World's longest-serving DJ dies in Hong Kong
Steph Deschamps / January 14, 2023
Ray Cordeiro, who interviewed the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra as a radio host in Hong Kong, died Friday at the age of 98 after a career spanning more than seven decades.
The Guinness Book of World Records hailed him in 2000 as the DJ with the longest career in the world.
Reinaldo Maria Cordeiro was "a prominent figure in Hong Kong's popular culture" who made "a considerable contribution to the Hong Kong music scene," the city's culture minister, Kevin Yeung, said Saturday.
Known to fans as "Uncle Ray", Cordeiro had launched the careers of many local musicians and introduced generations of Hong Kong fans to pop music trends during his radio shows.
Cordeiro died Friday in Hong Kong, surrounded by family and friends, who sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" as a farewell, a committee organizing his funeral said. He had been hospitalized last year after a heart attack.
Born in Hong Kong in 1924, Cordeiro was the fifth of six children in a family of Portuguese immigrants. After working as a prison guard and bank clerk, he turned to music, hosting his first "Progressive Jazz" program on Radio Rediffusion in 1949.
Cordeiro had made a name for himself in the 1960s by hosting shows for Hong Kong's public network, RTHK, which were a big hit with teenagers. His late-night show "All The Way With Ray," launched in 1970, became the station's longest-running radio program.
On his retirement in 2021, he told RTHK: "I had the best in life and I had everything I wanted to be, everything I wanted to do". In his autobiography, he wrote: "sharing good music with my fans, I am in my element". "I refuse to envision a world without music. »