Ask the Geator

December 25, 2008 -- “We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” These words are said many times during this holiday season, but more than words they express the good wishes of all who have been a part of the good times we have shared together throughout the years. On behalf of all of our sponsors and staff here at Geator Gold Radio and A.C. Weekly, a very healthy and happy Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year. I’ll see you at the gala New Year’s Eve party coming your way at the Trump Taj Mahal. If there are any tickets left, you can get them from Ticketmaster at 800/736-1420. But now it’s time for your questions.

Geator, what are your favorite Christmas songs (other than the traditional Christmas carols)? – Janice Churgell

“White Christmas” by the Drifters, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love, “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway, “Christmas Waltz” by Frank Sinatra, “Snowbound for Christmas” by the DeCastro Sisters, “A Working Man’s Prayer” by Arthur Prysock, and, of course, “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole

And here’s a Christmas trivia question for you: Who wrote “Christmas Song”? Answer below.

I'm a new listener to WVLT. Your show is great! You play a song now and then -- part of the chorus is "dancing to a zydeco song." Can you let me know the artist and the title? I love it! You are refreshing and fun to listen to. – Chuck Cobb, Pennsville, NJ

Glad you’re with us. That's the "Alligator Walk" by the Mojo Blues Band, a terrific group from Austria. They have their own website at, and we have a limited number of their CDs at our radio studio, 215/923-0550.

Did you know the late Jerry Wexler? What was his importance in the music industry? – Drew

Anyone in the industry will tell you that Jerry Wexler was the real frontrunner for Atlantic Records. Where Ahmet Ertegun and his brother Nesuhi were the corporate guys, Jerry understood the music – he originated the term “rhythm and blues” -- and made it happen for Atlantic. He was responsible not only for making the deal to distribute Stax Records, with Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, but for signing and producing Aretha, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, the Drifters, the Coasters, and many others. And when I was doing our syndicated TV show, Jerry was directly responsible for booking Atlantic’s stable of artists on it.

Answer to trivia question: Singer Mel Torme and his songwriting partner Bob Wells wrote “The Christmas Song” in the middle of a heat wave in Toluca Lake, California. In his autobiography, Torme said he walked into Wells’ house and saw the words “Chestnuts roasting . . . Jack Frost . . . Eskimos” on a piece of paper, which Wells had written down “to stay cool by thinking cool.” They both agreed it would make a great song, and in less than an hour they composed what became the most recorded Christmas song ever.

Got a question for Jerry? Send it to or Geator Gold Radio, 626 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For info on Jerry’s appearances, check out -- and keep on rocking, ‘cause you only rock once!

Ask the Geator

December 11, 2008 -- Once again, greetings and salutations from the Geator with the Heater, the Boss with the Hot Sauce. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, so come join me for some Christmas holly this Sunday when we have our annual Christmas Party at Memories in Margate, raising money for the Sisters of Mercy at St. Mary’s Convent in Philadelphia. We’ll open up our doors at 5, feed you a fabulous buffet from Barrels, the Aramingo Diner, and Chickie & Pete’s, and dance the night away. See you there. Now, let’s ask the Geator.

Whatever happened to Tennessee Ernie Ford? We used to watch his TV show all the time. – Molly Hoffman

The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show on ABC was very popular in the early 1960s. Over the years he received many awards, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and three separate stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for radio, TV, and recordings. Unfortunately he and his wife, Betty, suffered from serious alcohol problems. In 1991 he died from liver failure, two years after Betty’s death and exactly 36 years after the release of his huge hit, "Sixteen Tons."

I am a Geator fan from long ago. I grew up in Perkasie, PA, which is a bit north of Philly. Where can I find a Geator T shirt? Thanks a bunch – Jody, Hooksett NH

There’s a brand-new T-shirt called "The Philly Boys" -- with a picture of Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon, the World Series champs, the Phillies logo, the Liberty Bell, and yours truly. They are selling like crazy not only in the area but in California, too. We have a limited number left. For yours, contact Geator Gold Radio at 215/923-0550 or my assistant, Keely, at

Please help me out! On your shows, you used to play a fast, uptempo tune by a female group with the words "please forgive me" sung in the chorus. I cannot remember the name of the group or the title. Please refresh my memory. Thank you -- Mike (long-time fan from Philly)

That’s “Please Forgive Me” by the Du-ettes, and it’s on our CD For Dancers Only, Volume 2. It was a local hit on the Du-Tone label, but other than the Philadelphia area, not many people are really aware of it. Great stomp record.

Before we go, don’t know if you guys caught a documentary called Airplay at one of the film festivals down here at the shore. It was produced by Carolyn Travis and Chris Gilson, who incidentally did the award-winning documentary Wildwood Days. I must tell you, Airplay is the most comprehensive documentary on the past, the present, and even the future of radio. It’s fascinating, and the Geator is featured in it along with some of the other legendary DJs you will remember from the heyday of rock radio. We’ll keep you posted on where you can see it and where it can be purchased.

Got a question for Jerry? Send it to or Geator Gold Radio, 626 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For info on Jerry’s appearances, check out -- and keep on rocking, ‘cause you only rock once!


Ask the Geator

November 27, 2008 -- Once again, greetings and salutations. Hope your Thanksgiving is plentiful with family and friends, and the start of a great holiday season. And now that the holidays are here, remember our annual Christmas Party at Memories in Margate on Sunday, December 14, from 5 to 10 pm, raising money for the folks at St. Mary’s Convent. Also, you won’t want to miss the premiere this weekend of the PBS special Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia – Saturday at 5:30 pm in the Lehigh Valley and 8 pm in Philly, and Sunday at 8 pm on South Jersey’s WNJS. Now, time to ask the Geator.

During the mid-1960s, dancers used to do a line dance to the Olympics’ song "Mine Exclusively." Was the dance called the “Slow Fizz"? Do you play this hit and do the dancers still do the line dance to it? -- Joe Hindelang

Yes, they do, but it’s the Wagner Walk, occasionally with some of the steps from the Slow Fizz incorporated into it. The Olympics have been around since the ‘50s, with hits like “(My Baby Loves the) Western Movies” and “Shimmy Like Kate.” I play “Mine Exclusively” all the time, and it’s on the CD For Dancers Only, Volume 3.

The lead singer in "The Zircons" 1963 cut of "Lonely Way" sounds hauntingly like Jimmy Beaumont. Since the Skyliners disbanded from 1963-1974, is it possible that Jimmy actually did sing lead in the Zircon version? -- Ric

No, that’s another Jimmy -- Jimmy Gerenetski of the Zircons, whose vocal similarity to Jimmy Beaumont probably encouraged them to cover the Skyliners’ original 1959 recording of “Lonely Way.” On the Zircons version -- which became the top-selling a capella single of 1964 -- the harmony sounds so much like the Skyliners that you might think it’s Jimmy Beaumont on lead. But in my opinion the breathing and phrasing are dead giveaways that it’s not.

Any updates on the January 18 show at the Kimmel Center and who will be on the bill? – Mike T.

As you know, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation is now located in Philadelphia, and we wanted to highlight some of the stars. So for the first time ever in Philly, we’re bringing you the legendary Darlene Love. Don’t have to tell you the songs – “Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” “Wait Till My Bobby Gets Home,” the voice of the Crystals with “He’s a Rebel,” and so many other hits. We’ve also got Tommy Hunt, the original lead of the Flamingos, coming in from London with the remaining members, plus Gary U.S. Bonds, Brenda Holloway, Eugene Pitt of the Jive Five, Kenny Vance & the Planotones, plus a salute to the Sound of Philadelphia with Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, the Intruders, and the Tymes. Better get your tickets quick on this one. It’s already half sold out, and a perfect gift for the holidays.

Got a question for Jerry? Send it to or Geator Gold Radio, 626 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For info on Jerry’s appearances, check out -- and keep on rocking, ‘cause you only rock once!

Ask the Geator

November 13, 2008 -- Once again, greetings and salutations. Hope all is well. As you know, the Geator is revving up for the holidays with the Geator Gold guys and gals. The next big event, the Turkey Trot, will be Wednesday, November 26, at the legendary Thomas’ on Main Street in Manayunk. And a quick reminder – get your tickets for New Year’s Eve with the Geator and the gang at the Taj in the Tiara Ballroom. They’re available at, 800/736-1420, or in person at the Taj box office (open Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon to 6 pm). Now, let’s ask the Geator.

Warren Beatty was on TV receiving a lifetime achievement award. Has he retired from the movies? -- Phil & Lil

I doubt it, although his last movie, 2001’s Town and Country, was a complete flop. Warren’s more of a political activist and family man, but he hasn’t yet found a way to combine activism and filmmaking. We’ll see.

And here’s a trivia question: Besides Faye Dunaway, which of these actresses were considered for the lead role in Bonnie and Clyde? a) Tuesday Weld, b) Natalie Wood, c) Ann-Margret, d) Shirley MacLaine, e) Jane Fonda? Answer at the end of the column.

I have been trying to find out anything about Eddie and Bobby Nixon. They were dancers years ago on the Steel Pier show with Ed Hurst. I danced on the show a few times. Do you know what he is up to and how he and his brother are doing? -- Chris Myers

Unfortunately I lost contact with the Nixon brothers years ago. When I last saw Eddie, he was not in the best of health. At that time Bobby was doing promotions for a local organization and was booking events, I believe, for the Spirit of Philadelphia. Many of the dancers still follow me at the Geator get-togethers and club appearances. I’ll ask around.

What CD has "Don't You Know” from Rico and the Ravens? I listened to it for years on one of your albums but have since lost it in many moves. Thanks -- Brian Flanagan

Great song by a local group out of the Norristown-Bridgeport area. Rico’s real name was Ricky Martin, not to be confused with the current Latin star. “Don’t You Know” was a one-hit wonder and it was put on one of the compilation oldies albums that Post Records produced. I don’t recall it on any of my albums, but it’s a great choice for perhaps one of my future CDs.

Answer to this week’s trivia question: All of the above. However, Warren’s sister, Shirley MacLaine, was actually the number one choice to play Bonnie until Warren, who was producing the picture, decided to take the role of Clyde himself.

Got a question for Jerry? Send it to or Geator Gold Radio, 626 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For info on Jerry’s appearances, check out -- and keep on rocking, ‘cause you only rock once!