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Engelbert Humperdinck Celebrates 50 Years in Music and New Christmas Album

November 29, 2018

NOVEMBER 29, 2018 –PARADE - DR. NANCY BERK

With record sales of over 150 million and more than 50 years in the business, Engelbert Humperdinck knows a thing or two about career longevity. And he continues to love his job. Still touring at age 83, the singer who found fame as a top recording artist and chiseled-featured heartthrob, wouldn’t have it any other way.


“It’s one of my favorite, favorite things, walking on stage. I love it and I’ll keep doing it, until, you know, until I can’t sing anymore, but I think that’s so far away,” says Humperdinck.


Adorned with gold and platinum albums, the walls of his home reflect the musical success he has enjoyed since the ’60s with hits like “Release Me” and “After The Lovin.’” The artist says that it is the length of his career that has most surprised him. Few in the music industry expect their star to shine for decades. Humperdinck credits his fans with making his success story so sweet.


“I think it’s all due to my following. I have a very staunch following and I’ve had fan clubs all over the world. And these people I term as my ‘cheerleaders’— my ‘spark plugs.’ And they’ve carried me along for all this time and they’re still there for me right now. And you know, as I go out on the road and I walk on stage, I can feel their presence…and it’s just wonderful.”


It’s not unusual for Humperdinck to perform for an audience that spans three and four generations. “I think that’s what’s given me the longevity in this industry and I’m truly pleased about it. If you have one age group they kind of go away from you, but when you have all ages, it stabilizes your career,” Humperdinck says.

Did he ever find it exhausting being labeled a “heartthrob”? Humperdinck modestly slides past the question.


“It’s not exhausting. No. You kind of get used to it, you know…You get used to the routine, you get used to the traveling, you get used to everything.”


This holiday season, Humperdinck has gifted fans with a little more music, releasing a new album Warmest Christmas Wishes. Celebrating a season that he has loved since childhood, Humperdinck, one of 10 children, sings many of his favorites including “Please Come Home for Christmas” and “Silent Night,” along with some new and reinvented tracks.


His first holiday album in nearly 40 years, Humperdinck believes this album’s appeal comes from the mix of classics and unique tracks with strong family ties. “I found it great recording it, and I hope people like listening to it.”


What will the artist be doing for the holidays? He’ll wrap up touring for a bit and enjoy the month of December with family in Los Angeles. “And from one of my tracks on my album— I’ll be home for Christmas,” says Humperdinck.


Listen to Warmest Christmas Wishes on Amazon.

https://parade.com/720335/nancyberk/engelbert-humperdinck-celebrates-50-years-in-music-and-new-christmas-album/


 

GoFundMe for Johnny Harris

November 28, 2018

On this #givingtuesday

I’d like to bring my dear friend, Johnny Harris, in to your hearts.

Our relationship spans all the decades of my professional life and his talents have given incredible magic quality to many wonderfully crafted songs songs that have been privileged to record.  

We always talked about Johnny’s arrangements having everything including the kitchen sink in them.

The bed of strings I request to sing to in an arrangement, was a habit I acquired after working with Johnny.  

To my musician friends and fans of this amazing arranger, music director and composer, could you show him some love and share the post. My band can attest to his gentleman ways and legendary talent as they all worked together while prepping for the 50th Anniversary Tour. It’s always so good to circle back and work with those who helped make it happen!

My sincere thanks for your support and prayers.


https://www.gofundme.com/johnny-harris-quotthe-maestroquot-…


 

Engelbert Humperdinck Live in Hawaii

November 23, 2018

Don’t miss your chance to watch Engelbert Humperdinck Live in Hawaii on PBS starting November 24th. A list of broadcasts by city can be found here. Please check your local listings for exact dates and times. Aloha!

 

On the Scene with Engelbert Humperdinck

November 23, 2018

On the Scene with Engelbert Humperdinck

By John Berger, November 18, 2018 Honolulu Star Advertiser

Americans discovered Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967 when Parrot Records released “Release Me,” a bittersweet request from the singer to someone he no longer loves to “please release me, let me go.” The song reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts and was the start of a career that is continuing more than 50 years later.


The possibility that Hurricane Lane might devastate Honolulu didn’t keep Humperdinck, 82, from appearing as promised for two shows at the Hawaii Theatre in August. The shows were filmed for a PBS holiday special, “Engelbert Humperdinck in Hawaii,” which premieres at 7 p.m. Saturday on PBS Hawaii.


Going back to the beginning, did you expect “Release Me” was going to be a hit?

You expect things to happen, but (“Release Me”) sat down for three months on a shelf and it didn’t move. Then all of a sudden my manager got a phone call to say, “Is he available to do (TV show) ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium?’ ” I sang “Release Me,” and the next day — bingo! Can you believe what that song did for me? It gave me a global career.


How did you meet Elvis Presley?

He came to see my show at the Riviera (in Las Vegas) and he came in done up to the nines — he was wearing his cape and everything. Of course I found out he was in (the room) and I was very nervous. I introduced him, he stood up on the table and opened his cape, and the audience went berserk for 10 minutes. I’m not joking. He stopped the show for 10 minutes! But afterward we became great friends. He taught me stagecraft, humility and not to take yourself too seriously.


What can you tell me about the show we’re going to see on PBS Hawaii?

I’ll be singing the standards that people expect me to sing and songs from my new pop album, “The Man I Want to Be.” There’s a song (on the album) written by Bruno Mars, “Just the Way You Are.” I’ve given it a different treatment altogether than he does — nobody can sing it like he does — but I’ve given it a different format, it’s more romantic and a little bit slower.


It is true that Bruno performed for you when he was the world’s youngest Elvis?

Yes it is. Many years ago my fan club had a party here for me and the entertainment was a little 5-year-old boy — Bruno. I said to him then, “Young man, you are going to be a big star” — well, he’s not a big star, he’s a megastar.


You mentioned learning some stagecraft from Elvis. Are there other entertainers who influenced you?

I learned a lot from watching Ray Charles, and Dean Martin. Dean was one of my favorite entertainers. He was another guy who never took himself too seriously.


What else are you doing these days?

I’m making albums — I’m very proud of my new Christmas album, “Warmest Christmas Wishes.” It’s a good album. And I try to stay with my wife as much as possible. She’s not well but she’s making some progress.


Have you ever met any descendants of the other Engelbert Humperdinck — the 19th–century German composer?

No, but I was asked the other day if I wrote (the 19th-century Humperdinck opera) “Hansel und Gretel.” I said, “Are you crazy? You’re talking about something that was written in 1893.”

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2018/11/18/features/on-the-scene/on-the-scene-with-engelbert-humperdinck/?HSA=71b5075d0a6aa84bba7de9bb5f49f61b8197efa7


Darren Paltrowitz Interview with Engelbert

November 23, 2018

 

 

Engelbert Humperdinck is a legendary singer with a career spanning almost 50 years. He has generated sales in excess of 140 million records -- including 64 gold albums and 23 platinum -- and 4 Grammy nominations. His latest album is Warmest Christmas Wishes.

 

Interview starts at 13:08


 

 

 

 

 

TJ Lubinky Interviews Engelbert

November 21, 2018

Get in the holiday mood with Diana Ross, John Legend, more

November 20, 2018

By The Associated Press

Engelbert Humperdinck, “Warmest Christmas Wishes” (OK! Good Records)

Engelbert Humperdinck seems like a natural choice for frequent collections of Christmas songs, but “Warmest Christmas Wishes” is his first in nearly four decades.

Last year’s “The Man I Want to Be” showed the now 82-year-old singing with gusto and updating his repertoire with songs from Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. Here he doesn’t come so near to the present, covering Chris Rea’s “Driving Home for Christmas” and Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Christmas Song (I’m Not Dreaming of a White Christmas)” and the arrangements stay close to the “holidays with strings” sort.

Also on board are Frank Loesser’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” as well as “O Tannenbaum,” in a bilingual German-English version.


The German influence continues with “Leise rieselt der Schnee,” which also gets a separate, English-language adaptation — “Silently Falls the Snow.” The album also includes Austrian evergreen “Still, Still, Still” (in English only) and some original compositions like “A Christmas for the Family.”

Humperdinck’s album radiates calm, so it’s probably best played when soothing sounds are most appreciated, not, for example, when the children are tearing the wrapping paper off their gifts. On second thought, maybe that’s exactly when it could be most effective.

— Pablo Gorondi (twitter.com/PabloGorondi)

https://apnews.com/5b0fcdf5963c468a8feaca147c60de75


 

Engelbert Humperdinck coming to Montreal

November 13, 2018


Engelbert Humperdinck never wanted to be a singer. A career in music, yes, but he was extraordinarily shy. The youngest boy of a family of ten children originally from Leicester, England, he grew up in Madras, India, where his father was stationed during World War II. Engelbert’s childhood was dominated by the love of his parents and his brothers and sisters. He knew he could sing harmonies, but the power of his own voice came as a surprise to him and other people. “It’s just so loud, but I discovered I can be tender with it at the same time.”

Like all great icons, he is a man of great depth – masculine and loving, shy inside and uninhibited onstage, prepared to play the sex god to the hilt and still, at this stage of his career, managing to get away with it. “My mother’s side of the family had the signing voice so I must have inherited that from her. My father was a man’s man – strong, athletic, charismatic. And I like to do all kind of men things. I love sports, golf, tennis martial arts, soccer, skiing, but at the same time, yes I do appreciate women.”

In a career spanning almost 50 years, Engelbert has generated sales in excess of 140 million records, including 64 gold albums and 35 platinum, four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe, and stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Las Vegas Walk of Fame, and Leicester Walk of Fame. He has performed for the Queen four times, several presidents and many heads of state. He has recorded everything from the most romantic ballads to movie theme songs, disco, rock, and even gospel. His unique voice has charmed millions of fans around the globe. However, it’s not just the voice, but the man himself, with his endearing sense of humor and self-deprecating jokes. Engelbert has managed to strike a new chord with a younger generation after appearing on MTV several times.

Engelbert entered the world as Arnold George Dorsey. At the age of 11, he started studying music and playing the saxophone. When he was 17, Engelbert found himself playing at a pub that sponsored a singing contest. Goaded by his friends to enter, he put down his sax and for the first time revealed another vocal talent: impersonations. Arnold George Dorsey gave an incredible impersonation comedian of Jerry Lewis – and was quickly dubbed Gerry Dorsey by his fans. It soon became his professional stage name.

Gerry Dorsey was very popular on the UK music circuit and in 1959 he released a single called, “Crazybells/ Mister Music Man” on Decca Records. However, he contracted tuberculosis, which silenced him for six months and nearly ended his rising music career. Upon regaining his health, Gerry Dorsey knew he had to end his former image to make a comeback as a strong, dynamic performer. A former manager suggested the new name, Engelbert Humperdinck, taken from the Austrian composer who wrote Hansel and Gretel. It was outrageous enough to be memorable. And thus was born the soon-to-be legend, Engelbert Humperdinck.

 

Engelbert exploded on to the music scene in the sixties with The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. His sixties did not so much swing as rage. The shy handsome boy catapulted almost instantly to world icon. He became great friends with Elvis Presley and the two legends often performed each other’s songs. His first single in the charts was “Release Me,” which went into the Guinness Book of Records for achieving 56 consecutive weeks on the charts. It was No. 1 in 11 countries. The song was re-released after being used for a UK national television commercial for John Smith’s beer.

The following decades saw Engelbert touring the world to sell-out crowds. Engelbert seems to take great pleasure in every moment on stage, a place where he can lose his inhibitions and no longer be the child who was once shy. Engelbert’s music has transcended time and his voice still continues to reach out to people now serving to transport and inspire, to embrace and to provoke feelings and emotions…ingredients that are no doubt the essence of his long-lasting success.

http://mtltimes.ca/Montreal/entertainment/musics/engelbert-humperdinck-coming-to-montreal/


 

 

Engelbert Humperdinck is convinced that with his help his beloved Patricia is getting better

November 11, 2018

By LINA DAS FOR WEEKEND

PUBLISHED: 17:31 EST, 9 November 2018 | UPDATED: 04:55 EST, 10 November 2018, DAILY MAIL

A career spanning more than 50 years, record sales of more than 150 million and friendships with legends such as Elvis Presley and Dean Martin might be accomplishment enough for most people.

But Engelbert Humperdinck, purveyor of classics such as Release Me and The Last Waltz, has yet another, rather surprising string to his bow.

He chanced upon it several years ago while on tour in Germany.

Suffering from a viral infection that he hadn’t been able to shake for over four months, Engelbert visited an iridologist – an alternative therapist claiming to diagnose health problems by studying the eye’s iris – who cured him within two weeks.

‘He then said to me, “You have healing powers”, so of course I just laughed at him,’ says Engelbert.

‘But he insisted I had an aura. So I pray over people and sometimes it works.

‘There was a lady in Leicester who had cancer and came to see me for treatments.

'She’d been given about six weeks to live, but she lived another nine years, so maybe I’m part-ly responsible.

'Another guy I knew had Bell’s palsy [a type of facial paralysis] and his mouth was up here,’ he says, pulling his lip upwards.

‘I prayed for him and within three minutes his lip came down. People think I’m crazy, but I don’t care. If I can help somebody in any way, that’s fine by me.’

Engelbert, or ‘Enge, as in Stonehenge’, is himself looking in fine fettle.

Now 82, he could pass for a good couple of decades younger, courtesy of that trademark lushly coiffed hair (‘I’ve been dyeing it since my 20s, but it’s still all mine,’ he says, giving it a sharp tug) and a newly-honed physique.

He has a new Christmas album coming out, ‘and I also recently filmed a special in Hawaii, so I decided to lose some weight.

'I’ve been drinking shakes, working out in my gym and spending half an hour in my sauna. I’ve lost two stone.

'I also lie on my deck to get a tan, but I don’t use regular suntan lotion – I use a mixture of olive oil and vinegar.

'It makes your skin smooth and darkens you in a real hurry.

'Here, look,’ he says, helpfully ripping open his shirt and displaying an impressively taut, tanned expanse of chest. ‘I’m in good health.’

While Engelbert appears to be in scant need of his own healing powers, he admits that the one person in the world he would most like to help is sadly beyond his reach.

'With any healer, they say that the only person they can’t help is their spouse because they’re too close. I still pray over my wife, though. I do everything I can.’

Just over ten years ago, his wife Patricia, now 79, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and has 24-hour care at the family home in Bel Air, California, where we meet.

The couple have been together for 62 years and have four children. Engelbert’s eyes moisten as he talks about his wife.

‘She’s doing OK considering that she’s had it for the past ten years,’ he says.

‘In fact, she still knows me and knows everybody. Our son Scott came over from Australia a couple of days ago and she called him by his name.

'That’s totally unheard of because after ten years [of Alzheimer’s], nobody can say people’s names like that.

'And when Scott went back to Australia, she cried, so she knows who he is.

‘But we’re doing everything we can to help her. I have acupuncturists see her, as well as my regular doctor, who’s wonderful.

'I also have people from the holistic world and I’ve taken her to see healers. I want her to see everybody because I think it’s important to investigate every avenue.

'Somebody will touch that nerve that will help cure her. That’s what I’m looking for and I’ll search until I find it.’

Although there is no cure as yet for the disease, Engelbert remains touchingly and firmly convinced that his wife’s health will improve.

‘She’ll be back. I know she will,’ he insists.

‘And she’s already shown signs of improvement. Before, if you walked into her room, she’d just stare, but now she’ll turn around and look at you and smile.

'It’s wonderful to see the changes taking place. When the kids come over, she remembers them. And she remembers me.

‘Whenever I go in to see her, she puckers up for a kiss.

'Oh God, she gives me a lovely kiss every time,’ he grins, ‘so I don’t kiss her just once, I kiss her several times to make sure my lips are registered in her mind.

'It’s quite wonderful. But of course I miss her. We’ve been married for 54 years and I miss her in my boudoir.

'I miss holding her at night very much and feeling her presence.’

He first noticed a problem when Patricia started to forget phone numbers, ‘and when we got the diagnosis, it was such a shock’, he says.

‘But right from the start, I wanted to take care of it.

'I heard from a good friend about a doctor in Germany who did stem cell operations, so I took her over there immediately and paid a large amount to have this operation done.

'They said if she had this operation she’d be OK, but it didn’t work.

'This was about eight years ago and I think it was a little early in the stages of stem cell therapy at that point.

'But who knows? Maybe it contributed to her longevity, which I’m thankful for. But she gets good medical attention and as long as I have a breath in my body, I’ll provide that.

‘She doesn’t speak too much,’ he continues, ‘but I think it’s important to talk to her like there is nothing wrong because I know she can still understand.

'I’ll go in to see her and say, “Good morning, my darling”, and sometimes she’ll say, “Good morning” back, and sometimes not.

'But when I say, “How’s my baby?”, she’ll sometimes say, “You’re my baby”, which is wonderful.

'I pick her up and try to hold her. She doesn’t walk very well right now, but she will walk again, I promise you.

'I’m doing everything I can, and I have faith.’

While Engelbert’s optimism is moving, in quieter moments he admits that his wife’s condition can be hard to bear.

‘It is difficult,’ he says. ‘When I’m performing, sometimes a lyric will touch on my personal life and it can be difficult to sing.

'For instance, when I sing How I Love You, I’ll choke up.

'But I think my audience understands and forgives me. My last album, The Man I Want To Be, is really a love letter to my wife.

'I don’t really talk to anyone about her illness and I try to cope as best I can on my own. It is what it is and you just have to take care of your responsibilities.

'A lot of people would have put their wife or husband in a home, but that never crossed my mind.

'But I do miss my wife, our communication,’ he says. ‘It’s lonely at times without her.’

It was love at first sight when the couple met in 1956 at the Palais de Danse in Leicester, where Engelbert grew up (he was born in Madras, India, and moved to Britain aged 11).

Just 20 years of age and then plain old Arnold Dorsey, he was trying to make a name for himself as a singer.

The couple married in 1964 and, a year later, he teamed up with manager Gordon Mills, who also managed Tom Jones.

Mills convinced young Arnold Dorsey to change his name to the much more memorable Engelbert Humperdinck and success shortly followed.

He had a No 1 hit in 1967 with Release Me – notable for spending 56 weeks in the charts and for being the song that prevented The Beatles from attaining their 12th consecutive chart-topper with double A-side Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever – and the couple went from living in a tiny flat in London’s Hammersmith to having a Beatle as their neighbour in a luxurious enclave in Surrey.

‘We had a dog named Cheb,’ he says, ‘and he used to go down to John Lennon’s house and steal the bread from his doorstep.

'John would shout out, “Tell that Humperdinck to get his bloody dog tied up!”’

Elvis was a friend (he even copied Engelbert’s sideburns), as was Dean Martin, who used to rent Engelbert’s Las Vegas home when he was away.

‘I’d come back to the house and find cigarette burns on the furniture,’ he says, ‘but I never said anything because I adored the man.’

While Engelbert continued to enjoy huge worldwide success, by the late 1970s he had severed ties with Gordon Mills.

He now refers to the move as, ‘the worst business decision I ever made, because I didn’t realise I had to give up all my possessions in the company and basically start from scratch again – his lawyers bamboozled me quite a lot’.

It also led to a decades-long feud between Engelbert and Tom Jones, who, says Engelbert, never really forgave him for not staying with Mills.

‘But I’m still here, still working. My walls are covered in gold and platinum albums and maybe it’s because of the amount of albums I’ve sold that he’s got a bee in his bonnet about me.

'Because,’ he says with a grin, ‘I’ve sold double what he’s sold!’

When Tom Jones’s wife of 59 years, Linda, died of cancer two years ago, did Engelbert get in touch? ‘Oh yes, I sent my condolences,’ he says, ‘but I never got a reciprocation.

'But that’s OK. I played my part. And I would shake his hand in a heartbeat.

'It was so sad when Linda died as she was a lovely girl. She was a very dear friend of my wife too.

'Tom likes my wife and my family – he just doesn’t get along with me and I don’t know why because I tried to make up with him many times.

'I hate holding grudges.’

The froideur between the two men exists despite, or perhaps because of, them having more in common than they care to acknowledge: those magnificent voices, the longevity of their careers and, of course, their fondness for women.

Neither has made a secret of the fact that they haven’t always been faithful in their marriages (Engelbert once claimed he’d had ‘more paternity suits than casual suits’) and as he says now, ‘You think the grass is going to be greener, but you find it’s not.

'I think it’s because you only live one life and want to try things out, so you do.

'Yes, I hurt my wife, but my true love has always been where it began.’

He admits that he was never confident about his looks.

‘I was very unsure of myself when I was young and an ugly little beggar with protruding teeth, so I used to lie on them at night to try to straighten them’, and concedes he was, ‘flattered by all the attention I got from women.

'There have been temptations along the way, and if you’re in this business you’re expected to get that sort of thing happening.

'But I’m living a very happy and contented life now.’

Does he still get women throwing their underwear at him on stage? ‘Sometimes. And it was wonderful when it used to happen,’ he admits.

‘I used to have truckloads of them, and after the show I’d give them to memorabilia museums.’

His fan base is still considerable, although it perhaps doesn’t include the voting panel of the Eurovision Song Contest, who placed him second last in the 2012 competition – something that still slightly rankles.

‘Half the performers were not professional,’ he says, ‘and one act was cooking on stage’.

The Russian entry featured six singing grannies who opened their performance by sticking some bread in an oven; they came second.

‘But I was proud to represent my country.’

He still tours, but admits he finds it difficult, ‘because I don’t like to leave my wife.

'As soon as I get to the airport, I’ll call home and ask, “How’s my baby?”, and when I get to the other end I’ll call again.

'I miss taking her to the shows – she used to come until a couple of years ago. But she’ll be back.

'We still have a home in Leicester and I’m hoping my wife will be more capable of travelling next year so that we can spend next Christmas in England.’

It’s a festive time that’s always been important to Engelbert and his latest album, Warmest Christmas Wishes, will be his first Yuletide offering in four decades.

Featuring classics such as Silent Night and White Christmas, as well as hits such as Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas and his pal Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Christmas Song, it is proof that Engelbert’s honeyed vocals, like the man himself, are still going very strong.

Interview over, he shows me into the dining room and offers me ‘some moonshine a friend made for me’ – it almost takes my head off, but has no discernible effect on The Hump, who’s clearly made of sturdy stuff.

‘Oh, I am,’ he says.

‘People always ask me when I’m going to retire, and I say, “What for?” As long as I have a career and a following, why should I stop? The best feeling I get is when I walk on stage. And,’ he adds, ‘I’ll keep going until God calls me.’  

Warmest Christmas Wishes is released on Friday.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6358733/Engelbert-Humperdinck-believes-curing-wifes-Alzheimers.html


 

 

Fabulous Flip Sides Engelbert Humperdinck and Producer Joel Diamond

November 07, 2018

October 26, 2018 Goldmine by Warren Kurtz

We catch up with Engelbert on his two new albums and Joel on his work with Engelbert, Al Martino, Benny Mardones, an upcoming lifetime achievement award, and a special duets project with his wife Rebecca Holden and iconic male vocalists.

Part One – Producer Joel Diamond

GOLDMINE: On November 7, in one of our favorite states, Nevada, you and your wife Rebecca Holden will be in Las Vegas, as you receive your award for Lifetime Achievement Music Producer from Hollywood F.A.M.E. (Film, Art, Music and Entertainment). Congratulations! You certainly have given me a lifetime of music to enjoy with Engelbert Humperdinck, Al Martino and others. You have also had unbelievable success in Europe with the music of someone my wife Donna and I have been amused by in the Sharknado films, David Hasselhoff.  

JOEL DIAMOND: Thank you. Funny that you mention Sharknado. When most people think of David, they say “Knight Rider,” which is true for Rebecca too, where she played the role of April Curtis. For the past five years, Rebecca and I have been working on the Dreams Come True project, featuring her title tune vocal duet with Jon Secada, with the music based on Pachelbel’s “Canon.” It is a unique packaging of the album, with high end jewelry. The album is a flash drive within the pendant and is real classy. Rebecca sings duets with Engelbert, Tony Orlando, Bill Medley, Gary Puckett, Jack Jones, Little Anthony, Tommy James, Trini Lopez, David Clayton-Thomas, Robert Tepper, Benny Mardones and more. It will be available very soon.

GM: Rebecca isn’t the only female singer you have worked with over the years. Both sides of Helen Reddy’s final U.S. charting single in 1981 from her Play Me Out album are so different and entertaining. “I Can’t Say Goodbye to You” is sophisticated and the flip side, “Let’s Just Stay Home Tonight,” with Charlie Calello’s arrangement, is a fun dance number, reflective of the late ‘70s sound. The following year we began hearing one of my favorite female singers from the ‘80s, Laura Branigan. What class and power. I was so sad when she passed away in 2004.

JD: I was heartbroken too. She was just magnificent. We recorded a song that she had written early on called “Memories.” We also recorded “A Much, Much Greater Love,” which made our Love Songs compiliation CD.

GM: That compiliation begins with Benny Mardones’ 1989 second hit version of “Into the Night.” When I was selling records at Peaches in 1978, while in college in Cleveland, we were rooting for Benny, a Cleveland native. We loved the first song on his 1978 Thank God For Girls album, “All For a Reason,” and we carried the single version of it too, where they kept the five minute length of the song. The female background vocals were so strong. On the album cover Benny was wearing a shirt with a label of “The King 1935,” as a tribute to Elvis. We played side one as often as we could, but sales were slim and radio play was pretty nonexistant. Then, in the summer of 1980, after my wife Donna and I had moved from Cleveland to Dallas, we finally heard Benny on the radio with “Into the Night.” I have also been enjoying your new sophisticated “Re-Recorded 3rdTime – Official Video – Producer’s Cut” version online.

JD: In 1969 I was new at Mercury. Benny got off of the bus, came to my office and said “I want to sing for you.” I knew right away that he had potential. I have enjoyed working with him throughout his career. At the end of the ‘80s DJ Scott Shannon had a nightly “One Hit Wonders” radio show. Even though “Into the Night” reached No. 11 in 1980, a lot of people still hadn’t heard it, maybe these were younger listeners, who missed it at the beginning of the decade. The switchboard lit up with requests for “Into the Night.” There were record label sniffers interested, after they found out about this resurgence. I called Mike Curb to record a second version of the song. “Into the Night” became a hit for a second time in 1989. Now there is the new recording with a great arrangement by Ted Perlman. Wouldn’t it be something for the song to be a hit for the third time?

 

GM: Going back to 1978 again, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Al Martino’s The Next Hundred Years album featuring the title tune, his final Top 100 charting single. It’s flip side was a gentle version of “After the Lovin’,” which you helped to make a hit the prior year with Engelbert.

JD: Half of the songs on the album are written by a pair of my favorite writers Alan Bernstein and Richie Adams, including both sides of that single. You can hear the use of female background singers prominently on “The Next Hundred Years,” as I had done on Engelbert’s recordings. Linda November is a great singer and she would bring a group of other singers with her. For the flip side, I used a music box sound at the beginning and the end of “After the Lovin’” after asking myself, “What can I do differently versus the Engelbert version?”

GM: The second single from the album was another pair of favorites of mine “One Last Time” / “Here I Go Again.”

JD: The A side was written by the Addrisi brothers. I am still in touch with Richard Addrisi. They were known primarily as the writers of “Never My Love” for The Association in the ‘60s. In the early ‘70s I took them to Clive Davis at Columbia and he was convinced to sign them to the label. Their love song “You Make It All Worthwhile” was the intended hit until a DJ flipped the single over and “We’ve Got To Get it On Again” became a Top 40 hit for them in ’72. Getting back to Al Martino’s  flip side, he loved the flip side of “One Last Time,” another Bernstein and Adams song, “Here I Go Again.”

GM: Another of their compostions that I think is so strong on the album is “Kentucky Mornin’.”

JD: That is a beauty and I thought it had potential too.

GM: The album concludes powerfully with “A Song For Lovers,” which you also included on your Love Songs CD.

JD: The song gets really big at the end, as the album’s finale. I told the legendary engineer Bob Clearmountain, “Bob, we need a really big sound.” We had a live forty piece orchestra on the album and I spotted a tympani. I wheeled the instrument into the hallway, where there was an echo. Drumsticks wouldn’t cut it for what I wanted. It was raining that day and I saw an umbrella. So my suggestion was, at the end, smash the tympani with the handle of the umbrella, and it worked, fortunately, for the big finish. This album experience was certainly new for Al. Harold Wheeler was the arranger, who had a Top 10 club hit with his version of “Baby Face” and went on as the band leader for “Dancing with the Stars” for sixteen seasons. The album turned out wonderfully and I am still in touch with Al’s wife and daughter.

 

GM: When I interviewed Engelbert last year, we covered songs from the ‘70s After the Lovin’ and Last of the Romanticsalbums. As we close, can we talk about a couple of these songs, too? “Let Me Happen to You,” “The Hungry Years” and “Love Me Tender.”

JD: “Let Me Happen to You” was written by Bobby Eli from Philadelphia, part of the MFSB group. “The Hungry Years” was written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. Howie invited me to dinner and asked if Engelbert would sing it, which he did so powerfully. On the After the Lovin’ album, Engelbert also had an early version of “Can’t Smile Without You” before Barry Manilow, and then somebody in Barry’s camp heard it and, well, what a hit Barry made of it. On the Last of the Romanticsalbum, Engelbert’s version of “Love Me Tender” is absolutely beautiful. I met Priscilla Presley recently and I’ll have to send her a version of this song that Elvis co-wrote. Another one from that album, and on Al’s album too, is “Sweet Marjorine,” written by Arnold Capianelli and Robert O’Connor, my original partners from ’68. Thank you for covering so much of my productions and Engelbert’s work too.

Part Two – Engelbert Humperdinck

GOLDMINE: Last year we covered fifty years of your music in our interview including a couple of new songs. Since then you have released two more albums, let’s start with the album The Man I Want to Be.  

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK: I dedicate the album to my wife Patricia. We have been married 54 years. Our granddaughter Olivia, who is a great singer, and I am not just saying that as a proud grandpa, sings with me on “I’m Glad I Danced with You,” which was written by my daughter and son-in-law. I specifically want to dedicate “Just Like the First Time” to Patricia.

GM: A love song I was pleasantly surprised to be included, and one that fits you so perfectly, is Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are.” Our daughter Brianna and I saw him in concert. That was exciting.

EH: Last year we talked about Elvis with his recording of my “Release Me” and my recording of his “Love Me Tender.” Well, there is a Bruno Mars and Elvis story too. Decades ago, I was in Hawaii and my fan club president set up a special night where a 5 year old boy performed Elvis songs, dressed like a little Elvis. It was Bruno Mars. Even at 5 he had amazing energy and was a great young showman.

GM: Your new album opens with “Absolute Beginner,” with almost a country sound that we might hear from Tim McGraw.

EH: Isn’t that a great song? After people get familiar with the album, I am thinking of using it as an opening song for my concerts as a great beginning number.

GM: Continuing with a slight country sound on the next track, reminding me in theme of Kenny Rogers’ “She Believes in Me,” is the album’s title tune, “The Man I Want to Be.”

EH: Jon Allen is always such a talented writer and he certainly came through on that song.

GM: My favorite song is “How Can You Live with Yourself.” I didn’t know this one even though I sure recognize the writers’ names.

EH: That is a song that the producer Jurgen Korduletsch found. It is written by Richard Marx and Fee Waybill of The Tubes. Richard Marx sent me a very nice note of thanks for including it in the album.

GM: After the first ten songs, there is a section of three show favorites, of which I am least familiar with “Welcome to My World.” I know Jim Reeves had a country hit with it in the ‘60s and that your friends Dean Martin and Elvis also recorded versions of it.

EH: Yes, the set begins with “Crazy,” a great Willie Nelson version that people know by him and Patsy Cline, too. Then it moves to “On Broadway,” another great song that has been a hit multiple times, before ending with “Welcome to My World.”

 

GM: In our interview last year, you mentioned your Christmas Tyme album, with Linda November as a key background vocalist. Now you have released Warmest Christmas Wishes. I love the waltz “Around the Christmas Tree.”

EH: That is a great song, I hope it has potential for a new standard.

GM: “A Christmas For the Family” is fun and bouncy, reminding me of a song you would hear on a Christmas special. In 1971, Bing Crosby released the Chrismas single “A Time to Be Jolly,” and this new song puts a similar smile on my face.

EH: That one is written by Jurgen. He approached me with it and I think it fits nicely on the album.

GM: There is the imagery of “Driving Home for Christmas,” bringing a cozy feeling like Perry Como’s “Home for the Holidays.”

EH: I love it. You see people driving to their holiday destinations, tapping on the steering wheel, and I wonder what they are listening to. Is it the same song playing in my car?

GM: Finally, there are a pair of classic Christmas songs that truly shine on this new collection. “Still Still Still” is one I seldom hear but love. I was first introduced to this 1811 carol by the folk trio Trifolkal. Your blending with the choir on “Silent Night” is incredible. What a wonderful new recording of that classic.

EH: Both are very European in style. I had known music director Jeff Sturges since working with him in 1973. He created this great arrangement and recently passed away, leaving this behind for us to enjoy and celebrate his talent.

 

GM: Both albums will certainly please fans. Have a wonderful time with all your upcoming concerts.

EH: Thank you. I hope to see you there.

 

http://www.goldminemag.com/articles/fabulous-flip-sides/fabulous-flip-sides-engelbert-humperdinck-and-producer-joel-diamond

 

 

 

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Discography

Warmest Christmas WishesWarmest Christmas Wishes
The Complete Decca Studio AlbumsThe Complete Decca Studio Albums
Engelbert Humperdinck - 50Engelbert Humperdinck - 50
Christmas CDChristmas CD
Runaway CountryRunaway Country
Engelbert CallingEngelbert Calling
ReleasedReleased
We Made It Happen/SweetheartWe Made It Happen/Sweetheart
My Love/King of HeartsMy Love/King of Hearts
Legacy of Love Disc 2Legacy of Love Disc 2
Legacy of Love Disc 1Legacy of Love Disc 1
The Winding Road The Winding Road
An Introduction to Engelbert HumperdinckAn Introduction to Engelbert Humperdinck
Totally Amazing Totally Amazing
Best of Engelbert Humperdinck: The Millenium CollectionBest of Engelbert Humperdinck: The Millenium Collection
GoldGold
Let There Be Love Let There Be Love
Love Songs and BalladsLove Songs and Ballads
His Greatest Love Songs His Greatest Love Songs
Release MeRelease Me
Always Hear the Harmony: The Gospel Sessions Always Hear the Harmony: The Gospel Sessions
Engelbert Humperdinck Live Engelbert Humperdinck Live
Definition of Love Definition of Love
You Belong to My Heart You Belong to My Heart
Love is the Reason [DM]Love is the Reason [DM]
Red Sails in the Sunset Red Sails in the Sunset
I Want to Wake Up With You I Want to Wake Up With You
It’s All in the Game It’s All in the Game
Original Gold Vol. 2Original Gold Vol. 2
Original Gold Vol. 1Original Gold Vol. 1
Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck & the Royal Philharmonic OrchestraEvening with Engelbert Humperdinck & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
An Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck An Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck
#1 Love Songs of All Time#1 Love Songs of All Time
At His Very BestAt His Very Best
The Engelbert Humperdinck Collection The Engelbert Humperdinck Collection
Live at the Royal Albert HallLive at the Royal Albert Hall
In the Still of the Night: 20 Beautiful Love SongsIn the Still of the Night: 20 Beautiful Love Songs
Dance Album [Bonus Track]Dance Album [Bonus Track]
The Best of Engelbert Humperdinck Live The Best of Engelbert Humperdinck Live
Merry Christmas with Engelbert HumperdinckMerry Christmas with Engelbert Humperdinck
Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck 2 [Live] Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck 2 [Live]
Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck 1 [Live]Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck 1 [Live]
The Dance AlbumThe Dance Album
16 Most Requested Songs16 Most Requested Songs
From the HeartFrom the Heart
FeelingsFeelings
Live in JapanLive in Japan
After DarkAfter Dark
You are So BeautifulYou are So Beautiful
Sings BalladsSings Ballads
The Magic of ChristmasThe Magic of Christmas
Magic NightMagic Night
Engelbert Humperdinck Sings the ClassicsEngelbert Humperdinck Sings the Classics
Love UnchainedLove Unchained
Christmas EveChristmas Eve
Engelbert I Love YouEngelbert I Love You
Step into My LifeStep into My Life
An Evening with Engelbert HumperdinckAn Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck
Yours: Quiereme MuchoYours: Quiereme Mucho
YoursYours
Hello Out ThereHello Out There
Engelbert Heart of GoldEngelbert Heart of Gold
Step into My LifeStep into My Life
Love is the ReasonLove is the Reason
Live in Concert/All of MeLive in Concert/All of Me
Remember I Love YouRemember I Love You
Getting SentimentalGetting Sentimental
You and Your LoverYou and Your Lover
Misty BlueMisty Blue
Don't You Love Me Anymore?Don't You Love Me Anymore?
A Merry Christmas with Engelbert HumperdinckA Merry Christmas with Engelbert Humperdinck
Love’s Only LoveLove’s Only Love
Engelbert Sings the HitsEngelbert Sings the Hits
This Moment in TimeThis Moment in Time
Love LettersLove Letters
The Last of the RomanticsThe Last of the Romantics
A Time For UsA Time For Us
Engelbert Sings For YouEngelbert Sings For You
Christmas TymeChristmas Tyme
MiraclesMiracles
After the Lovin’After the Lovin’
The World of Engelbert HumperdinckThe World of Engelbert Humperdinck
Engelbert Humperdinck His Greatest HitsEngelbert Humperdinck His Greatest Hits
My LoveMy Love
Engelbert King of HeartsEngelbert King of Hearts
In TimeIn Time
Live at the Riviera Las VegasLive at the Riviera Las Vegas
Another Time, Another PlaceAnother Time, Another Place
SweetheartSweetheart
We Made It HappenWe Made It Happen
Engelbert HumperdinckEngelbert Humperdinck
EngelbertEngelbert
A Man Without LoveA Man Without Love
Last WaltzLast Waltz
Release MeRelease Me