From the Beatles to Elton John: Oldest DJ’s storied career

HONG KONG – Ray Cordeiro considers himself the luckiest radio DJ in the world.

In a storied vocation spanning in excess of 70 years in Hong Kong, Cordeiro has interviewed superstars which includes the Beatles and Elton John, and even gained an MBE — an buy of the British empire for fantastic achievement or provider to the local community — from Queen Elizabeth.

Cordeiro, who holds the Guinness planet record for the world’s longest-functioning DJ, retired past thirty day period at the age of 96.

“I’ve been talking all my life about music and all, and I’d in no way thought that I would retire. I never imagined that I was having more mature,” he reported.

Cordeiro was born in 1924 in Hong Kong and is of Portuguese descent. His musical tastes as a little one were being affected by his brother who was 10 many years more mature and collected information from groups like the Mills Brothers and the Andrews Sisters.

Back then documents were breakable, Cordeiro explained.

“When he’s not house and I played his information, I had to be pretty, incredibly mindful, for the reason that if I broke it he would get awfully offended,” Cordeiro claimed. “I grew up with his audio.”


In his youth, Cordeiro labored as a warden at a regional jail and a clerk at an HSBC bank. His like for music eventually led him to pursue a vocation in radio, exactly where he joined general public broadcaster Radio Hong Kong, now identified as Radio Television Hong Kong.

It was during a a few-month examine training course in London with the BBC in 1964 that Cordeiro landed the interview that kickstarted his occupation — with the Beatles, the most significant band in the planet at the time.

He experienced some free time after the conclusion of the class ahead of he experienced to return to Hong Kong and did not want to “sit around for two weeks doing nothing.”

“So I stated, why do not I grab the prospect of obtaining some peeps, some pop groups or singers that I can job interview and carry back (tapes) to Hong Kong,” he mentioned.

Through those people two weeks, Cordeiro traveled to venues the place teams were being performing and interviewed them afterward.

The Beatles had grow to be wildly well-liked and Cordeiro required to job interview them the most. Armed with a notebook and a pen, he went to the offices of the band’s history label, EMI, to request for an job interview with the group.


By a stroke of luck, he was explained to to return the next working day for an interview, with EMI loaning him a tape recorder for it. He bought a magazine with a photo of the Beatles on the cover and took it with him to the interview, and obtained all the customers to autograph it.

“Altogether I have some 26 signatures of all the Beatles, and it is likely truly worth a fortune,” he claimed.

The job interview was quick for the reason that he didn’t have a great deal of tape in the tape recorder, but Cordeiro managed to expend time with each member of the Beatles. He mentioned John Lennon recounted the Beatles’ early times in Hamburg, Germany, where by they lived in relative poverty and performed in golf equipment.

He later on interviewed the Beatles once again when they visited Hong Kong. The interviews shot him to fame, and he quickly turned Hong Kong’s leading DJ, armed with interviews he experienced executed in London with the well-known audio teams at the time.

“I had a occupation before that, for the reason that I was interviewing nearby pop stars, but when you compare them to the Beatles it is one thing rather unique,” he explained.


As the city’s most recognizable DJ, he also bought to know other stars these as Elton John and Tony Bennett.

Known for his deep, tranquil voice, flat cap and quick listening repertoire, Cordeiro garnered a faithful pursuing of listeners who would tune in to his weekday radio exhibit “All the Way with Ray,” which ran from 1970 till past month.

“I fulfilled my get the job done as a DJ, did what I experienced to do and the viewers adopted me, grew up with me, and they’re all about the world now,” he stated. “They’re all around and they even now listened to me on the world-wide-web.”

Requested if he have been to do it all in excess of yet again if he would decide staying a DJ as a career, Cordeiro does not wait.

“I really do not feel I have to basically assume about it, the respond to is indeed,” he reported.

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