Once again, greetings and salutations, and here we are at the beginning of Easter weekend and Passover. To all of you, we wish you the very best on this joyous occasion. And as you read this, we’ll be preparing to go on stage this Saturday with our Swinging Doo Wop Reunion at the Kimmel Center, where we’ll celebrate our 24th show and the Kimmel Center’s 10th year. And before you can blink an eye, the Geator will be on the fly for Memorial Day weekend and the opening of Memories in Margate for our 40th year. And the beat goes on. But now it’s time for your questions.
Geator, your new book is absolutely captivating, filled with truths, humor, and “the way it was” back then. Yeah, there are sexcapades and such, but it all fits. I’m taking it real slow, not missing a word. That’s one wild ride. But did you really dance on Jerry Lee Lewis’ piano? Awesome, dude. — Tom Simpson, Pittsburgh, a fan via Drexel University in Philadelphia
Yes, I did, and it was all Dick Clark’s fault. Dick had booked Jerry Lee for the Steel Pier show after a period of time where nobody had been playing his records because of the scandal about Jerry marrying his 13-year-old cousin, Myrna. Dick was a little leery of the reaction he would get if he brought Jerry Lee on stage, so he asked me if I would introduce him, which I did. When I went back out to escort him off stage, he was still playing. There was so much excitement from his performance that I just hopped up on his piano and started to do the Slop. And by the way, I did the same thing when Little Richard appeared on my TV show.
I was trying to find, without much success, an old radio program I used to listen to on Saturday mornings about a white man who disguised himself as an Indian. — Dolores O’Brien, via e-mail
That was Straight Arrow, one of my all-time favorite radio serials, starring Howard Culver as a Texas Ranger named Steve Adams. Whenever there was trouble between the white man and the red man, he would go into a cave and come out as Straight Arrow, a Comanche warrior riding a magnificent Palomino, Fury. The radio series began in 1948 and was created by Nabisco Shredded Wheat to compete with Wheaties and Cheerios, which used to sponsor The Lone Ranger.
Those of us who lived in northwest Philadelphia and attended Wagner’s each and every Sunday also had our “local” Jerry Blavat dance on Saturday night at the Cathedral in Andorra. Wagner’s was great with 2,000 kids, but Cathedral was the best because it was ours! “They Say” by the Rainbows was the definitive slow song at the Cathedral. For all of us teenage girls, this was the song you wanted to dance to with your boyfriend. Thanks, Jerry, for all the wonderful memories you were so much a part of. — Sue, East Falls
Great song — truly a story about young teenage romance, the hook being “My friends tell me I’m just a schoolboy.” The Rainbows, from Washington, D.C., who also had “Mary Lee” and “Shirley,” two more upbeat songs, recorded “They Say” in 1956 when Don Covay was a member of the group.
Got a question for Jerry? Send it to AskTheGeator@acweekly.com or Geator Gold Radio, 626 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For more info on Jerry’s appearances, go to www.geator.net — and keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once!