After more than seven decades on the air, a cherished Hong Kong radio personality known as the “world’s most enduring DJ” by Guinness World Records Uncle Ray passed away at age 98.
Fans referred to Reinaldo Maria Cordeiro, also known as “Uncle Ray,” as an industry titan who launched the careers of many local singers and introduced pop culture to generations of Hong Kong listeners through his long-running radio shows.
Over the years, he conducted interviews with a large number of pop icons, including the Beatles, Bee Gees, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra.
According to a committee organizing his funeral, Uncle Ray passed away on Friday in Hong Kong while being surrounded by relatives and friends who sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as a farewell.
According to the city’s cultural minister Kevin Yeung, the veteran DJ was “a renowned personality in Hong Kong popular culture” and made “great contributions to the Hong Kong music scene.”
Cordeiro, who was born in Hong Kong in 1924, was the fifth in a family of six. His ancestors were Portuguese immigrants.
Prior to pursuing music, he held positions as a prison warden and bank clerk. In 1949, he hosted his debut program, “Progressive Jazz” at Radio Rediffusion.
By anchoring teen-friendly easy listening programs for Hong Kong’s public broadcaster RTHK in the 1960s, Cordeiro established himself as a household celebrity.
When “All The Way With Ray” debuted in 1970, it quickly established itself as the station’s longest-running radio program.
In 2000, Guinness World Records dubbed him “the world’s most resilient DJ.”
“I’ve had the greatest in life and I’ve had everything I wanted to be, everything I wanted to do,” Uncle Ray said upon retiring in 2021 to RTHK.
He apparently experienced heart issues during the previous ten years and was hospitalized in January of last year after having a stroke.
In his book, he stated, “I am in my element when I play good music for my fans.”
“I will not accept a world without music.”