When I first entered the press room at the Roosevelt Hotel for the press conference, I was given a press kit and directed to set up at a table off to the side. I was escorted over to the table and the person who escorted me asked the person sitting there if I could sit at one of the empty chairs at the table. There was a short/skinny fellow sitting at the table who was adjusting his tape recorder, his head was down and he replied, 'sure why not'
I put down my bag and started getting my own tape recorder ready and he says to me...
'I see you got a Panasonic too, smart man, I don't use ANYTHING else...'
I looked up and he had already extended his hand to me and said...
'Hi there I am Jerry Blavat, pleased to make your acquaintance...'
'MAN...I am the one who should be pleased to meet you. YOU are an R&B PIONEER, you are the GEATOR WITH THE HEATER...'
He smiled and said...
'Nah, I just play the music...'
'STOP THE BS.....as soon as I get this tape recorder loaded up, I'm gonna interview you, I am from South Jersey, I know about you...'
After I got my tape recorder set up, I interviewed Jerry Blavat, the LEGENDARY Philadelphia DJ who may very well be the person who INVENTED the concept of 'oldies radio', back in 1962, when he started playing some of his old 1950's R&B records on the air!
After I got a wonderful interview on tape (which you can hear on Soul-Patrol.Net Radio), Jerry Blavat had to leave.
· NONE of the other reporters there even knew who he was
· Nobody else there talked with him
· What a mistake
· He is probably one of the very last of the 1950's style 'jive' DJ's who is still around.
· More importantly, as a teenager in the early 1950's, Jerry Blavat was a dancer on American Bandstand.
· At that time the show was all white
· Jerry was one of the dancers who set up a picket line, DEMANDING that the show become integrated...
Jerry has also done a lot of other noteworthy things.
He has worked at both 'black radio stations and white radio stations' in Philadelphia
He is an important figure in the history of Black radio.
We talked for about 15 min.
He gave me his number and he agreed to sit down with me and do a longer interview!
I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
--Bob Davis (11/2001)
"I am no better and neither are you, we are the same whatever we do……"