Guest Blog! “The Geator with The Heater” - “The Boss with the Hot Sauce” - legendary Philly DJ Jerry Blavat stops by the Kimmel Center blog to talk about his upcoming Jan 25 concert featuring some of the ‘60s hottest sounds!
Get tickets here!
This month I am celebrating 54 years on TV and radio. During those years I have had the pleasure of introducing music and artists that represent the true sound of rock & roll and rhythm and blues.. Throughout the years there have been some very special ones appearing with me at the Kimmel Center who are no longer with us – Al Martino, Harvey Fuqua, Pookie Hudson, and Johnny Maestro. And to their memory I present our 28th show at the Kimmel Center, a roster of amazing artists who carry on in their tradition, along with along with one brand-new rising star of rock & roll. The show is a tribute to the great voices of the past and present that have endured and will continue the legacy of the greatest popular music of all time. Those on the show:
Philly-born favorite son and superstar Bobby Rydell started out as a drummer, became a teen idol, went on to do movies and television, including his unforgettable role as Hugo Peabody in Bye Bye Birdie, and to this day he can still belt out a song as he did at the very beginning with “Volare,” “Kissin’ Time,” “Wildwood Days” – just a few of his hits that you will hear on January 25.
What can I say about Jay Black, who brought Jay & the Americans back into the top 10 with the blockbusters “Only in America” and “Come a Little Bit Closer”? You will hear him sing in the same key as when he did “Cara Mia,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “This Magic Moment,” “Walking in the Rain” – and if you saw him with us at Verizon Hall back in 2002, you know that he puts on an uproarious and unforgettable show.
From New York there is Jay Siegel, the wonderful voice of all the Tokens’ hits, including the legendary “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.,” “Tonight I Fell in Love,” and “Portrait of My Love.” These are just some of the classics that you’ll hear when Jay Siegel and the Tokens, including my old friend Bill Reid, take to the stage.
And when you talk about great voices with a rare combination of strength and falsetto, nobody does it like Eddie Holman, another Philly favorite son who will have you out of your seat with a standing ovation when you hear him do “This Can’t Be True,” “Am I a Loser,” “I Love You” and his smash hit “Hey There Lonely Girl.”
Talking about off your feet, yes, you will dance to “Quarter to Three” with my old friend Gary Anderson – you know him as Gary U.S. Bonds. Gary was there when I first played his record in 1960 and throughout the years has not lost a lick. Gary puts on a dynamic and exuberant act with his own lovely backup singers, Lori and Lori, who happen to be his wife and daughter.
And it is my pleasure to present the magnificent voice of Alabama native son Pat Upton, lead singer of the Spiral Starecase. The Starecase had only one major hit, but it is one of the most beloved hits of all time, “More Today than Yesterday,” which Pat not only sang but wrote, and you will hear Pat’s tenor on not only his biggest hit but also “The Very Thought of You,” “Hard Day Will Come,” and a Philly favorite, “Broken Hearted Man.”
And the surprise of the evening will be one of the hottest new artists to hit the scene, Low Cut Connie. Founded by another Philly boy, Adam Wiener, along with Dan Finnemore from Birmingham, England, they represent the sound of today but have rock & roll soul that will take you back to the stage presence of Jerry Lee Lewis when they do “Old Time Rock and Roll,” and when they back up Gary US Bonds I guarantee you will be dancing in your seats.
All of these artists will be supported by a 22-piece orchestra with 8 strings and backup vocalists, giving you a thrilling and colorful musical and entertainment experience that you will not soon forget. So I look forward to seeing you at 8 pm on January 25 at the Kimmel Center for our Great Voices of the ‘60s concert, and as always there will be costume changes, meet and greets, and dancing before and after the show in the Plaza.
About our Guest Blogger: Jerry Blavat, the legendary Geator with the Heater, was one of the early rock-and-roll deejays who revolutionized the profession and invented the “oldies" format. He had national success in the '60s as host of the popular CBS-TV dance show The Discophonic Scene, but is best known as a high-energy oldies deejay on the air and at live events throughout the Middle Atlantic region and on PBS. With a successful nightclub outside Atlantic City (Memories in Margate); daily radio shows in the tri-state area on WXPN, WBCB, WGPA, WVLT, WTKU, WOND; and scores of sold-out live dance events every year, Blavat is more popular than ever and on January 19th will celebrate 54 years on radio. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, and his autobiography, You Only Rock Once: My Life in Music, a bestseller since it was published in 2011 by Running Press, has just been released in paperback. He lives in Philadelphia, PA.