February 1, 2023

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Ray Cordeiro dead: Enduring Hong Kong DJ was 98

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Ray Cordeiro, a fixture on the Hong Kong music scene for nearly seven decades, died on Friday at the age of 98.

His funeral committee said Saturday local time that Cordeiro, full name Raimundo Maria Cordeiro, but better known as “Uncle Ray,” died Friday at CUHK Medical Center in Hong Kong. The cause of death was not released, but the committee said friends and family sent him off with a version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Born on December 12, 1924, Cordeiro worked as a jail warder and a bank clerk before beginning his broadcasting career in 1949 at Radio Rediffusion. By 1960, he was appointed head of light music at Radio Hong Kong, which later became today’s RTHK. Cordeiro continued as a presenter on RTHK till 2021.

As of 2000, he held the Guinness record as the world’s most durable DJ. His show “All the Way with Ray” on RTHK originally ran continuously from 1970 to May 2021.

His early interviews with The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard were notable, and he was recognized for his contributions by Elvis Presley Enterprises – in later years, the three-hour, late-night “All the Way” show would always begin with Elvis tracks.

Cordeiro was honored with Hong Kong’s Silver Bauhinia Star last year. Other honors included an MBE in 1987, an honorary fellowship from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts in 2012, and an honorary doctorate in social sciences from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2022. RTHK presented Cordeiro with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997

“Dr Cordeiro (Uncle Ray) has made significant contributions to the broadcasting industry over the past 70 years and was held in high regard in the sector. He was the host of Hong Kong’s longest running radio show, ‘All the Way with Ray’, with great success. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Cordeiro for his lifelong contribution to the broadcasting industry and my deepest condolences to his family. We will remember him fondly,” said Hong Kong’s Secretary for Trade and Economic Development, Algernon Yau.

“Uncle Ray has guided us to appreciate music for decades with his professional skills, extensive experience and friendly voice. He is a prominent figure in Hong Kong popular culture and our kind senior, who contributed considerably to the Hong Kong music scene. We are saddened by his death and will be fondly remembered,” said Culture, Sports and Tourism Secretary Kevin Yeung.

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