is the story from Miami Herald journalist Howard Cowen:
Cox, a veteran disc jockey of the South Florida airwaves, died in his sleep
Monday morning in Atlanta, said friend and former colleague Kid Curry,
program director of WPOW-FM 96.5 (Power 96).
on the Radio, as he was known, had been living with his mother. He was
didn't wake up,'' Curry said.
gravelly voice and sometimes bawdy on-air persona made him a star DJ for
three decades in South Florida.
came to prominence in South Florida on WHYI-FM (100.7) -- generally called
Y-100 -- in 1973 when the 'Johns' dominated the pop station's playlist:
Elton John, John Denver and Olivia Newton-John. He briefly worked in Los
Angeles at the height of disco in 1977.
disco died and urban rhythms arrived, Cox followed the beat back to South
Florida. He returned to Y-100 and then to contemporary hit radio, Power
96, in 1986.
2001, he ended his South Florida tenure with a brief, four-month stint
at WKIS-FM (99.9) -- Kiss Country. After throat surgery, WKIS chose not
to renew his contract, and he moved to Georgia to care for his mother.
always sad when a friend who has so much talent and who was such a loving
father and a nice guy dies,'' Curry said in a phone interview from Power
96. The two had recently spoken, Curry said, and Cox sounded fine.
feel for his kids. It's just a shock,'' Curry said. Cox had two children
and a stepdaughter with his fourth wife, March Cox.
was known for his on- and off-air antics.
was the quintessential rock-'n'-roll DJ,'' said Bill Tanner, who, as previous
program director for Y-100 in the '70s and Power 96 in the '80s, hired
Cox at both stations.
inspired by TV's wacky sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, Tanner and Cox came up
with a novel idea. The DJ would broadcast his first Power 96 show live
from atop the former Coppertone billboard in North Miami Beach.
that the mechanical arm that made the dog pull the little girl's blue bathing
suit down conked Cox on the head, forcing the DJ off the air and to the
was always having things like that happening to him; he was such a character,''
Tanner said. Personal problems threatened to derail his career, however.
In 1991, he was arrested for drunken driving and had his license suspended
for six months. In 1986, he claimed he was beaten by four men who abducted
him after his air shift on the former WINZ-FM (94.9) -- now Zeta 4. He
didn't file a police report. In 1980, he was charged with cocaine trafficking
and served four months.
those setbacks, ''If you look back at the history of radio in South Florida,
I think Don's name will always be remembered,'' said Adam Jacobson, an
editor with the Los Angeles trade magazine Radio & Records.
spoke to two generations of South Floridians.''