Singer Peter Wolf gets his ‘Day’ in Boston

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BOSTON – Singer-songwriter Peter Wolf became enshrined in Boston Thursday as Mayor Marty Walsh declared April 14 to be the former J. Geils Band frontman’s official Day, citing his “indelible contributions to American music.”

The mayor made his official proclamation at the New England Center and Home for Veterans, where the musician gave a private performance for residents, featuring selections from his latest release, which celebrates enduring life’s changes.

Wolf, who came to Boston from New York to study painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, soon became an influential radio personality and the lead singer and main songwriter for the blues-influenced rock band during the late 1960s. On the airwaves, he became a disc jockey known as the “Woofa Goofa” on WBCN-FM in early 1968 as it transformed into one of the first as “underground” stations in the nation, with free-form programming featuring rock ‘n roll, jazz and folk music. Wolf typically focused on early rock and blues recordings from the 1950s and ‘60s.

But Wolf’s career with the Geils band took precedence and led to stardom. Between 1970 and 1983, the group released 13 influential albums, topped the pop singles charts with 1981’s “Freeze Frame,” “Love Stinks,” “Centerfold,” and earned a reputation for its energetic live acts thanks largely to to Wolf’s flamboyant, hyperactive stage presence.

Wolf, 70, went solo with 1984’s “Lights Out” album and last week released his latest collection, “A Cure for Loneliness.” The opening track, “Rolling On,” underlines his stature as a world-class survivor of the genre.

“It’s a song about getting through life and trying to prevail, and that’s what the whole record is about,” Wolf says in a statement about the recording. “It’s basically saying ‘I’m still here.’ Change is constant, but it’s not necessarily negative, so you just have to keep rolling on.”