Once again, greetings and salutations. First off, I would like to wish all of my Jewish friends and fans a very happy and healthy New Year and a Gut Yontif. Yes, fall is here, but the Geator is still out there with the Geator Gold guys and gals, and it's a ball in the fall. As a matter of fact, as I'm writing this I'm on my way to La Costa for the annual Baby Boomer Rock & Roll Revival. This will be our last shot in Sea Isle City until we begin again next Memorial Day weekend.
Needless to say, you were a part of what truly was a tremendous summer, not only in Sea Isle but at Memories, in Wildwood and in Atlantic City at the Golden Nugget. And talking about the Nugget, we're going strong every Thursday when we do our fabulous happy hour dance party in the Live Bar starting at 4 p.m. with DJ Joel Stephens and then going live at 5 p.m. with the Geator. You can hear it all on Cruisin' 92.1 FM and WVLT.com.
Big news for the upcoming weeks is that our pal Frankie Avalon will be in town shortly, joining yours truly, Oct. 8, on WHYY as he promotes his newest project, Frankie Avalon's Italian Family Cookbook. And then on Oct. 11, Frankie will be Grand Marshal for the annual Columbus Day Parade, riding with yours truly in the Family Chrysler Geatormobile. Of course it's covered locally on WPVI Channel 6, and you can watch all the festivities by tuning in or, better yet, joining us live in South Philly.
Also, keep in mind that we'll be doing the annual St. Nicholas of Tolentine Italian Festival on 9th Street on Oct. 4. So as you can see, even though summer is gone, you and the Geator keep on dancing along.
And by the way, if you are from Pleasantville High School Class of 1975, you've got your 40th reunion coming up, and I will have the pleasure of hosting it at Memories in Margate on Oct. 10. If you are part of that class and would like to be there, call 609-442-8794 and join us for a night to remember with music, dancing, food, retro candy, a photo booth and more.
Now, time for your questions.
Did you know Frank Sinatra well? I always wondered how he was with someone like you, one on one in a conversation. You are so easy to talk to, so he must have treated you well. -- Betty Severino, Woodbury Heights
It's amazing that this Dec. 12 it would have been Frank's 100th birthday. I knew Frank well enough to be a part of the inner circle when he was in town with Jilly Rizzo, Merrill Kelem, Bobby Palamaro and occasionally Sammy Davis Jr. I remember a lot of great evenings hanging out till 4 or 5 in the morning when he was at Resorts. I would also meet up with him in New York. He was always very gracious and fun loving and was able to chill out. He called me Matchstick. We had a lot of fun. When he came to Atlantic City he would always ask for my mother's ravioli, and she would drop everything to make it for him on the spot. Later on, as the years passed and he grew a bit older, he often would leave early or have quiet spells where he seemed introspective.
I loved seeing the Shangri-Las on your TV show in Philly. I remember one time it was some chick's birthday. She was given a guitar and the Shangs sang "Happy Birthday" to her in Hebrew. I asked Mary Weiss one time about you. She said you were a very nice guy. There is a whole group of people on Facebook who think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is where they belong. -- Linda Farnsworth, Croydon, Pa.
No question that the Shangri-Las belong in the R and R Hall of Fame but unfortunately, as I've said before, the organization is no longer run by people who know enough about music. There is talk of having our own Rock Hall of Fame in Philly and we'll keep you posted if there are any developments. Mary was a terrific guest. As you probably know, she disappeared from the music scene for many years, but returned in 2007 and recorded her first solo album.
The BBC documentary on rock 'n' roll in America in which you appear is a great reminder of the wealth of artists, talent and creativity at the beginning of rock 'n' roll. I feel lucky to have grown up during this era. You sometimes refer to your 55 years in the music business. Since you started dancing on Bandstand at 13, I think you really have been in the entertainment industry for 62 years! -- Tony Dolanski, Malvern, Pa.
You are absolutely right -- 55 years refers to my career in radio, which began in 1960. As you say, I was in show business starting at age 13 on Bandstand -- sneaking in because the minimum age for dancers was 14 -- and I spent my teen years as road manager for Danny & the Juniors, Don Rickles' valet, doing record promotions, and more, all while I was in high school.
For complete info on Jerry’s appearances go to Geator.net. Got a question for the Geator? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, watch this column for the answer -- and remember, keep on rocking, 'cause you only rock once!