RIP Jerry Blavat

We’re honoring the memory of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame DJ Jerry Blavat, the Geator with the Heater, who passed last week in his hometown of Philadelphia. A public service for Jerry will be held at 11 am Eastern (8 am Pacific) Saturday (1/28) in Philadelphia and livestreamed via Vimeo at

In lieu of flowers, his family asks that you donate to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Jerry Blavat Endowed Fund, 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102. Philadelphia’s WXPN, where Jerry hosted a weekly radio show on Saturdays at 6 pm Eastern, will use the time slot this weekend to re-broadcast “Lost Dedications”, a special production from 2021. Listen live at

“I don’t just play music,” Blavat said in an interview 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.”

One song I’ll always associate with Jerry is a great dance tune called “The Bristol Stomp” by The Dovells. Remember the opening? “The kids in Bristol are sharp as a pistol, when they do The Bristol Stomp. It’s really somethin’ when the joint is jumpin’, when they do The Bristol Stomp.”

Jerry says, “‘The Bristol Stomp’ came out of one of my dances at a fire hall in Bristol, PA. Because of the dance my kids were doing to ‘Locomotion’, ‘The Twist’ and others in Bristol, I coined the words ‘Bristol Stomp’ and gave it to two Philadelphia songwriters, Kal Mann and Dave Apell.” Their legendary South Philly record label Cameo Parkway Records released “The Bristol Stomp”, and it finally caught on because Jerry played the record at area teen dances all summer.

“The Bristol Stomp” debuted on Philadelphia’s nationally televised “American Bandstand” in September 1961, topping out right behind Dion‘s “Runaround Sue” at No. 2 on music trade magazine Billboard. Here in Vancouver, “The Bristol Stomp” peaked at No. 4 on C-FUN‘s Funtastic Fifty and CKWX‘s Fabulous Forty… a runner-up to “Runaround Sue”. “The Bristol Stomp” sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold record by The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The Dovells appeared with fellow Cameo Parkway artists Chubby Checker and Dee Dee Sharp in 1962’s Columbia Pictures musical comedy “Don’t Knock the Twist”, and that’s where this amazing clip originated. Britain’s New Record Mirror wasn’t sure of the movie’s appeal: “Great stuff for the younger element among record fans — i.e. those who like their twisting rough and ready and uninhibited.”

That distinctive voice on “The Bristol Stomp” is lead singer Len Barry. He left the group in 1963 and had a #1 solo hit two years later with “1-2-3”. Len died in 2020, but original members Jerry Gross and Mark Stevens continue to entertain with The Dovells favorites like “You Can’t Sit Down” and “Hully Gully Baby.” But it’s “The Bristol Stomp” that really revs up the crowd! You can catch up with Jerry and Mark at

“You know, it’s amazing,” adds songwriter Kal Mann, “People in Bristol, England, think I wrote the song for them. I think every state in the union has a Bristol, too, and they all think the same thing.” #TBT