Joe Niagara, 76, known as the Rockin' Bird and one of the great Philadelphia disc jockeys from the golden age of rock and roll, died of heart failure yesterday following cancer surgery at Bryn Mawr Hospital.
He had been fighting bladder cancer for the last few years. His wife, Evelyn, said he died about 3:30 a.m. Mike Bowe announced the death yesterday afternoon on WPEN-AM (950), Mr. Niagara's last station.
"When people mention the great disc jockeys of Philadelphia, they always mention Joe Niagara, Hy Lit and Jerry Blavat," said Clark DeLeon, a former Inquirer columnist who is writing a biography of Lit. "Niagara transcended being a normal disc jockey."