Reinaldo “Uncle Ray” Cordeiro, a prominent Hong Kong radio personality, died on Friday, January 13, 2023, at the age of 98. On Saturday, the funeral committee announced the DJ’s death. He was in the CHUK Medical Center with friends and relatives, they said, and was said goodbye with a version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
According to the statement:
“We regret to inform you that Reinaldo Maria Cordeiro, also known as Uncle Ray, died on January 13, 2023, in the CUHK Medical Centre, aged 98. His closest relatives and friends said goodbye with a version of You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Uncle Ray started his broadcasting career in 1949, and in 1960, he joined Radio Hong Kong, afterward renamed RTHK, where he remained until his retirement in 2021. His late-night program “All the Way with Ray,” which debuted in 1970, established him as a household celebrity and won him legions of fans across generations. Guinness World Records granted Uncle Ray the title of “world’s most durable DJ” in 2000.
Uncle Ray Cordeiro, 1924-2023 https://t.co/UQ5kQ0yPbn pic.twitter.com/u37Z6EIADj
— RTHK Hong Kong (@RTHKEnglish) January 14, 2023
Uncle Ray’s “All the Way with Ray” was Hong Kong’s longest-running radio show.
Ray Cordeiro was born on December 12, 1924, in Hong Kong to Portuguese immigrants. He attended St. Joseph’s College before becoming a warder at Stanley Prison and working as a clerk at his father’s bank. His first job in broadcasting was as a copywriter for Radio Rediffusion, and then as the presenter of the Progressive Jazz radio show. Uncle Ray joined RTHK in 1960 as head of light music, interviewing countless legends and launching the careers of several new Hong Kong bands throughout his seven decades with the station.
“All the Way with Ray,” which Cordeiro hosted until 2021, was Hong Kong’s longest-running radio program. Among others, Uncle Ray interviewed the Beatles, Bee Gees, Rolling Stones, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Cliff Richard, Elton John, and Don McLean. Elvis Presley was the one who got away since Cordeiro was never able to sit with him.
The presenter was easily identified by his calming voice and his ubiquitous flat hat, spectacles, and beard. Many condolences poured in after his passing, as fans recognized his efforts and shared their memories of the radio personality. Algernon Yau Ying, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, said that the radio personality had made major contributions to the broadcasting business and was well-regarded:
He went on to say:
“I’d want to thank Dr. Cordeiro for his lifetime achievements in the broadcasting business and send my heartfelt condolences to his family. We shall remember him warmly.”
Kevin Yeung, Secretary for Culture, Sports, and Tourism, remarked that Uncle Ray will be remembered as a guide with a kind voice, saying:
“He was a well-known character in Hong Kong popular culture and a generous senior, making significant contributions to the Hong Kong music scene. We are heartbroken by his death, and he will be remembered lovingly.”
Ray Cordeiro worked as a drummer, wrote an autobiography in English and Chinese, and featured in two performances at the Hong Kong Coliseum as well as TVB programs.