The world’s longest working DJ, Ray Cordeiro, has died at the age of 98.
Cordeiro was confirmed to have passed away in hospital on Friday, January 13. No cause of death has been disclosed.
Cordeiro was born in 1924 in Hong Kong and span records for six decades. He entered broadcasting in 1949 after having worked as a prison warden and blank clerk and joined Hong Kong’s public broadcaster in 1960. He was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest working DJ. His easy listening show, All The Way With Ray, was broadcast for 51 years until his retirement in 2021.
Speaking following his retirement, he said: “The audience followed me, grew up with me, and they’re all over the world now. They still listened to me on the internet.”
Cordeiro interviewed The Beatles at the height of their fame in 1964 while he was in the UK doing a training course at the BBC. In the interview, John Lennon recounted their early days in Hamburg, Germany, where they lived in relative poverty. They later signed a magazine cover for Cordeiro, which he said was “probably worth a fortune”. The subsequent broadcast of the interview in Hong Kong secured the DJ a celebrity status.
He also interviewed the likes of Elvis Presley, Sir Elton John and Tony Bennett and was recognised by Elvis Presley Enterprises for often playing his songs on his radio show, particularly in its latter years.
“Dr Cordeiro (Uncle Ray) made significant contributions to the broadcasting industry in the past 70 years and was held in high regard in the sector. He was the host of the longest-running radio program in Hong Kong, ‘All the Way with Ray’, with great success. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr Cordeiro for his lifelong contributions to the broadcasting industry, and extend my deepest condolences to his family,” said Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Algernon Yau [via Variety]. “We will fondly remember him.”
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kevin Yeung, also paid tribute. “Uncle Ray guided us in appreciating music with his sound professional skills, broad experience and friendly voice over many decades. He was a prominent figure in Hong Kong popular culture and our kind senior, making considerable contributions to the Hong Kong music scene. We are saddened by his passing and he will be remembered fondly.”