Engelbert on Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 - June 17th
Don't miss Saturday Live tomorrow (17th June) on BBC Radio 4 at 9am where Engelbert shares his Inheritance Tracks, with a rather fitting tribute to his dad for Father's Day.
Listen online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tbffw
International Music Legend Engelbert Humperdinck Releases Brand New Single "I Followed My Heart" via OK!Good Records
Music legend and King of Romance Engelbert Humperdinck has released his new single “I Followed My Heart,” which is available for digital purchase and via streaming today, Friday, June 9th via OK!Good Records.
Today, Friday, June 9th the legendary and incomparable Engelbert Humperdinck celebrates his incredible 50 year career with the release of his new single “I Followed My Heart”. The OK!Good Records release, an original song written by British singer/songwriter Jon Allen for Engelbert, includes an exclusive new version of the single, “I Followed My Heart (Jon Allen & Tristan Longworth Version),” arranged and mixed by fellow OK!Good Records artist Jon Allen and mixed by Tristan Longworth.
Engelbert’s heartfelt new single “I Followed My Heart,” captures the elegance and charm that fans fell in love with over fifty years ago. The single beautifully showcases Engelbert’s distinctive silky vocals. He has personally dedicated this beautiful new song to his wife Patricia, stating “I'm dedicating this song to my beloved wife Patricia, whose strength and courage is truly extraordinary.”
The single’s original version is also featured on Decca’s current release titled “Engelbert Humperdinck: 50,” a two disc collection of Engelbert’s Greatest Hits, which reached the Top Five on The Official UK Albums Chart two weeks ago.
With a career spanning over five decades, Engelbert Humperdinck has sold in excess of 140 million records worldwide, more than Adele, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga. He has 64 Gold albums, 23 Platinum albums, multiple Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe for Entertainer of the Year, his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and represented the UK in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. The 81 year old iconic singer is currently in the midst of his 50th Showbiz Anniversary World Tour,that celebrates a truly remarkable career which started with the release of his worldwide No.1 Hit “Release Me”.
Engelbert's hit song “Release Me” held the No.1 spot in the UK chart for six weeks in 1967, preventing The Beatles single “Penny Lane” from reaching the top and breaking their four-year run of chart toppers. “Release Me” was the highest-selling single in 1967, spending a record- breaking 56 weeks in the charts and hitting the No.1 spot in 11 countries.
Engelbert Humperdinck’s “I Followed My Heart” is available now for digital purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. It is also available to stream on all major streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.
Engelbert on House & Family - Hallmark Channel
Times for June 8th
Cable: 10am ET/PT to 12 noon 9am Central to 11 am
Direct TV: 10am ET/7am PT - Direct carries the show live when it airs in NYC
Times for June 9th
Cable: 12 noon ET/PT to 2 PM 11am to 1 pm Central
Direct TV: 12 noon ET/9am PT
JUBILEE YEAR FOR ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK
BY DAVID BRINN
JUNE 5, 2017 21:36, Jerusalem Post
‘When you find a nice place to work and you get a good reception, you always want to come back.”
That’s how 81-year-old Engelbert Humperdinck explains his third round of sold-out shows in Israel in the past six years. When most of us are lucky to get out of bed in the morning, Humperdinck is still traveling around the world and crooning his extensive collection of pop and ballad standards on a regular basis.
“I don’t want to slow down. It’s my life, I love being on the road and giving concerts,” the British singer said in a phone conversation late last month from his adopted home in California.
And it’s been a very successful life.
Humperdinck has sold more than 150 million records across the world over the past 50 years since his 1967 breakthrough “Release Me.” He’s marked this year’s milestone by returning to his original record company, Decca, and releasing a two-CD compilation – Engelbert Humperdinck 50: The Legend Continues – that has sparked renewed interest in his career.
In addition, an ambitious 11-disc boxed set – The Complete Decca Studio Albums – was released last month, with many of the albums seeing their first digital hearing.
“It’s amazing to look back on 50 years of making music, and I’ve been pleased by how extremely well the album is doing in the charts. Decca is happy too, and it’s nice to be back with them,” said Humperdinck.
“We are thrilled with the response to Engelbert Humperdinck’s new album,” said Tom Lewis, director of A&R at Decca Records, in a statement. “It’s incredible to see the way he continues to connect with his fans – his voice has the ability to transcend generations.”
Along with the likes of Tony Bennett and Burt Bacharach, he’s been one of the handful of non-rock artists from the 1960s who have forged cross-generational appeal. Among his fans are Blur founder Damon Albarn, one of the masterminds behind Britpop favorites The Gorillaz, star producer Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, Train) and Adele songwriter Dan Wilson.
Born Arnold George Dorsey in India to a British military officer and a music-teaching mother, Humperdinck resettled in Leicester, England, when he was 10, and began studying the saxophone. As a teen he entered a singing contest in a local pub, and discovering a new talent, put down his sax forever.
Renamed Gerry Dorsey, the young singer was making a name for himself throughout the UK in the early 1960s until coming down with tuberculosis, which sidelined him for the better part of a year. When he was healthy, he took on a new manager, Gordon Mills, who had some interesting ideas.
“When I first started singing, I didn’t know which direction to take – I sang rock & roll and all kinds of things. When Gordon came along, he started listening to songs for me to record and he directed me toward becoming a ballad singer and really stamped my style,” said Humperdinck in an earlier interview with The Jerusalem Post conducted before his 2011 shows.
It wasn’t just the style of song Mills changed, he also suggested a radical name change. With the other artists in his stable, Mills had done away with their given names and created new personas with names like Gilbert O’Sullivan (a play on Gilbert and Sullivan), Tom Jones (after a popular British film of the time). Englebert Humperdinck was the 19th-century composer of such operas as Hansel and Gretel.
“When Gordon first suggested it, I thought he was talking about forming a group with that name,” said Humperdinck, referring to the psychedelic rock band names of the day, like Strawberry Alarm Clock and Pink Floyd.
“I was a little taken aback when he said he wanted that name for me, but what can a starving singer do? I accepted it. You can’t bite the hand that feeds you.”
With an outlandish name, striking muttonchop sideburns and matinee-idol looks, it didn’t take long for the new Humperdinck persona to make an impact.
“Release Me” was so big that it prevented the momentous double-sided hit by The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” from reaching the number one slot in the UK. Englebert Humperdinck was suddenly a star on both sides of the Atlantic.
He even found himself with Jimi Hendrix in his band – for one night.
“Jimi hadn’t toured Europe yet, and they wanted to pair him with a name artist, so they put him on a bill with me,” said Humperdinck. “This was in Leicester, my home town. And my guitarist got sick and couldn’t play. ‘What am I going to do?’ I said, and Jimi answered, ‘don’t worry man, I’ll play for you.’” “I wish that show had been recorded. Having him behind me on guitar was like having three guitarists, he was that good.”
Aside from that fateful convergence, Humperdinck and the rock world didn’t intersect very much from then on. The expressive singer has defied trends and fads by sticking to his trademark tuxedoed balladry.
He told the Post last month that he’s encouraged that new generations of singers are keeping the musical tradition even as they add contemporary elements to the mix.
“There are some great singers in the market right now. I like Bruno Mars a lot, I think he’s great. And Ariana Grande as well – unfortunately the young lady had a mishap in my own country with that terrible tragedy in Manchester,” he said, referring to last month’s terrorist attack outside her show.
“It’s such a shame that these things happen. The job of an artist is to entertain and not get involved with politics. We give the people in the countries we are visiting a good show – that’s the purpose of an entertainer.”
And that’s what audiences will receive when Humperdinck performs on June 17 at the Congress Center in Haifa, June 19 at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem and June 20 at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv.
“I have a great eight-piece band that I’ve taken around the world. They know me so well that I don’t have to rehearse with them, we just do a sound check and we’re all set,” said Humperdinck, adding that he’s always happy to return to Israel.
“Every time I come back, I make sure to get around and check things out. I’ll be out there taking pictures for my memoirs.”
That’s one book that won’t have to embellish the facts to be a riveting read.
Engelbert Humperdinck Reflects on His Career 50 Years After Release Me: My Music Has Been My Passport to the World
June 2, 2017, Fred Bronson, Billboard
Manager Gordon Mills had a habit of changing his client’s names. He turned Thomas John Woodward into Tom Jones, and shortly after transformed Arnold George Dorsey into Engelbert Humperdinck, a name borrowed from a well-known 19th century German composer. Under his new name, the artist born in Madras, British India, and raised in Leicester, England, had his first major hit with a remake of a country song, “Release Me,” in 1967.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the single’s worldwide success, Decca/UMe is releasing Engelbert 50 today (June 2) in the U.S. With a U.K. street date of May 19, the album debuted on the official album chart at No. 5, making it the eighth top-five album of Humperdinck’s career. The two-CD collection includes Humperdinck’s long list of hits as well as two new songs. Dividing his time between his homes in Los Angeles and Leicester, the singer took some time to talk to Billboard about the new set.
How does it feel to be celebrating 50 years?
It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe where the time has gone. It’s been exceedingly wonderful. I was over in the U.K. doing promotion and the young ladies in charge made me do some television shows, which helped put me back in the charts. I’m celebrating my 50th year and the Beatles are marking the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Speaking of the Beatles, when “Release Me” spent six weeks at No. 1 in the U.K., it prevented the Fab Four from hitting the top spot with one of their greatest singles, “Penny Lane” / “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
They were such a monster group, I never thought I stood a chance against them. “Penny Lane” would have been their 12th No. 1. Before it was a hit, “Release Me” spent three months sitting on the shelf. Then I appeared on a TV variety series, Sunday Night at the London Palladium. That exposure made “Release Me” a massive hit. The very next day we had orders for 80,000. The most I sold in one day was 127,000. Fate gave me that TV show.
Did you ever discuss your triumph over “Penny Lane” with any of the Beatles?
When I met Paul [McCartney] and Ringo [Starr], they were too much the gentlemen to even bring it up.
How did you find “Release Me”? Did Gordon Mills bring it to you?
Yes, Gordon found an instrumental version by (British saxophonist) Frank Weir. I heard the melody and thought it could be a hit. I asked if we could find the lyrics. When we heard the words, it was a double whammy for me because they sounded terrific. Then we brought in a great arranger, Charles Blackwell.
Were you familiar with any of the earlier recordings? The song was written in 1949 by Eddie Miller and Robert Yount. Jimmy Heap, Ray Price and Kitty Wells recorded country versions in 1954 and Little Esther Phillips had an R&B hit with the song in 1962.
I never heard any of them before I recorded the song. After, I heard Ray Price’s version. He used to tell his audiences, “This used to be my song.” He always mentioned my name in his shows.
In April 1967, “Release Me” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at No. 4. How did you feel about your American success?
It was unreal. After I made it in England, Gordon said we have to go to America. I appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and the exposure was unbelievable.
One of the songs on Engelbert 50 is “Strangers in the Night.” I understand you have some history with this composition.
[Composer] Bert Kaempfert played it for me in Spain. He also played “Spanish Eyes” and “Wonderland by Night” for me. I went back to London and recorded all three songs. I thought “Strangers in the Night” would be my single and then I was told I couldn’t release it because Frank Sinatra had recorded it and was releasing it as a single. I wasn’t going to argue with Frank. His version went to No. 1.
Is the version on the new album your recording from back then?
No. We couldn’t find the original. It’s buried somewhere. Everyone searched the archives, but I think it was ordered to be hidden. We recorded a new version but it doesn’t compare to the original, which we recorded with a big orchestra. It’s far superior.
Finally, when you were starting out, did you ever think you would one day be celebrating 50 years of your career?
I never thought that. I was just happy to have success at that time. It was always a question in my head about how long it was going to last. If you don’t put out material that’s going to last, you’re not going to last. Over the years, I sold over 150 million records. My music has been my passport to the world, and it’s been amazing for me.
Engelbert's There's a Hush All Over the World on CLAWS
“There’s A Hush All Over The World” will be featured on CLAWS episode 104. It will air on TNT, July 2nd at 9PM.
CLAWS is an hour-long dramedy produced by Rashida Jones in association with Warner Horizon Television and TNT Original Productions and starring Niecy Nash. Claws is a dark, wickedly funny meditation on female badness that follows the rise of five diverse and dangerous Florida manicurists in the traditionally male world of organized crime. The series also stars Carrie Preston, Harold Perrineau, Judy Reyes, Dean Norris and more.
CLAWS premieres June 11 on TNT and is one of the network’s most hotly-anticipated new series.
Tin Pan Alley, Country Pop & The Indestructible Release Me: Engelbert Humperdinck Talks To uDiscover
Vocal stylist Engelbert Humperdinck has been talking to uDiscover about the remarkable body of work that's celebrated by today's (19 May) release of the compilation Engelbert Humperdinck: 50 and the simultaneous The Complete Decca Studio Albums Collection. He discusses how he used to search for new material, how he crossed country music into the pop charts — and how there might be a new Engelbert studio album in the pipeline.
The 50 compilation, which you can order here, is a two-CD, 39-track retrospective featuring all of the Grammy-winning singer's biggest hits, in a career that has realised 150 million record sales worldwide. It also includes a new DBU Disco Remix of 'Release Me' and two brand new songs, 'I Don't Want To Call It Goodbye' and 'I Followed My Heart.'
“It's an amazing presentation, I think,” says Humperdinck. “I can't believe how well it's been done, and we've got a couple of new songs on there, plus the remix of 'Release Me.' The new songs were just both a propos, so we put them both on the album, and they're great songs, well-written.”
The 11-album box set (click here to order) is available physically but also makes these albums available digitally for the first time. “I like the idea of the vinyl covers remaining the same in digital form now,”he observes. “Not giving it a different face, giving it the same face, only packaging it in a very contemporary way. It's wonderful.”
Musing on the remarkable history of 'Release Me,' he recalls the long history of the Eddie Miller/Robert Yount composition even before he got near it. Written in 1949, the song was successful for a number of artists before it transformed Engelbert's career in 1967. It became the UK's bestselling single of that year, famously preventing The Beatles' 'Penny Lane' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever' double A-side from reaching No. 1.
“It was a big hit before I got it, a country hit by Ray Price,” says the vocalist. “On stage he said 'This was my song until Engelbert Humperdinck came along and made it a hit around the world.' I heard it as an instrumental by a gentleman called Frank Weir. I just heard the melody and I said to Gordon Mills, who was my manager at that time, 'That's a hit song.'
“When it was given to Charles Blackwell and he did that amazing arrangement that is so recognisable, even that introduction gives it meaning. Everybody knows it's 'Release Me' before it starts.
“My early years were very exciting for me,” he continues. “Fortunately, I had Gordon beside me, guiding my career. He was a manager that was very musically-minded. He also wrote a lot of my b-sides. He was a great manager.”
The album collection affords the opportunity to recall the wide range of material that Engelbert recorded beyond his well-known hits,. He would often interpret existing material, put his stamp on recent chart successes for others (from 'Wand'rin' Star' to 'Aquarius'), and put the spotlight on some songs of historical importance.
“We all hung out in Tin Pan Alley, many times, looking for material for new albums,” he recalls. “But then once you have a hit record, it changes the picture and people start to send you a lot of songs. You don't have to go looking anymore. That was one of the great things about having hit songs,” he laughs. “It makes life a little bit easier.”
His first Decca album of 1967, also called Release Me, featured a version of 'Misty Blue,' which had recently been a country hit for Wilma Burgess but became better-known to later audiences from Dorothy Moore's soulful interpretation of 1976. “I love that song, it's a real Nashville song,” enthuses Humperdinck.
“We didn't go totally country, we went country pop, which is the best way to go, if you're not a country singer yourself. Some of my hits, like 'Am I That Easy To Forget' and 'There Goes My Everything,' they were country material which was used before, but I took it and made them hits.” Another fascinating country entry is his reading of the Bee Gees' song 'Sweetheart,' which became the title song of his 1971 Decca album.
Humperdinck has fond memories of the recording techniques of this album era. “I like the method we used, because the arranger would come, you would routine it, then he'd take it away and the next time you see it, it's in the studio with all these wonderful musicians and singers.
“Then they went to another method where they just gave you a rhythm track, and you'd put your voice on that, but I never liked that method. I always liked the entire arrangement, the bed of music, to lie on, because it lends your voice to going in so many different directions, and I think that's one of the reasons that brought success to these albums in the early years.”
Arrangers were, and remain, key to his distinctively luxuriant sound. “Arrangers of the past, they were just brilliant musicians themselves,” he says. “People like Les Reed, he wrote great songs for me like 'The Last Waltz,' 'Les Bicyclettes de Belsize,' 'Winter World Of Love,' some massive hits that came from him.
“I've started to work with an arranger I worked with about 50 years ago, his name is Johnny Harris. He did great stuff for me like 'Quando Quando Quando,' that's his arrangement. And he did the track for 'I Follow My Heart,' one of the new songs on the CD. It is harder to come by great songs [now], but I can honestly say that the two new ones are in this fashion.”
At 81, Engelbert's diary continues to be packed. “A whole new album is in store, of new songs,” he reveals, but before that, there are many more shows to fulfill in his datebook, starting in June in Bucharest, Romania. “I love it. There's not many places in the world I haven't been, but I'm going to Iceland, I haven't been there before, or Romania. But I've been everywhere else. 'I've been everywhere, man...'” he sings with a chuckle.
“You do get that little nervousness when you play countries like Russia, but the funny part — although I have to have an interpreter on stage to do my talking for me — but the songs themselves, they tend to sing them in some phonetical fashion, and they sing along with you, it's amazing.”
Of the double CD and box set packages, he concludes: “For the people that haven't heard my music before, it's going to be quite an eye-opener, because it does lend itself to great compositions and great arrangements. The entire package is so well done.”
Engelbert on BBC Radio 4 - Front Row
Engelbert on Weekend ITV1 on this Sunday May 21st
One for your calendars! Tune in to Weekend ITV1 on Sunday 21st at 8.30am to hear Engelbert talking to the wonderful Aled Jones about his brand new album.
Engelbert Facebook Live May 19th
We're delighted to announce that on Friday 19th May Engelbert will broadcast a live Q&A on Facebook. And we want to ask him some of YOUR most pressing questions. Here's how to do it.
Video yourself asking your question, upload it to YouTube, then post the link in the comments on the official Engelbert Humperdinck Facebook page.
You can post your video directly into the comments on the official Engelbert Humperdinck Facebook page by tapping the camera icon to the right of the comment box.
If you don't have a video camera, why not upload a photo of yourself instead, along with your question.
If you're sending us a video or photo, please be aware that we might use it in the Q&A (we'll play questions direct to Engelbert and he will answer during the broadcast). We'd love to hear your most interesting questions so that we have a range of things to ask Engelbert about.