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


HONG KONG (AP) — Ray Cordeiro considers himself the luckiest radio DJ on the earth.

In a storied profession spanning over 70 years in Hong Kong, Cordeiro has interviewed superstars together with the Beatles and Elton John, and even obtained an MBE — an order of the British empire for excellent achievement or service to the group — from Queen Elizabeth.

Cordeiro, who holds the Guinness world report for the world’s longest-working DJ, retired final month on the age of 96.

“I’ve been speaking all my life about music and all, and I’d by no means thought that I’d retire. I by no means thought that I used to be getting older,” he mentioned.

Cordeiro was born in 1924 in Hong Kong and is of Portuguese descent. His musical tastes as a baby have been influenced by his brother who was 10 years older and picked up data from teams just like the Mills Brothers and the Andrews Sisters.
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Again then data have been breakable, Cordeiro mentioned.

“When he’s not dwelling and I performed his data, I needed to be very, very cautious, as a result of if I broke it he would get awfully offended,” Cordeiro mentioned. “I grew up along with his music.”

In his youth, Cordeiro labored as a warden at a neighborhood jail and a clerk at an HSBC financial institution. His love for music finally led him to pursue a profession in radio, the place he joined public broadcaster Radio Hong Kong, now often known as Radio Tv Hong Kong.

It was throughout a three-month research course in London with the BBC in 1964 that Cordeiro landed the interview that kickstarted his profession — with the Beatles, the most important band on the earth on the time.

He had some free time after the tip of the course earlier than he needed to return to Hong Kong and did not wish to “sit round for 2 weeks doing nothing.”

“So I mentioned, why don’t I seize the prospect of discovering some peeps, some pop teams or singers that I can interview and convey again (tapes) to Hong Kong,” he mentioned.

Throughout these two weeks, Cordeiro traveled to venues the place teams have been performing and interviewed them afterward.

The Beatles had develop into wildly widespread and Cordeiro wished to interview them probably the most. Armed with a pocket book and a pen, he went to the places of work of the band’s report label, EMI, to ask for an interview with the group.
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By a stroke of luck, he was instructed to return the subsequent day for an interview, with EMI loaning him a tape recorder for it. He purchased {a magazine} with an image of the Beatles on the duvet and took it with him to the interview, and received all of the members to autograph it.

“Altogether I’ve some 26 signatures of all of the Beatles, and it’s in all probability value a fortune,” he mentioned.

The interview was brief as a result of he did not have a variety of tape within the tape recorder, however Cordeiro managed to spend time with every member of the Beatles. He mentioned John Lennon recounted the Beatles’ early days in Hamburg, Germany, the place they lived in relative poverty and performed in golf equipment.

He later interviewed the Beatles once more after they visited Hong Kong. The interviews shot him to fame, and he rapidly grew to become Hong Kong’s prime DJ, armed with interviews he had carried out in London with the favored music teams on the time.

“I had a profession earlier than that, as a result of I used to be interviewing native pop stars, however if you examine them to the Beatles it’s one thing fairly totally different,” he mentioned.

As town’s most recognizable DJ, he additionally received to know different stars similar to Elton John and Tony Bennett.

Recognized for his deep, calm voice, flat cap and straightforward listening repertoire, Cordeiro garnered a loyal following of listeners who would tune in to his weekday radio present “All of the Means with Ray,” which ran from 1970 till final month.

“I fulfilled my work as a DJ, did what I needed to do and the viewers adopted me, grew up with me, and so they’re all around the world now,” he mentioned. “They’re throughout and so they nonetheless listened to me on the web.”

Requested if he have been to do it over again if he would decide being a DJ as a profession, Cordeiro doesn’t hesitate.

“I don’t suppose I’ve to truly give it some thought, the reply is sure,” he mentioned.

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