations as I wish you a very happy and a very healthy New Year.

For you folks who were with us at Bally’s to celebrate on New Year’s Eve, wasn’t it outstanding? As usual, it was done with class and style, and I’ve got to congratulate Mark Juliano, the entire staff and crew, and of course the Legendary Blue Notes for making it such a memorable event. Let’s hope the New Year will continue to bring us more happiness and togetherness in the months to come.

Talking about the memorable events, we’re all set for the next big concert at the Kimmel Center – now called the Kimmel Cultural Campus. Yes, it’s this month –
Saturday, January 22, to be exact. It’s “Jerry Blavat and Friends” featuring wonderful lineup of some of your favorite performers who have appeared with me on stage in the past – Frankie Avalon, Darlene Love, Gary U.S. Bonds, Eddie Holman, Little Anthony, The Chi-Lites, and The Vogues.

You may not know that Little Anthony has been recently been touring on his own, and this concert will give him a chance to shine in a very intimate way – picture him sitting on a stool and delivering some of the greatest love ballads ever written, including those gems written by the legendary Teddy Randazzo that he and artists like Sinatra helped make famous, such as “Hurt So Bad,” “Forget to Remember,” “Going Out of My Head,” and more, backed by a 40-piece orchestra. This will be a very special event, so reserve your tickets now by calling (215) 893-1999 or going to kimmelculturalcampus.org to choose your seats online.

And if you’re one of our listeners on Cruisin’ 92.1 FM in Vineland, the Friar and I want to welcome a new personality to our lineup. His name is Glen Jones, or “Jonesey,” and he offers a very different and interesting mix of oldies. His show is every Friday at 7 pm, following my show from 5-7. You can hear it online via TuneIn or your favorite radio app or on the air at WVLT 92.1 FM.

Glen Jones (right) with the Geator
Glen Jones, in Concert

I was pleased last month to see Todd Rundgren being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Todd is a local kid who grew up listening to the Geator, and he has been tremendously influential in the music business both on the creative and producing areas and surely has belonged in the Hall of Fame for a long time. He celebrated his induction in style like the true maverick he is by skipping the ceremony and performing live for his fans instead.

And here’s a trivia question for you: Which of the fol lowing rock and roll legends are not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? (Answer at the end of the column).

a) The Cadillacs – b) The Monkees – c) Chubby Checker – d) Connie Francis – e) The Harptones – f) The Five Satins – g) Frankie Avalon

Well, I think that’ll be it for now, so till next month, stay safe, stay well — and keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once.

Answer to this week’s trivia question: Hard to believe, but as of this writing none of the artists mentioned are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Geator Gab for December 2021

Once again, greeting and salutations.

I hope that you were able to enjoy Thanksgiving this year in the company of loved ones.

About this time last year I wrote: “Let’s look forward to the days ahead when we can be together again.” And by the grace of God we have seen those days slowly but surely return. I’m thankful that this year we will be able to celebrate New Year’s Eve in person, and I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.

But first I want to extend holiday greetings to each and every one of you as we celebrate Hanukkah and the coming of Christmas. It’s a wonderful time of year when we can spend time with friends and family and remember those who are no longer with us but who always will be cherished. And with that in mind I’m going to devote this column to two of the greatest performers

we were ever blessed to have, Frank Sinatra and my friend, Sammy Davis, Jr. Fortunately I knew them both very well and spent many memorable evenings in their company. Both were born in December – Sammy on December 8 and Frank on December 12.

Frank shared a very important quality with other legendary singers such as Johnny Mathis, Dionne Warwick, and Sarah Vaughn. They all used their vocal gifts to showcase the music and not themselves. When I asked Dionne – who also shares Frank’s birthday of December 12 – how she wanted to be remembered, she simply said, “As a singer of great songs.” Frank was the same – a highly disciplined vocalist who observed and learned from other artists and practiced his craft relentlessly in order to share his love of the music, the composers, and the arrangers.

Jerry Blavat performs with his long-time friend, Sammy Davis Jr.

As for Sammy – well, if you read my book, You Only Rock Once, you know that we had a lifelong bond starting with the first time he appeared on Bob Horn’s Bandstand when I was head dancer and in charge of greeting the stars. Sammy watched me dance and said, “Hey, you’re like a white me!” From that moment on we were friends and remained close throughout the years. He proposed to his wife Altovise at my home in Overbrook, and I was at his bedside the day he died. One quality Sammy had that set him apart from so many other entertainers was his lack of ego. He never felt he had to compete. He was always secure in his own talent and remained in awe of other performers and never jealous of their success.

They may be gone, but they never will be forgotten for their contributions in making the world a better musical place — Frank as the greatest singer we’ve ever had, and Sammy as the world’s greatest all-around entertainer.

I hope you’ll set aside some time to enjoy their artistry on my weekly radio show “The Geator, Frank and Friends” every Sunday from 9-11 am on Atlantic City’s WOND 1400 News Talk Radio (wondradio.com worldwide) and celebrate what these two gentlemen and others of that era gave us.

And now the man with the white beard is about to make his journey. .It’s a time for icicles, good cheer, and the coming New Year. Now that we are able to celebrate not only online but in person again, I want to invite you to share New Year’s Eve with me at Bally’s in Atlantic City, with the special gift of a live performance from the legendary Blue Notes. I intend for that night to be not only a party but a source of strength and inspiration for the year to come. If you go to December 31 on my calendar at geator.net (click link above), you’ll find more info on how to attend.

And there will be more exciting things coming your way in 2022, starting with the return of our annual concert at the Kimmel Center in Philly (now renamed the Kimmel Cultural Campus) on Saturday, January 22. It’s “Jerry Blavat and Friends” featuring a lineup of musical legends – Darlene Love, Frankie Avalon, Little Anthony, Gary US Bonds, Eddie Holman, the Chi-Lites, the Vogues, and more – and if you are looking for a very special holiday gift for the music lovers in your life, or perhaps to yourself, this is the perfect answer. For more info go to kimmelculturalcampus.org or call the box office at (215) 893-1999.

As our days grow shorter and our nights grow longer, remember that our memories of the people who have been a part of our lives will keep us happy in the days to come, just as the music of the artists who are no longer with us will remain part of our hearts and souls and help us get through difficult times.

Before I close, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for being a part of my life, and to wish you good health and happiness, for as we grow older, good health equals happiness. I want you to know that the loyalty and the love that you have shown to me throughout the years has made my journey worthwhile. Without your love and support, along with our love of the music and the good times we shared and continue to share together, we never would have made it through all the ups and downs of the past year.

So again, with my love and respect, I say thank you and I wish you a happy, healthy, safe, and joyous 2022.

Stay safe, stay well, let the music heal you, and keep on rocking.

Your pal, the Geator

Geator Gab for November 2021

Once again, greeting and salutations to all my friends in this wonderful New Jersey nation.

We are now going full swing with new one-nighters throughout the tri-state area, including many that were postponed during the height of the pandemic. And now that folks are out and about again and continuing to get their vaccinations and boosters, hopefully we’ll soon be back to our normal healthy state of affairs.

This month I’m going to answer some questions we received over the summer that we didn’t get a chance to address previously, so here goes. And remember, if you’ve got a question for the Geator, you can email it to geatorella@yahoo.com and we’ll do our best to reply.

What was the disco song I heard you play all summer from Memories in Margate that went, “Get your booty on the floor tonight, make my day”? – Paula, Ocean City

That’s Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam” from 1989. It was the first “house” or club song to make it into the mainstream pop charts.

I’m a big fan of yours. Read your book. I was watching an American Bandstand video from 1957 on YouTube and thought I saw the young Geator dancing with a white envelope sticking out of his jacket pocket. Is that you (and what’s on the envelope if I can ask)? Regards and please stay healthy – Robert “Jetdog” Blacker

That’s not me on the show but a guy named Gary who people think resembles me somewhat. I actually was never a dancer on Dick Clark’s Bandstand. I was a regular on the original Bandstand hosted by Bob Horn from 1953-56, before Dick Clark took over. However, I did make a few guest appearances on American Bandstand for an occasional reunion of the original dancers or as a special guest of Dick Clark after I became a popular DJ. In my book, You Only Rock Once, I tell the story of how I originally led the picket lines protesting Dick Clark’s replacement of Bob Horn, and how Dick and I later became close friends after an accidental meeting on a train.

I enjoyed being at some of your dances at the shore when you were the DJ! Besides the Electric Slide and the song “Happy,” please tell me the other line dances that you spin so that I can learn them and join in dancing. I would like to become a regular when you resume at Bally’s next spring. – Barbara, Edgewater Park, NJ

Those are the Wagner Walk, the Chez Vous Walk, the Soul City Walk, the Disco Spin, the South Jersey, and the Jerry Shake. They’re really easy to learn because they’re basically the same steps with variations on the turns. Tutorials can be found on YouTube, and on my page geator.net you will find a section called “How To Learn The Line Dances.” Looking forward to seeing you at Bally’s with your dancing shoes on – and by the way, we’ve been continuing our Wednesday happy hour dance parties at the Oar House Pub in Sea Isle City all throughout the year, and the dancers there will be happy to teach you.

You look amazing – did you have “work” done? – Nina, Chester Springs, PA

I’ve always admired the Native American Indian, who grew old naturally. In that culture you were more respected and admired the older you got. Everything I’ve ever done has been based on being natural, being yourself. That’s why I intend to grow old gracefully and not surgically.

You can hear the Geator throughout the state from 3-5 pm weekdays on WBCB 1490 in the Trenton area, 5-7 pm on WVLT Cruisin’ 92.1 in central NJ, 7-9 pm at the shore on WTKU Kool 98.3, and Saturdays 6-7 pm on WXPN 88.5 – click the RADIO tab at geator.net for details, and keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once!

Geator Gab for October 2021

Once again, greetings and salutations.

Well, another summer has come and gone, and once again I give my thanks for the good times we all shared this season, whether at the Italian festival in Hammonton, at both the Showboat and Bally’s in Atlantic City or the Oar House Pub in Sea Isle, and of course at Memories in Margate.

The success of Memories has always been you, the folks who come all summer long for the music, the magic, the camaraderie, and to make new memories. And after all the isolation and social distancing of the previous year, it was a spectacular summer. No doubt all the new technology has allowed people from all over the world to discover our live broadcasts and events via Mixcloud, Facebook, Instagram, and Vimeo – but more likely it was just the joy of being able to go back out into the open, be together again, and erase all that built up “cabin fever” that contributed to one of the best seasons ever.

And even though the season is over, for the Geator it never ends, and we will continue to make memories throughout the year at all of our other weekly engagements and one-nighters. Our Wednesday happy hour dance parties at the Oar House Pub, located at 318 42nd Place in Sea Isle City, will continue throughout the year. And great news — we will also be back in Atlantic City for our gala New Year’s Eve celebration in Bally’s Grand Ballroom with musical guest stars Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Tickets available at TicketWeb or go to ballysac.com for more info.

Back in Philly we’ve got the annual Columbus Day Parade on October 10 – and this year I’ll be riding in the Geatormobile with our parade Grand Marshall, none other than New Jersey native son Joe Piscopo.

Well, that’s about it for now. To get the details on all our whereabouts throughout the year, check our calendar at geator.net. You can also stay in touch with us at Facebook.com/Geator plus our other social media spots – Instagram.com/geatorgold, Vimeo.com/Geator, and YouTube.com/thegeator, where we’ll be posting all our new celebrity video chats once they resume this fall. We’ll tell you all about that next month.

If you love the oldies, tune in to my radio show every Monday through Friday on WBCB 1490 AM from 3-5 pm, in central NJ at WVLT Cruisin’ 92.1 FM from 5-7 pm, and in the shore area on WTKU Kool 98.3 from 7-9 pm. Doo wop lovers will especially enjoy our show on Tuesdays when we feature two hours of nonstop vocal harmony from the ’40s through the ’90s.

On Saturdays from 6-7 pm don’t miss “The Geator’s Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues Express” on WXPN 88.5 or xpn.org, and on Sundays from 9-11 am we’ve got your favorite sounds from Sinatra and the Rat Pack era with “The Geator, Frank & Friends” on WOND News Talk Radio 1400 broadcasting from Pleasantville to the Atlantic City area.

And don’t forget, if you’ve got a question for the Geator, send it to geatorella@yahoo.com and we’ll answer it right here in the Geator Gab.
Till next time, stay safe, stay well, and remember to keep on rocking, ‘cause you only rock once.

Got a question for Jerry? Send it to geatorella@yahoo.com and we’ll try to answer it here in the Geator Gab.

Jerry Blavat is one of America’s leading, most recognized and most respected disc jockeys and performer who has been the leading influence in the proliferation of “oldies” music on the radio and internet for decades. A respected Philadelphia icon, he gained local fame hosting live dances in the area, leading to his own independent radio show, on which he introduced many acts in the 1960s to a wide audience, including the Four Seasons and the Isley Brothers. In 1993, Blavat was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance’s Hall of Fame, and in 1998, was included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of a permanent exhibit in its Museum of Radio and Records. In 2002, he was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s “Hall of Fame”, and on January 15, 2020, Blavat celebrated his 60th consecutive year on radio.

Jerry Blavat is an exclusive columnist to the New Jersey Free Press. The Geator’s monthly column is highly popular with adult readers who long for the golden days of radio and rock, as well as by younger readers who listen to his internet programs and visit his popular club “Memories” in Margate.

Geator Gab for August 2021

Once again, greetings and salutations.

And my prediction of two months ago, that this will be one of the greatest summer seasons of all time at the Jersey shore, is certainly coming true. But before this season’s live appearances began, we had time to put together a very special radio program that people from all over the world were able to enjoy.

You may know the name Ben Vaughn, a local musician from the Philly area who became very successful as a live performer and composer for TV, including writing the theme to the show Third Rock from the Sun. As a longtime fan turned friend of the Geator, he organized a massive effort to archive a huge collection of Geator photos, materials, awards, tapes, and the like that had been in storage for decades. Among the treasures he found was an envelope of fan letters and radio requests dated from 1962 that had somehow been misplaced and never opened. Thanks to the folks at WXPN, especially program director Bruce Warren, we did a show where we actually opened and read these letters on the air and played the requests that were meant for the Geator to play back in 1962.

Jerry Blavat (right) and Ben Vaughn

One of the most amazing things that came out of this project is that we located two of the people who had originally written in. One of them, Johanna Schier, became a music journalist and songwriter herself. In fact she co-wrote “Half Moon” for Janis Joplin, the B-side to “Bobby McGee.” It just proves that once you develop a love for the music, it stays with you forever.

You can hear an excerpt from Ben’s conversation with Johanna, along with “The Lost Dedications” shows that aired on WXPN, by going to my page at geator.net, where we post all the links so you can hear the music and see the actual handwritten letters.

If by chance YOU were one of the kids whose letter was lost back in 1962 but rediscovered by Ben and the Geator and read on the air almost 60 years later, please contact us at lostdedications@yahoo.com.

Well, we still have more than a month of fun at the shore with our happy hour dance parties in Atlantic City on Tuesdays at the Showboat’s Lucky Snake Arcade & Sports Bar, on Thursdays at Bally’s Beach Bar on the Boardwalk, and on Wednesdays at the Oar House Pub in Sea Isle City.

And of course we’ll continue at Memories in Margate on Friday and Saturday nights through Labor Day. And if you can’t visit us in person, remember we are on the air 7 days a week, including our live broadcasts from Wednesday through Saturday and our very special Sunday morning show, “The Geator, Frank and Friends” on 1400 WOND News Talk Radio.

For complete info on how to listen, go to our RADIO link at geator.net. And on that same page under CALENDAR you’ll find all the info you need on all my appearances.

Meanwhile, may you continue to have a happy and safe summer season, and I hope you can join me in person before it’s over…

And remember to keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once.

Got a question for Jerry? Send it to geatorella@yahoo.com and we’ll try to answer it here in the Geator Gab.

See you at Memories in Margate!

Geator Gab for May 2021

Once again, greetings and salutations.

I know I’ve said it for the last 49 years – another Memorial Day Weekend, and with it the re-opening of Memories in Margate – but this year we’re a month ahead, and on April 3rd we opened Memories early because, well, we just couldn’t wait, and apparently neither could you, because we saw you counting down the weeks on your Facebook pages. This time you were able to count down the days, and before you knew it, it was just like old times again. And what a celebration it’s been so far – for many, a chance to get out and spread your wings after being cooped up for a year and a half. Music and movement are like medicine for the body and soul. You danced, you romanced, you ate and drank together, and it was a breath of fresh air even in your masks.

This year until the end of May we’ll be opening our doors at Memories on Saturday nights only – but then for Memorial Day weekend and the rest of the summer we’ll be open on Friday nights at 5 pm for our live broadcast on WVLT Cruisin’ 92.1, and continue on Saturday nights starting at 7.

Remember, if you can’t join us live, you can hear the action live on KOOL 98.3 starting at 7 pm both nights.

Even better, you can also watch the live video feed on Mixcloud till 1 am both nights on my Facebook page, Facebook.com/Geator, as well as on Mixcloud.com/live/jerryblavatlive where you can be part of a lively chat room that has Geator fans listening to the broadcast and dancing in their homes not only in the area and all around the USA but all around the world including Australia, Austria, Holland, and Singapore!

I hope you’ve been able to keep up with the terrific online video chats we’ve been doing with some of the major figures in the music industry. Our latest ones included Paul Shaffer, whom you will know from his 33 years as David Letterman’s bandleader on the Late Show, and by the time you read this column you’ll be able to see our chat with Little Stevie Van Zandt, who revealed what he was doing at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction dinner in 1986 that made the producers of The Sopranos want to give him a leading role in the series.

Pictured are Jerry Blavat (top), Gary U.S. Bonds (lower left) and Steve Van Zandt (lower right)

Well, it’s going to be a busy month so it’s time for me to make some moves. In our next column we’ll have news for you about our upcoming weekly appearances at the shore, including Tuesdays at the Showboat, Wednesdays at the Oar House Pub in Sea Isle, and Thursdays at Bally’s.

Till we meet next month here in the New Jersey Free Press, remember to keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once!

Got a question for Jerry? Send it to geatorella@yahoo.com and we’ll try to answer it here in the Geator Gab. And for info on all Jerry’s appearances, radio schedule, and more, check his page at geator.net.

Geator Gab for April 2021

Once again, greetings and salutations.

You might remember when the sign at Memories in Margate said, “I hear you knocking but you can’t come in.” Well, hallelujah! The sign now says, “I hear you knocking and you CAN come in!” (as long as you’re wearing your mask).

It’s true, and it’s exciting. At last we will be together again since our last dance at Memories in Margate last October.
This year, something new. Normally we would open up Friday of Memorial Day weekend. But because of the outpouring of fans who kept saying, “Geator, we need to dance,” we opened up Memories on April 3rd, and for the rest of April and part of May we will be open every Saturday at 7 pm – and go live on Kool 98.3, Mixcloud, Facebook, and all of the other modernization options that drive me crazy. Then some time in the middle of May, exact date to be announced, we’ll resume on Fridays and Saturdays for the rest of the summer season.

Also, look forward to Wednesday Funday happy hours starting May 26 at Jimmy Bennett’s Oar House Pub in Sea Isle. And rumor has it that the Geator will be appearing in Atlantic City at Bally’s and also the Showboat. Stay tuned to my page at Facebook.com/Geator, or go to my website calendar at Geator.net, for all the details of our summer season as they’re confirmed.

And now, with more show business news, if you’ve been watching our latest Facebook video chats (https://www.facebook.com/Geator) with the Chantels, Dionne Warwick, the Miracles, Frankie Avalon, Frankie Valli, and more, plus my personal fan chats answering your questions, you may have enjoyed one of the most fun and laughter-filled chats we’ve ever done, with Dee Dee Sharp, Gary U.S. Bonds, and Bobby Rydell reminiscing about recording for Cameo Parkway and the early days of the music business in Philly.

I hope you’ve seen our most recent chat (as of this writing) with two music mavericks, Andy Paley and Adam Weiner. Andy told a wonderful story about the after party when Frank Sinatra won a Grammy for his duets album. For the rest of the story go to my Facebook page and you’ll enjoy the story of when the Grammys really were the Grammys.
Also in that chat was another maverick, our friend Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie, who you may remember appeared at Memories several seasons ago for an unforgettable performance reminiscent of Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis in their primes. Since then Adam has been touring the world, with one of his songs appearing on President Obama’s top 10 list on Spotify.

On another note, yes, the Malt Shop Memories Cruise will be sailing at the end of October of this year. And we now have the date for our next concert at the Kimmel Center – January 22, 2022. Stay tuned to this column and you’ll get all the updates on the lineup.

Well, that’s it for now. Till we meet and greet at Memories in Margate on April through May, this is the Geator, the Big Boss with the Hot Sauce, reminding you to stay safe stay well and keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once!

Remember, if you’ve got any questions for the Geator, send them to geatorella@gmail.com and we’ll answer them right here in a future Geator Gab.

Geator Gab for March 2021

ASK THE GEATOR – MARCH 2021

Once again, greetings and salutations.

I want to thank all of you who have written with your memories of the Geator. Whether long or short, your messages have all been meaningful and special to me.

Now that the vaccine is becoming more available and venues start preparing to open again, we’re hopeful that soon there will be more opportunities to make new memories with the Geator. In that light, we are planning to open up Memories in Margate as early as April this year – stay tuned for the details.

Meanwhile, check out our weekly live chats with superstars such as Frankie Valli, Dionne Warwick, Lenny Welch, and more. We had the honor of talking with the late Mary Wilson of the Supremes last November, and our chat with this gracious lady can be seen on my page Facebook.com/Geator or on our new Jerry Blavat YouTube channel:

youtube.com/channel/UC2Ea2CxHFFe3wlAMZhjHLVw (as soon as we hit 1,000 subscribers we’ll have a shorter URL!).

You can access this channel through the link above.

And I hope you’ve been able to tune in to my weekly show “The Geator, Frank, and Friends” from 6-8 pm every Saturday on WOND News Talk Radio 1400, where I bring you the best of music from Sinatra and other artists of his era. If you read the New Jersey Free Press from out of town, you’ll be glad to know that all my radio shows can be heard online no matter where you are. For complete info on my radio schedule, upcoming appearances, and more, check out geator.net.

Now, in keeping with the current awards season, with the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globes coming up, here’s a special column of movie trivia. See how many you know before checking the answers.

1) Who originally was going to play William Holden’s role in Sunset Boulevard?

2) See if you can put together the names of these Hollywood stars of the 1930s and ‘40s who were married to each other.

June Allyson – Joan Crawford – Bette Davis – Carole Lombard – Paulette Goddard

Clark Gable — Gary Merrill — Charlie Chaplin — Dick Powell — Franchot Tone

3) Who starred with Gene Kelly in 1952’s classic film Singin’ in the Rain?

Cyd Charisse – Debbie Reynolds – Leslie Caron – Judy Garland

4) Which one of these Rodgers & Hammerstein movies featured the song “Getting to Know You”?

South Pacific – The King and I – Carousel – Oklahoma! – The Sound of Music

5) What two rock & roll superstars auditioned for the lead roles in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, eventually played by Steve Martin and Michael Caine?

Hint: Both are British and both did other film roles.

(Answers are below)

Remember, if you’ve got any questions for the Geator, send them to geatorella@gmail.com and we’ll answer them right here in a future Geator Gab.

Till next month, keep on rocking, ‘cause you only rock once!

Answers to the Geator Trivia:

1) The part of Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard was written with Montgomery Clift in mind. But after signing to play the role he changed his mind, claiming he didn’t want to be seen doing romantic scenes with an older woman. In reality he was involved at the time with a woman who was 16 years older than he was, singer Libby Holman.

2) June Allyson married Dick Powell, Joan Crawford married Franchot Tone, Bette Davis married Gary Merrill, Carole Lombard married Clark Gable, and Paulette Goddard married Charlie Chaplin.

3) Debbie Reynolds.

4) The King and I.

5) David Bowie and Mick Jagger both auditioned for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Our Final Contest winner is:

Robert Nelms of Franklinville, NJ, who said:

“Going to the Riveria Ballroom in Audubon with my friends to see Jerry with live bands playing. I was 18 years old back then – that was more than 50 years ago.”

Even if you didn’t win an autographed copy of Jerry Blavat’s best selling book “You Only Rock Once: My Life In Music”, you can still buy a copy at:
www.amazon.com/You-Only-Rock-Once-Music/dp/0762450185

Thank you all for sharing your memories and entering our contest!

New Jersey Free Press

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Geator Gab for February 2021

Once again, greetings and salutations.

Before we start, I’d like to take a moment to honor my local sponsors who make it possible for me to continue bringing you the music that you love over Geator Gold Radio on the air and over the internet. I’m talking about our friends at Mazza’s Market in Northfield, Primo Hoagies in Northfield and Avalon, Chickie’s & Pete’s in Egg Harbor, and Bagliani’s Market in Hammonton, along with Talluto’s Pasta, Liscio’s Bread and Rolls, and Dietz & Watson in your local supermarkets and grocery stores, and of course Family Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. As you know, I have never in my career taken money or been paid for doing my radio shows, so these sponsorships have given me the freedom to play music from my heart and not from a research chart compiled by corporations. With all live events canceled due to the pandemic, it’s these sponsors who keep us going. So please thank these wonderful and hard-working local businesses by giving them your patronage.

On a sadder note we are all feeling the recent passing of some of our beloved music greats, including Phil Spector, Len Barry, Tommy Mara of the Crests, and Kenny Jeremiah of the Soul Survivors, along with the loss last year of the Four Seasons’ Tommy DeVito, Chad Stuart of Chad & Jeremy, Vera Lynn, Johnny Nash, Mac Davis, Bill Withers, and so many more. This is one of the reasons I have been trying to bring you, with my Sunday live interactive chats on Facebook, interviews with the artists who we are fortunate enough to still have with us. Recent chats have included Frankie Valli, Norm Burnett and Caesar Berry of the Tymes, Connie Francis, Frankie Avalon, Kenny Gamble, the one and only Duke of Earl, Gene Chandler, Bobby Rydell, Dionne Warwick and more, all of which you can view on my page, Facebook.com/Geator.

When you watch these, as well as the interviews we did years ago that are available in my DVD collection, On the Air with the Geator, you will not only relive memories of the great music these artists gave us, but you’ll discover things that you may not have heard anywhere else – for example, how Marvin Gaye wanted to develop into more of a classic performer along the lines of Nat King Cole. And how Connie Francis’ dad hated Bobby Darin, who she called the love of her life, and prevented her from having a relationship with him.

If you saw our chat with Frankie Valli, you would know that Joe Pesci started out as a roadie for the Four Seasons. And when the group was in Miami and Bob Gaudio and Frankie went to the Fontainbleu in Miami to see Frank Sinatra and heard him sing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” Gaudio turned to Frankie and said, “That’s gonna be our next song.” And when we talked with Gene Chandler, he described how the great doo wop hit “Duke of Earl” was the accidental product of one of the group’s vocal warm-ups.

And if you’ve been following these chats, you’ll know the answer to our trivia question for this month so here it is: What do all the following artists have in common? The Stylistics, Teddy Pendergrass, Laura Nyro, the Soul Survivors, the Three Degrees ,the Intruders, and Dusty Springfield?

See the answer below.

And remember, if you’ve got a question for the Geator, send it to geatorella@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to answer it right here in the Geator Gab.

Well, that’s about it for now. I want to wish all my readers safety and good health in the coming months, and I hope to see you this spring when if all goes well, we’ll be able to resume some live events in the area. And stay tuned for exciting news about the reopening of Memories in Margate for its 49th season!

Meanwhile, remember to keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once!

Answer to the Geator Gab trivia question:

All these artists were produced at one time by the great Kenny Gamble. Watch our recent video chat with him at Facebook.com/Geator.

Walter Weeks of Glen Mills, PA, who said:

” Jerry played before a packed house of Democrat delegates to the national convention. His music was infectious – the world knew who Jerry Blavat was that night! He had us all rocking. For days afterward delegates from around the country would comment on what a great time they had with the Geator playing the music of our lives.

Geator Gab for January 2021

Once again, greetings and salutations.

Hopefully as you read this column you will have had a wonderful holiday with your family and dear friends. As we look forward to 2021, we hope to see an end to this pandemic that has taken away so many loved ones and as wreaked havoc on restaurants, bars, and businesses.

Yes, there is great hope. The vaccine is being distributed. The results are overwhelmingly positive and within a couple of months perhaps our lives can return to some kind of normalcy. You’ve heard me say many times on radio and at our gatherings that we live in the greatest country in the world. We have overcome catastrophes and sicknesses that have affected so many Americans throughout the years. But we’ve overcome because we are all one.

So as we look forward to this new year, as I’ve said, yes, we will dance again. Almost all of the engagements that have been canceled have been or are being rescheduled, many for this spring. Also as of this writing we’ve spoken with the people at the Kimmel Center, and our annual show, which would have been at the end of January, is now scheduled for some time in May.

And even though we have not been able to appear in person since last March, with only a few exceptions, our radio shows have continued uninterrupted every weekday on various stations throughout New Jersey –WBCB 1490 AM from 3-5 pm, WVLT Cruisin’ 92.1 FM and Radio WISL.com from 5-7 pm, WTKU Kool 98.3 from 7-9 pm, and Tyme Radio WTYM.org from 10 pm to 12 am – as well as on Saturdays 6-7 pm on WXPN 88.5 and 6-8 pm on WOND News Talk Radio 1400 AM. So you can catch the Geator and enjoy the music virtually any time you like. Details at geator.net – RADIO.

But the most wonderful thing that is keeping us together during these times of separation are the Sunday live chats we’ve been doing with some of the biggest names in the music industry. I hope you were able to catch the two most recent, with Dionne Warwick and Frankie Valli. As listener and friend Kathleen O’Donnell said, “I am so inspired by Mr. Valli’s resilience and fortitude. I loved listening to you both and it reminded me that we all have ups and downs and attitude is everything.” And Cherryl McBreen observed about Ms. Warwick: “Dionne has beauty that not only resonates from her voice but from within,” and you can see it clearly in these videos.

Jerry Blavat with Dionne Warwick
Jerry Blavat with Frankie Valli
Blavat and Valli, enjoying the music

The wonderful thing about the chats is that they give you a different insight into the history and wonderful works of these beloved entertainers who have dedicated their lives to their craft and are suffering tremendously without their greatest joy – you, the audience. But if you’ve missed any of them, don’t worry, they are viewable any time “on demand” on my page, Facebook.com/Geator.

Before we go, here’s this month’s trivia question. In January 1965 a group landed on the Billboard Top 20 with a reply to the Shangri-Las’ hit “Leader of the Pack.” Can you remember the song and the name of the group? Answer appears below.

And a special hello to our dear friend and WVLT colleague, the Friar, John Kinka, whose column appears on page 14 of the January 2021 New Jersey Free Press newspaper.

In closing, let me wish all of the Geator Gold guys and gals out there a very happy, healthy, and joyous 2021. Let us hope that the worst is behind us and we can rejoice in the fact that we all will be dancing together and enjoying each other’s presence in person once again.

Hope to see you soon. Meanwhile stay safe and well, and keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once.

Answer to the Geator Gab trivia question:

The song was “Leader of the Laundromat” by the Detergents.

Andy Julia of Hammonton NJ

Andy said:

“8 years he was MC for my Deborah Hospital Social and made some big Donations love that man!!”

AND

Cyndi Conway of Havertown PA

Cyndi said:

“Well, let me say I’m 63 and every chance I have to get out to see you is the best, starting as a very young girl. Here we go – Channel 6 show, Chez Vous, 69, Upper Darby, roller skating, Drexel Brook, many memories at Memories in Margate, Wildwood days, the times at Anthony’s Restaurant – I can go on and on! Plus being in my kitchen on a Saturday night dancing the night away. Love love you always”.

Remember – You have three more chances to win by entering the contest. One book winner will be announced each month through April 2021.

Geator Gab for December 2020

Once again, greetings and salutations to my Yon and Beyond Teens!

As the holidays are upon us, and with the world as upside down as it is, we find ourselves appreciating our friends, family, and loved ones more and more. As much as I am not a fan of modern technology, for most of us it’s the only way we have right now of staying connected with those who are important to us in our lives.

Unfortunately this season’s special events, like our Turkey Trot and our New Year’s Eve celebration, could not take place because of COVID restrictions. Even though it’s been difficult to get through these last months and foresee the coming months without our opportunities to be together, we are active online and continue to try and make the best of things that way until a brighter days are with us.

My heart goes out to all of you who have been touched in any way by this pandemic, whether it be economically, health wise, by losing a loved one or seeing them suffer, or even if it’s an unwelcome change in your daily life. Remember, we must stay strong from within and keep away from negative people. Let’s find ways to be grateful that at least we are still here, still rocking, and still have the music to keep us strong.

As I’ve said before, you, my adopted family, are always with me, whether it’s during the summer at Memories in Margate, through my radio shows Monday through Saturday, and now with our Sunday evening chats on Facebook. So many of you have been joining me for these chats that it’s almost as if we’re together again in person.

One of our most recent guests was Mary Wilson of the Supremes, and as with all our guests, we found out some wonderful things about her. Did you know that she curates the Mary Wilson/Supremes Gown Collection of more than 50 sets of historical Supremes stage wear from the 1960s and ’70s that has toured the world? She also has written a pictorial book to accompany it, Supreme Glamour, which makes a nice holiday gift along with her autobiography, Dreamgirl of Supreme Faith: My Life as a Supreme.

We also chatted recently with Lenny Welch, Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites, Jay Siegel of the Tokens, and the Duke of Earl, Gene Chandler, and we’ve got many more in the works. If there’s someone you’d like to see in our chats, just drop a line to geatorella@gmail.com. If you follow my page Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Geator/) you can view all of our past chats “on demand” and post questions and comments for the artists who will be appearing next.

Speaking of holiday gifts, for those of you who’ve been asking how to get a signed copy of my book, You Only Rock Once, write to me directly at Geator Gold Radio, 210 Locust Street. #14G, Philadelphia, PA 19106, and send a check or money order for $18 (paperback) or $25 (hardcover), which includes shipping. By the way, it’s also available as an audiobook from Audible.com and Amazon.com.

Best of all, remember that you can also win a signed copy of my book by entering the New Jersey Free Press contest to send in your favorite memories of the Geator. Your responses so far have been so great that for the first month we had to pick two winners, not just one. The contest is ongoing through March 2021 with a new winner picked every month, so keep sending in your memories! Here’s the page if you would like to enter: njfreepress.com/my-best-memories-about-the-geator/

We can’t forget this month’s trivia question, which is appropriate for December. Do you remember the crazy 1988 movie Beetlejuice starring Michael Keaton? You’ll never guess who director Tim Burton originally wanted for that role. Here’s a hint: He was one of my best buddies, and on December 8 he would have celebrated his 95th birthday. Answer appears on page 14 in the December 2020 issue of the New Jersey Free Press newspaper.

Before we end our final column of the year, let me take this opportunity to wish all of you the very best for the rest of the holiday season — and most importantly I send my wishes for you and your loved ones to stay safe, stay well, and stay strong.

Remember, the music will help keep you strong, and no matter where you are in New Jersey or in the world, you can listen to me online or on the air. To find out when and how, go to https://geatorgigs.webs.com/radio.

See you in 2021 – meanwhile, keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once.

Charley Wagner of Downingtown, PA

Charley said:

Jerry was our weekend all through High School. Friday was Chez-Vous, Saturday was the Starlight Ballroom , and Sunday afternoons were at Wagner’s Ballroom. I was also lucky enough to spend Thursdays at Channel 10 filming the Discophonic Scene!!! He kept me and many other teenagers alive and out of trouble during the sixties. Thank you Jerry!!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS MONTHS WINNER!

Remember – You have four more chances to win by entering the contest. One book winner will be announced each month through April 2021.

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Geator Gab for November 2020

Once again, greetings and salutations to all Yon Teens and Beyond.

It’s a lot of fun when we can communicate with each other – not only on Facebook and on Mixcloud (when I do the shows from Memories in Margate) – but also through this column. I never realized how many people read the New Jersey Free Press, but it’s only natural, because New Jersey Free Press is synonymous with information for real people about the real things that are happening in and around this wonderful state where we’ve lived, vacationed, worked, partied, and played over the years. I really want to thank publishers Bridget and Kevin Nesko for all of the great support they’ve given the people of New Jersey with this terrific free paper. People are the most important part of our great country, and the Free Press supports not only New Jersey’s people but also the small businesses that are the heart of our communities.

Kevin and Bridget stopped by Memories a few weeks ago so I could autograph some of the books that will be given away as prizes in the ongoing contest where you can send in your Favorite Memories“ of the Geator. I want to thank all of you who have responded so far and I am looking forward to seeing what you have written and to reliving those memories with you. The contest is ongoing with a new winner picked every month till all six copies of my book, You Only Rock Once, have been given away, so keep submitting your favorite memories of the Geator. Here’s the webpage if you would like to enter: njfreepress.com/my-best-memories-about-the-geator/

One of the best ways to stay connected is with our live interactive Sunday evening chats, which you can see on my Facebook page, Facebook.com/Geator. We’ve had some wonderful interviews so far with Gary U.S. Bonds, Bobby Rydell, songwriter Jerry Fuller, Frankie Avalon, and Little Anthony Gourdine — and look for upcoming chats with Dion, Frankie Valli, Darlene Love, Dionne Warwick, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, and many more. One of the wonderful things I find about these chats is that you, the audience, know so much more about these beloved artists and the happiness they brought us beyond just the music they recorded. You can post comments and questions during these chats, and often the artists are as surprised as I am at the facts you come up with.

As I said last month, show business people are no different from you and I. We have families, we’ve had ups, we’ve had downs, we’ve had sickness and disappointments, tragedy, happiness, and yet we remain connected to each other and to our fans, who bring us so much joy. I am certainly fortunate – thinking back to my early days before radio as a dancer, a record promoter, a manager, and more – that after 60 years I still have the friendships and the love and respect from all these wonderful artists and still have the tremendous good fortune to be with my fans, who were teenagers when we first met. If we can’t meet in person these days, we’ll meet online and make the best of things for now.

So if there are any questions you have for me, any suggestions, or anything you would like to know or ask about the Geator, you’ve got it right here. Just write to geatorella@gmail.com.

Now that fall is here and we’re approaching the holiday season, we plan on taking a hiaitus from doing the live broadcasts from Memories in Margate. That doesn’t mean we won’t be together. We’ve got special events planned for the holidays, including our New Year’s Eve gala. We’ll keep you informed right here in the Geator Gab. Don’t forget Philly’s star-studded Thanksgiving Day broadcast that we’ve been taping in advance over the past few months in lieu of this year’s parade. It’s amazing that this would have been the 100th year of the parade, but you most definitely will enjoy the festivities November 26 on 6abc TV. You still can enter the 6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade “Tune-in-to-Win Sweepstakes” to win some great prizes including Eagles tickets, vacation packages, and a year’s supply of coffee and donuts! Just go to: https://6abc.com/6abc-watch-and-win-contest/5678593/ for all the details.

Did you know that we’re still on the radio six days a week? For complete info on how to listen from anywhere in the world, go to www.geator.net and click the RADIO tab. Click CALENDAR to find out about all our upcoming appearances and live broadcasts, and of course you can follow the Geator online at Facebook.com/geator.

Well, I think that wraps it up for now. But before I go, let’s bring back a regular feature of the old Geator Gab — our trivia question. We’ll do it every month, so here it is for November: Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley, Paul Newman, Tony Curtis, Robert Wagner, Anthony Perkins, and Warren Beatty all were considered for the lead role in a big 1960s movie musical. Can you name the movie and who eventually got the role? The answer is on page 14 of this month’s newspaper.

Till next time, keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once!

Damian Capua of Somers Point

Damien said:
Listening to the Geator as a young buy in the 60’s on WCAM out of Camden always made my day. Listening to Jerry the last week of WIBG 99 was awesome. Watching the various TV Shows he has done over the years especially when he came on after Dark Shadows on WFIL TV 6 and had my childhood barber Billy Harner on was great. My biggest thrill after listening my entire life was working at Memories in Margate during the Summer of 1985. Playing music trivia with him after Memories would close, eating the great food Mama Geator would cook up for the staff, and meeting his Celebrity friends that would stop by and hang out like Harry Guardino, DJ Joey Reynolds, Jimmy Beaumont, The Elgins and others. Working with a great staff like Gary Chik, Stan, Jimmy, Tommy R., Carmen, Rita, Deserie and Tommy McC, just to name a few. The best part was Jerry nickname me – “Tom Hanks”. He would say Tom Hanks is in the house tonight and people would actually come in looking for the real Tom Hanks.. hahaha!

Christine Palladino of Brigantine

Christine said:
He always hugs me. I love Jerry. I have Down Syndrome and he always makes me feel special. I love the music he spins.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS MONTHS WINNERS!

Remember – You have five more chances to win by entering the contest. One book winner will be announced each month through April 2021.

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Geator Gab for October 2020

Let me say – for the first time in the New Jersey Free Press — greetings and salutations to all Yon Teens and Beyond Teens. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the pleasure to chat via the written word. No need to tell you what’s been happening with me and the Geator Gold guys and gals if you’ve been listening to our radio shows or watching our live events on Facebook and Mixcloud. You’ve seen — as the song says – that I can’t help myself . . .it’s the same old song and these memories keep lingering on.

And now thanks to the great folks at the New Jersey Free Press I’ll have the pleasure once a month to tell you about the people, the happenings, the music, and the things that are going on in the South Jersey area.

As you all know, it was an unusual and torturous summer for most – if not all of us. You know that for a performer not to be able to reach an audience, and having no way of knowing in the moment that you’re satisfying the people who’ve come to see you, is really tough. So many of my show business friends and colleagues unfortunately have been in the same boat. But we got by with the help of the music. And as we look forward to fall and winter, let’s do it with a positive spin. A vaccine is sure to come — maybe not soon enough, but it will be developed. Slowly but surely things will get back to normal, or we will learn to adapt to the new ways of doing things. And I think through all of this we have to realize and appreciate the blessings we still have.

Of course, due to the pandemic, most or all of the annual events, parades, and festivals have been put on hold or are being done online. One thing that is certain is Philly’s 6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will be done on a virtual platform that you will be able to watch on 6abc.com. And I’m fortunate enough again to be a part of it through WPVI Channel 6 ABC. I’ll be introducing Martha Reeves and the Vandellas with my “Heat Wave” rap, plus Sister Sledge, whose song will remind us that whatever race, color, creed, religion, age, or any other denomination, “We Are Family” – and we will survive in this great country we call America. And for info on how to enter the 6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade Tune-in-to-Win Sweepstakes, go to: 6abc.com/6abc-watch-and-win-contest/5678593/

Personally, I can’t wait until I am able once again not only to broadcast and play my music, which I’ve continued to do, but to see all of your wonderful faces that have been the best part of my career throughout all these years. I’m talking about every age, for as you know, music reaches every ear, young or old, and I promise we will dance and be together and create new memories all over again before too long. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted.

Till next month, remember — keep on rocking, as my book says, ’cause “You Only Rock Once.

Here’s how to listen and view the Geator seven days a week via radio, smartphone, or computer

MONDAY THRU FRIDAY (all times are EST)
• 10 am – 12 noon: “The Best of the Geator” on phillygoldradio.com
• 5-7 pm: WVLT Cruisin’ 92.1 FM in Millville & South Jersey
• 5-7 pm: WISL 1480 AM free internet radio at wisl1480.com
• 7-9 pm: WTKU Kool 98.3 FM or kool983.com in Atlantic City & surrounding areas
• 10 pm-12 midnight: WTYM Tyme 102.9 free internet radio at wtym.org

SATURDAY
• 6-7 pm: WXPN:88.5 FM or xpn.org
• 6-8 pm: WOND News Talk Radio 1400 AM or wondradio.com

SUNDAY
6-7 pm Live and Interactive Chat with the Geator via my page: Facebook.com/Geator

Most or all of the above shows can be accessed via the myTuner-Radio app or at tunein.com

Complete details at www.geator.net (click the RADIO tab). And for details about my appearances, virtual or otherwise, click the CALENDAR tab.