Greetings and salutations. Did you say "fireworks" over the Fourth of July? It not only happened on the beaches and on the boats but at Memories in Margate as well. And if you were at Memories - well, what can I say? The Geator's uncle, a fellow called Sam, would have been proud to be there. And throughout the entire 43 years Memories has been there, this celebration had to be one of the best. People of all ages, from every walk of life, from every part of this great country and even from abroad, were there to celebrate. All kinds of accolades and certificates were given to the Geator from the Senate, the Congress, the Mayor, even a proclamation declaring July 2 to be Jerry Blavat Day in Atlantic City. Maybe that's what happens when you turn 75?
And to say the stars were out would be an understatement. Some of the dignitaries who came by to take part in the Geator and Uncle Sam's birthday bash included Rep. Vince Mazzeo from New Jersey's second district, former Mayor of Atlantic City and now State Senator Jim Whelan, Philadelphia Registrar of Wills Ron Donatucci, The Hon. Web Keogh, Vito Canuso, former head of the Republican Party in Philadelphia, former Councilman-at-Large Frank DiCicco,
Among the doctors, lawyers, movers and shakers were Fortunato "Fred" Perri Jr., Chuck Peruto Jr., and Eddie Jacobs, Dr. Barry Hendler of Penn, head of gastroenterology at Jefferson Dr. A.J. DiMarino, builder Peter DePaul, real estate magnate Frank Binswanger, financier and dealmaker Manny Stamatakis, former head of Estee Lauder Dan Brestle, Alan Rubens from Time-Life, the man who puts together the Malt Shop Memories cruises and Mark Juliano, formerly of the Trump Marina and Caesars Las Vegas and now head of the Sands in Bethlehem, Pa., where we appear every Wednesday.
And lo and behold, the Three Amigos were given a reprieve for one night only. Sean, Anthony, and Justin enjoyed the festivities along with their other halves. I wonder, though, how how long they will be "unleashed" to party at Memories. The weekend also saw the return of my man John from Cannulo's, Buddy Morton, Frank Spagnola and Arlene Sullivan from American Bandstand, the fabulous Lady Gaga, the Geator Gold dancers, Toni, Blanche, Denise, Helen, Tom, Connie, Marco, Donna, Bernadette, Maria, Carol, Fran, lookalikes Shirley McLaine, Joe Kennedy and Sonny & Cher. The folks from Longport, including Rich and Pat, the Spays, the O'Learys, the Kuehnles, Lynn Wexler, Chris Gualteri, Mike Scalia celebrating his own birthday, plus Dr. Dave, Steve, Janice, Mark, Pat, Greg, and lots of new visitors, including little Bev. And the stars kept coming out - weatherman John Bolaris, Bobby Kulik of the Happenings, Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie, and on and on.
By the way, if you'd like to see some fabulous pictures from the weekend, check the Memories Facebook page at Facebook.com/memories.margate. And we've got to thank our pals from Paesano's, Tony Luke's, Chickie's & Pete's, Modo Mio and Barrels of Margate for the fabulous fare served to all who came and partied over the weekend.
Well, the party will continue at Memories this and every week starting with Name That Tune Trivia on Wednesdays. And this coming Friday, July 10, we have a special event in the Geator Garden - the 50-year reunion of The Discophonic Scene, with some of the original dancers who appeared on my show back in the '60s. And you can hear it live at 5 p.m. on WVLT Cruisin' 92.1 and WVLT.com, then at 7 p.m. on Kool 98.3. More about that in our next column. But now, I think it's time for your questions, so let's ask the Geator.
Glad you'll be at the Sands all summer, fun to watch you get down with everyone! Hope to hear a 45 you did called "Let's Love Again" in the beat of "Let's Twist Again." What year did you you record this for Epic records? Keep up the great work, Jerry! - Steve Winger, Easton, Pa.
Thank you, my pal. I did that in 1967. Kal Mann and Dave Appel, who wrote "Let's Twist Again," thought it would be a great idea to take the track and have me come into the studio to do a singalong and change the lyric to "Let's Love Again." We recorded it, it became a local hit, Epic Records picked it up nationally, and it was charted.
I read in your biography in Wikipedia that you have made guest appearances on TV shows, especially "The Mod Squad." Which character did you play when you appeared on that show? - Jennifer Webster, Wyoming, Del.
That was a 1970 episode called "The Song of Willie" where Sammy Davis Jr. played a movie star who was trying to escape death threats and I played his driver. My appearance was decided at the last minute when I was staying at Sammy's house and Sammy was called to be on set. He said, "Come with me, you'll play my driver," and that's how it happened.
Was the song "My Way" written for Frank Sinatra? - Barry Patel, Atlantic City
Interesting story. Paul Anka and Don Costa, the great arranger, went to a Sinatra concert together and afterwards went out to dinner with Frank. Costa told Frank that Paul was a great songwriter and Frank said, "Well, write something for me." Paul thought of a French song that had caught his attention when he was in Europe. He asked himself, "How would Frank approach this song if he were writing it?" The words, "Now the end is near, I face my final curtain" came to him, and that is how he was able to write the song. Interesting that in spite of its success, it was one of Frank's least favorite songs.
For complete info on Jerry’s appearances go to Geator.net. Got a question for the Geator? Send it to email@example.com, watch this column for the answer - and remember, keep on rocking, 'cause you only rock once!