Ray Cordeiro was born in Hong Kong to Portuguese parents on 12 December 1924 and has devoted his life to the development of local radio broadcasting and the music scene.
His education at St. Joseph’s College was interrupted by the war, part of which he spent as a refugee in Macau. In 1945, he found work as a warder at Hong Kong’s Stanley Prison, and a year later he joined HSBC. In 1949, pursuing a passion for music, he started as a scriptwriter at Rediffusion. His first radio show, Progressive Jazz, began his career as a disc jockey and ran from 1949 to 1960. In the 1950s, he added programmes including The Beginners Please, where he discovered the late Matt Monro, Rumpus Time and Talent Time (Hong Kong’s first TV singing contest).
In 1960, he joined Radio Hong Kong as Head of Light Music, and from the mid-1960s presented a pot-pourri of popular daily music programmes. His live show Lucky Dip, which gave a platform to new talent, was a massive hit. From 1970, he concentrated on his acclaimed late-night live show, All The Way with Ray.
Ray Cordeiro is known affectionately in Hong Kong as ‘Uncle Ray’ for his mentoring of local young pop musicians in the 1960s, many of whom achieved stardom. In his own career, he has interviewed a portfolio of famous international artists, including The Beatles, Cliff Richard and Tony Bennett, and most of Hong Kong’s top performers.
Ray Cordeiro was honoured with an MBE in 1987 and a Bronze Bauhinia Star in 2008. Paul Anka presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of RTHK in 1997. In 2000, he was recognised by Guinness World Records as ‘The World’s Most Durable Radio DJ’. And in 2012, Hong Kong’s Academy for Performing Arts made him an Honorary Fellow.
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