Hong Kong DJ “Uncle Ray” signed off for the last time on his radio show Friday, ending his 72-year career with the Sarah Brightman song, “Time to Say Goodbye.”
Ray Cordeiro, who goes by the name “Uncle Ray,” first went on air in 1949 and has hosted the show “All the Way With Ray” on public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong for more than 40 years.
“It’s hard to put these feelings into words,” the 96-year-old said. “Half of me is happy and half of me doesn’t want to let go. I’ve been doing radio for all these decades and suddenly in the blink of an eye, it’s my last day!”
He told Apple Daily in a phone interview that he was touched to have received many emails from listeners and that he was grateful to still be able to have his voice at his age.
Over the years, Uncle Ray said each song he picked on the show came from the heart, and Friday’s last song was no exception.
“Out of all the songs about goodbyes, this song by Sarah Brightman and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli is my favorite. They have beautiful voices and in my heart I’ll be singing ‘Time to say goodbye, Uncle Ray,’ with them,” he said, laughing.
Hong Kong singer Teresa Carpio guested on the show via phone call from Toronto, Canada, singing a live rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon” as a farewell to Uncle Ray.
He was also joined by Hugh Chiverton, head of RTHK’s English programming, Jim Gould, program director of Radio 3, and his colleagues Peter King and Simon Wilson, who shared unforgettable experiences and precious memories they had with Uncle Ray across his broadcasting career.
The disc jockey, who was named “The World’s Most Durable DJ” in 2000 by the Guinness Book of World Records, was advised by his doctor to step down due to health reasons. Earlier this week he experienced a brief dizzy spell after recording a show.
But Uncle Ray said he will be kept busy even in retirement.
“I won’t get bored, I have a lot of things to do. My house is like a record company, I’ve collected so many special ones over the years, with signed copies by famous singers,” he said. “It’s good to go to work, but I’m also happy to get some rest, meet friends and listen to music together at home and to just take it easy.”
Singer Samuel Hui posted a picture he took with Uncle Ray on Instagram, thanking the veteran host for supporting him since the beginning of his career.
“Congratulations on an amazing 70 years of DJing, we will miss hearing your voice introducing us to our favourite songs,” Hui wrote.
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