PHILADELPHIA - Family, friends and fans gathered to pay tribute to the life and legacy of disc jockey Jerry Blavat during a public Celebration of Life Saturday morning.
The Philadelphia radio legend died at the age of 82 last week. This week, he was honored by his city as flags flew staff ahead of his funeral.
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The Celebration of Life took place at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. His family invited the public, and allowed the entire ceremony to be streamed live for those who can't attend.
"Jerry wished for a big celebration of life. And, we have a big one planned. All are welcome to attend… On behalf of our family, thank you. Jerry loved all of you."
"Thank you again for all the kindness and shared thoughts over the past several days," his family said. "We have heard from so many who loved Jerry as much as we did. We appreciate all the prayers, love, support and memories – oh, those memories."
A South Philadelphia native, Blavat started his career in entertainment as a dancer on Bandstand at 13, and hosting his own radio show at just 20 years old.
Blavat was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Hall of Fame in 1993, and he became part of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame's Museum of Radio and Records in 1998.
He was voted "Best Philly Icon" in Philadelphia Magazine in 2018 and was immortalized on a South Philadelphia mural with other local music legends.
Since his passing, tribute have poured in from longtime friends, including Chickie’s and Pete’s CEO Pete Ciarrochi.
"Losing him in Philadelphia is like losing the Liberty Bell. He’s that big of a part of the city," Ciarrocchi said.
As Blavat said, "Keep on rockin' because you only rock once."