A new book about the life and times of well-known New Zealand entertainer Ray Woolf has been produced.

After a series of interviews, Roger Booth, from Raumati Beach, has put together Hey Woolfie Welcome to the World.

The book looks at the crooner's early life in England to his move to New Zealand and time on television, film and stage.

Ray grew up in Dagenham, Essex, and was in a band called Group 5 when he came to New Zealand with family in 1962.


Within about six months in New Zealand he linked up with English pop singer Helen Shapiro and toured the country with her.

He started making musical appearances, doing cover songs, on New Zealand television screens.

Ray Woolf pictured at a 2004 performance. Photo / File
Ray Woolf pictured at a 2004 performance. Photo / File

It was the infancy of television in New Zealand but Woolf, who fronted Ray Woolf and the Avengers, quickly became well-known throughout the country with his music as well as appearances on shows such as C'mon and Happen Inn.

He was well remembered as a host of Play School and a particular highlight was fronting the light entertainment chat show called The Ray Woolf Show.

"He was actually the last one to really have a live entertainment show where he would interview people, some of them would sing, he would sing," Roger said.

Woolf, who lives in Northland, and is still performing, enjoyed helping create the book.

"I relived a whole lot of stuff I had forgotten about.

"It's not until you start digging and thinking about things that stuff sort of comes back.


"It was an amazing experience and good to reflect on."

He had read the book a few times and spoken to a few people to get feedback.

"I really like it.

"It talks about a lot of things and kind of deals with quite a historic time in New Zealand.

"I came to New Zealand in 1962 — there were no mobile phones, not much television, no computers, no media stuff, it was a totally different world.

"The whole thing was just getting into gear in terms of rock and pop music."

Roger said people like Woolf had a lot to offer for performers of the future.

"At times in the book he also talks about how he has retained his voice, what sort of voice he has got, what he can do.

"He knew he was never going to have a kind of Frank Sinatra/Howard Morrison type voice but it was going to be a useful voice.

"And his voice is probably at its best now."

To order a copy of Hey Woolfie Welcome to the World go to www.raywoolf.com