Those of a certain age will remember Ray Woolf from the days of TV shows C'mon and Happen Inn when a variety of New Zealand talent would entertain people for the evening.

Singers like Suzanne Lynch and Judy Donaldson (The Chicks), Ray Columbus, Shane, Mr Lee Grant, Craig Scott and, of course, Ray Woolf would deliver the latest songs to keep everyone up-to-date with the music scene.

Ray laments the passing of these types of shows which gave New Zealand singers air-time.

From 1979 to 1983 Ray ran his own television production The Ray Woolf Show where he sang, interviewed international stars and featured clips from around New Zealand.


Ray was awarded Best Television Light Entertainer multiple times.

He says this was one of his career highlights along with singing with Dinah Shore in the Sydney Opera House.

Ray ventured into acting and was in several films and television productions including Peter Jackson's King Kong, Marlin Bay, Shortland Street and Something Trivial, as well as various parts in Hercules and Xena.

Ray also presented Play School for a time.

Fans will get an opportunity to meet Ray when he visits Rotorua Library to launch his new book Hey Woolfie: Welcome to the World by Ray and Roger Booth.

The event will be at 12pm on Friday and everyone is welcome.

If there is time, the audience may be treated to a song.

Ray is no stranger to Rotorua, having visited the city several times over the course of his career.


He recalls enjoying a fantastic roast dinner at Howard Morrison's mother's house in 1962 and having Howard's sisters giggling behind the door at this young English pop star.

Ray performed at the Soundshell in its heyday, at many of the local hotels and being part of the Lakeside concerts, the last time in 2012 with Stan Walker and Jackie Clark.

He also performed at Sir Howard Morrison's "To Sir with Love" tribute concert and later the memorial concert.

In 2007 Woolf was awarded with a Benny, the supreme award given by the NZ Variety Artists Club.

He was also awarded for his services to entertainment - A Queen's Service Medal (2009) and a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2008).

Ray recalls his mother had always worried whether she had done the right thing by immigrating to New Zealand, despite Ray trying to assure her otherwise.

He thinks she was finally convinced when he was awarded the NZ Order of Merit. He says, "The look on her face made it all worth while".