Jerry Blavat, a well-known, fast-talking radio host in Philadelphia, died on Friday at the age of 82.
Blavat passed away at a Philadelphia hospital from myasthenia gravis and other health issues, ABC station WPVI (Channel 6) reported.
His funeral is scheduled for Saturday, January 28; singer Dionne Warwick will deliver the eulogy, his family told WPVI.
“Jerry proudly said, Life is precious, and I am happy — and when I am happy, I want the world to be happy,” Blavat’s family said in a statement. “His love for Philadelphia only superseded his love of music. He was proud of this great city, and nothing made him prouder than the impact the music from Philadelphia made on the world.”
Blavat held several positions in the entertainment and broadcasting industries, including band manager, music club owner, record store owner, concert promoter and TV host, but he was well known in the local area for his radio work, where he took on the monikers “The Boss with Hot Sauce” and “The Geator with the Heater.”
He was credited with promoting several Black artists in the 1950s and the 1960s at a time when some struggled to get play on the radio and television. His work helped define pop culture in Philadelphia and beyond for decades, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“For a white boy, the Geator’s got too much soul,” Little Richard once said of Blavat, according to the newspaper. “And can that boy dance! I remember doing his TV show, and he jumps on the piano and starts to do The Slop. … There’s only one Geator.”
Even through illness, he continued working on the radio, heard weekly on WXPN (88.5) on Saturday evenings.
“I don’t just play music,” Blavat said in an interview with the radio station last year. “Music tells a story about life. My audience back then, as the audience of today, identifies with the song. It speaks for the human experience.”