Allan McFee, a longtime CBC radio personality famous for his offbeat music choices and unusual stunts, has died at the age of 87.

McFee is remembered for a 20-year on-air partnership with Max Ferguson and later as host of the Eclectic Circus, during the '70s and '80s.

McFee, a native of Belleville, Ont., began his career with the CBC in 1937 and except for a three-year stint in the army during the Second World War stayed with the public broadcaster until he retired in 1991.

McFee had a reputation early on as a rebel at the CBC, joking on-air and clashing with producers and bureaucrats who tried to repress his act.

One of the ways he'd vent his frustrations was to dot the studio ceiling with asparagus tips he'd thrown in the air.

Alex Frame, vice-president of CBC Radio, honoured McFee as the "oldest-ever 'enfant terrible'" in a statement on Tuesday.

"I know it's a cliche to say it's an end of an era but it certainly is," Ferguson said of his old partner. "I don't think they'll see his like again. Maybe some people at the CBC might be glad of that.

"In a business full of egos, he was without a trace of ego," he added.

McFee died of cancer early Tuesday. There will be no public funeral at his and his family's request.

CBC Radio will announce details of a public memorial to celebrate McFee's contribution to broadcasting.