BWW Interviews: Iconic Singer ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK To Appear at the Saban, 2/20
Remember when English-born pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck (born Arnold George Dorsey) became a huge international sensation in the 60s after his number one hit "Release Me" followed by "There Goes My Everything"? His handsome looks and laid-back style made him ever so popular with female fans. Well, he's still singing with a new album of duets called ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK CALLING, and he will be appearing for one night only at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills February 20.
With so many duet albums on the market today, why did you decide to do one as well?
WHEN I FIRST STARTED RECORDING THIS CD (OVER 2 YEARS AGO) THERE WEREN'T AS MANY DUET CDS BEING RELEASED. IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYONE DECIDED TO RECORD DUETS AT THE SAME TIME. I THINK THE PUBLIC ENJOY LISTENING TO THE VARIETY OF ARTISTS, AND IT BECOMES A BIT OF A COLLECTORS ITEM. MOST ARTISTS WILL ONLY EVER DO ONE (MAYBE TWO) DUETS CD IN THEIR LIFETIME.
You sound amazing and your artists from Elton John to Olivia Newton-John to Dionne Warwick to Johnny Mathis to Il Divo are simply great. Did you have a say in who was chosen? How did you go about choosing these wonderful singers?
MY SON SCOTT (WHO IS ALSO MY MANAGER) AND I SAT DOWN WITH THE RECORD LABEL AND DECIDED WHO TO APPROACH. SCOTT WAS SOLELY INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING THIS PROJECT OFF THE GROUND, AND I THINK HE DID A FANTASTIC JOB.
Is the intent to bring young folks into the pop world of the 60s and 70s? You did include some newer artists that would attract them, but I assume it's to get them into the music of the past. There is so much beautiful music for them to appreciate.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO EXPERIENCE DIFFERENT MUSICAL STYLES FOR ALL GENERATIONS. PERHAPS BEFORE I RECORDED WITH GENE (SIMMONS) MY FANS WEREN'T FAMILIAR WITH HOW GREAT HE WAS...THEY ARE NOW!..AND HOPEFULLY A LITTLE OF THAT WORKS BOTH WAYS.
Who was your inspiration when you were starting out? Your favorite singers? Why?
I'VE ALWAYS LOVED ROMANTIC SONGS..SONGS WITH MEANING AND FEELINGS. I USED TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE LIKE NAT KING COLE AND SAM COOKE AND OF COURSE ELVIS...NOT BAD TEACHERS RIGHT?
Do you have a favorite song from your collection of hits?
THEY ARE ALL SPECIAL TO ME (AND I MEAN THAT). HOWEVER, I WOULD HAVE TO SAY "RELEASE ME" WAS THE SONG THAT REALLY STARTED MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE AND GAVE ME A GLOBAL CAREER
How difficult is it to keep your voice in such great shape? You must be constantly touring and therefore practicing. I remember Debbie Reynolds telling me once that you should never stop practicing if you expect to get it right.
THE VOCAL CHORDS ARE LIKE MOST OTHER MUSCLES THAT NEED TO BE WORKED OUT.DEBBIE IS RIGHT... THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER REST ON YOUR LAURELS BUT TO KEEP CHANGING THE SHOW AND REHEARSING. I STILL GET NERVOUS BEFORE EVERY PERFORMANCE.
Who among the newer crop of singers do you particularly like? Why?
I THINK ED SHEERAN IS FANTASTIC. IN FACT I HAVE JUST PUT HIS SONG "THINKING OUT LOUD" INTO MY SHOW AND IT IS GETTING A HUGE RESPONSE. MY 5 YEAR OLD GRANDDAUGHTER KIKI TAUGHT ME THE LYRICS! CANT BE MUCH NEWER THAN THAT!
What is your overall impression of the way music has changed over the last few decades?
I THINK MUSIC GOES IN CYCLES.THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME GREAT TALENT AROUND AT THE MOMENT.THE IMMEDIATE SUCCESS THAT A LOT OF THE TALENT SHOWS ENABLE YOUNG ARTISTS IS FANTASTIC BUT IT CREATES IMMEDIATE STARDOM ..SOMETIMES IT'S GOOD TO HONE YOUR CRAFT BEFORE THE SUCCESS COMES IN ORDER TO KNOW HOW TO DELIVER AND DEAL WITH IT. I DO LIKE THE SIMPLICITY OF BEING ABLE TO DOWNLOAD SONGS ...AS LONG AS THE WRITERS AND PERFORMERS GET PAID
What else is new in your world?
I'M EXCITED TO LAUNCH MY JEWELRY LINE WITH ZALE MARK JEWELERS ON VALENTINES DAY ALL THE INFO WILL BE ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE.
For ticket information:
February 10, 2015 by Don Grigware Broadway World
Engelbert Humperdinck on romance, plastic surgery
The epitome of an international star, Engelbert Humperdinck splits his time between homes in Los Angeles and Leicester, England. In between, there are concerts almost everywhere: The vocalist visits such countries as Canada, Belgium, Germany and France on his annual tours.
At 78, the British singer sounds just as potent as he did on such made-for-Vegas ballads as "A Man Without Love" and "After the Lovin'." He still has enough clout to attract such names as Elton John, Il Divo, Luis Fonsi and Wynonna Judd for "Engelbert Calling," a duets album released last year.
Humperdinck, who will visit the Valley for a Valentine's Day concert, called to talk about his career, his marriage and the art of aging gracefully.
Question: On Valentine's Day you're going to be working here. Are you always booked on the holiday?
Answer: It seems that way. They've always made me work on Valentine's Day. It seems a day to promote romance, and being deemed the king of romance, I guess they decided it's a date I should work on.
Q: You've been married 50 years. Does it annoy your wife?
A: (Laughing) Not really. She understands that it's a day for the general public. Of course, I give her things for Valentine's Day. I send her flowers when I'm not here, or a wonderful note.
Q: So the romantic image is not just a facade?
A: I don't think you can act an image for 48 years. It's either there or it's not, and then you're a fake. I do enjoy being romantic, and when I'm home, we try to be together as much as possible. I'm on the road so much, I like home life and so does she. We're homebodies.
Q: I don't think everyone realizes how funny your shows are. You really play with that image in concert.
A: I think it's important to have a sense of humor. You have to be able to laugh at yourself. I don't take my image seriously. I make fun of the fact that some people think I'm a romantic figure. I love to smile. I love to laugh. I like to hear jokes. For instance, when I'm on the road, every night I watch "Seinfeld." I find it somewhere. I think it's so funny, and I watch the repeats over and over again.
Q: Another thing about your concerts: Your singing voice sounds the same as it did in the '60s and '70s. Is there a secret?
A: Nothing. I've been very lucky. Usually as you get older, your vibrato slows down and you lose your range. I may have lost about one tone in my range, but the power is still there. My vibrato has never slowed down, but I don't use it much today. I try to keep up with the times, and of the young talent, none of them use a great deal of vibrato.
Q: Do you feel your age?
A: I honestly don't. I've been very fortunate. I came from very good genes. And I haven't been to Beverly Hills getting work done or anything like that. It's all me.
Q: Your new album, "Engelbert Calling," has some great duet partners. How did you get all these people?
A: It came about listening to an Elton John live performance. He talked about being a struggling (songwriter) living in a flat in London, waiting for Engelbert Humperdinck to call and make him a hit. Well, I didn't call then, but I called a couple of years ago and asked if he would join me on a duets album. He was wonderful and said certainly. He was the first person to say yes, and he's like the honeycomb. He brought everybody else to the table with his name.
Q: The album has contemporary artists as wells as peers such as Lulu. That was fun to hear.
A: She's one of my favorite people in the whole world. When "Release Me" came out, she was on the panel of a show called "Jukebox Jury" in England. The record was voted a miss, and the only person who said it was a hit was Lulu. She's been the love of my life for a long time.
Q: True or false: According to Wikipedia, you try to visit a Catholic church in every city you visit.
A: I do. If I'm in a city I haven't been in before, I believe if I go into a church and ask a favor, it will be granted. It's part of my belief and that's what I do.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14.
Where: Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, 5040 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Gila River Reservation.
Details: 800-946-4452, wingilariver.com.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or 602-444-8849. Twitter.com/randy_cordova.
Engelbert Humperdinck — ‘I’ve tried all kinds of music, but my forte is romance’
It’s still one of the most unusual names in show business, but, for Engelbert Humperdinck, it helped turn him into a legend in the international music industry in the past 40 years with more than 150 million records sold. A Las Vegas headliner on and off the Strip for many years, he’s now set for the first time to play the Smith Center for the Performing Arts over Valentine’s Day Weekend.
He’s recorded everything from “Release Me,” “After the Lovin’,” “Spanish Eyes,” the most romantic ballads, to “Lesbian Seagull” for a "Beavis and Butt-head" movie. In the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, leading stars such as The Carpenters and Jimi Hendrix opened for him. And he displaced The Beatles atop the music charts.
His success story, however, might never have been. A battle with tuberculosis silenced him for six months and nearly extinguished his rising star. Many people assumed that his career was finished. Having regained his health, he had to make a comeback, and that was when then-manager Gordon Mills, also Tom Jones’ manager, suggested the new, outrageous but memorable name, the 1911 Austrian composer of “Hansel & Gretel,” Engelbert Humperdinck.
His credits are incredible: a Golden Globe for Entertainer of the Year, 63 gold and 24 platinum records, plus a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One of 10 children, Arnold George Dorsey’s mother taught violin and had an operatic voice.
Born in Madras, India, he moved with his family to Leicester, England, at age 11 when he began to study saxophone. At 17, he entered a singing contest in a local pub north of England. His impersonation of Jerry Lewis won him the name change to Gerry Dorsey. (Incidentally, Jerry still thinks it’s the best impersonation of all time.)
After conquering TB, Gerry became Engelbert, and he started the sideburns and flamboyant leather jumpsuits that Elvis “stole” and made famous. The two legends often performed each other’s songs and kept a lasting friendship right up until Elvis’ death.
Known as “The King of Romance” for his uncanny knack of picking hit songs with the eternal themes of love and romance, Engelbert has completed recording his first duets CD, “Engelbert Calling,” with joint tracks with British pals Sir Elton John, Cliff Richard and Lulu and American friends Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Rogers, Neil Sedaka and KISS star Gene Simmons. He also duets with Flamingo headliner and Aussie friend Olivia Newton-John.
Elton, who headlines at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace, commented: “At 76 years, he is still sounding as good as ever. We had a great time singing together for the album.” It was released last fall. While in Las Vegas, Engelbert will wrap up his debut documentary of his career and concert and never-before-seen home footage for a peek into his everyday life.
My knowledge of Engelbert goes back to his Gerry Dorsey days and our friendship over 30 years when we filmed him for “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” in the lavish Beverly Hills, Calif., house he bought from film legend Jayne Mansfield. I talked at length with him while he was trapped in Florida by the East Coast blizzards as he began preparing for his Feb. 15 Las Vegas performance.
This will be the first time that you’ve performed at the Smith Center?
It will be the first time. It looks like a magnificent place, doesn’t it? There will be a slight change for the Las Vegas audience, but this show is tried and tested around the world. It’s the kind of songs that people, my audience anyways, want to hear. I do mostly my material, but I do stray and do some covers from other people’s music in order to keep it fresh and different. It’s been doing very well. I’m very happy about it.
Of course I have this new material I can work with having the new album, “Engelbert Calling,” the first duets in 80 albums. It’s just magnificent to have been working with all these amazing performers who have legendary backgrounds. People like Elton, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson. Absolutely amazing.
You’ve got a couple of Las Vegas residents in there. Elton John, Olivia Newton-John and regulars like Gene Simmons.
Gene Simmons was amazing. He brought so much fun into the studio. He’s a big man. I’m 6-foot-1, and he stood way above me. I had to stand on my toes to give him a hug. I even joke about him onstage. When he came into the studio, I couldn’t move. His tongue was everywhere.
This album took two years? That’s a real labor of love.
Two years, yes, indeed. It was partially done in London. We started it off in London and recorded all the tracks there, and we went to Europe, New York, South America, London, Las Vegas, Nashville and Los Angeles to finish it with the various stars. It went around the world quite a bit.
You also recorded this extraordinary single “All Together Now” by The Peace Collective.
If you go back in time about 100 years ago to World War 1 on Dec. 24, the Brits and Germans put down their arms for the day and sang “Silent Night” together, and they exchanged gifts in a “no man’s land.” They got out of the trenches, they shook hands, hugged each other, danced around, played football, and afterward the whistle was blown, and they had to go back to their trenches to start the war again. It just goes to show, these people really don’t want to fight with each other if they could play ball for one day and be friends.
They were actually shooting at each other on Dec. 23, took a day off and then went back to shooting each other Dec. 25? Amazing. I didn’t know this story.
It’s a lovely, lovely story. If you see the film “War Horse,” you get to see where I’m coming from with the song and the music for charity, which commemorates those troops who had one day of peace. The charity is The Peace Collective, and it’s for The Red Cross.
It’s nice raising money for these wonderful charities. Stars like Julian Lennon and Mick Taylor, we all got together to do a recording project that raised money for The Peace Collective. The song “All Together Now” made it to No. 1 on the charts, which is wonderful.
It’s open to the world to download so that we keep raising money for it. When I was there in England doing the track, I got to see The Queen again after 40 years or so. I took my daughter there, and it was wonderful to be in the palace with Prince Phillip again. I enjoyed it very much. My daughter enjoyed it.
With the Smith Center visit being part of your new North American tour, how many years have you been out on the road?
Actually, “Release Me” was 48 years old on Jan. 13, so this year marks 48 years. It was “Release Me” that put me on the road, so I say 48 years. It’s just unbelievable where the time goes.
That’s half a century. Do you spend enough time with your feet up on the couch so that you don’t resent travel, travel, travel?
It’s tough, the traveling. I used to do, somewhere in the region when Las Vegas was alive and when all the massive entertainers were headliners over there, two shows a night for a month in a row. It was 300 shows a year for a person like myself. Now I still do some worldwide tours but keep it to about 90.
So you’ve cut back a little bit to enjoy life at this stage?
I think that I deserve it! I’ve been really fortunate with my sales of records during my vocal career. It’s 150 million or so. Add in singles, and it’s a lot, lot more. It’s been a great journey, and I hope it never ends. This new duet album has given it a kick-start to a new life again.
Do you put it all down to the magic of romance?
I think so, yeah. I’ve tried all kinds of music, but my forte is romance. Good lyrics, good messages and good arrangements that are long-lasting.
I wonder over the years how many marriages you have prompted and how many babies you have started.
Dr. Humperdinck. By the way, I am a doctor, a doctor of music. Anyway, yeah, I have I guess helped a lot of marriages along the way because people talk to me. They say, “You know, after that song, it was the history of how we got married and had children.”
Romance never dies. I’ll tell you a wonderful story about my music. People love it, and they accept it. One man told me he had a Ferrari, and he said, “When I die, I want to be buried in my Ferrari with ‘Release Me’ playing as I’m lowered into my grave.” And his family fulfilled his request and did it. Unbelievable.
That’s got to be the most unusual music story I’ve ever heard. Do you still get underwear thrown at you?
Oh, yeah, it comes now and again for people who are looking for recognition, that sort of thing. It’s something that’s been going on for the last 48 years. I don’t think it will ever end. It’s just a continuation of something that started years ago.
Is it the music that keeps you young? Is it the profession itself that keeps you young? You’re happily married to your wife, Patricia, for 50 years and have four children and nine grandchildren. What keeps you young and romantic?
People say I’m a romantic, and I suppose I have to be because I don’t suppose you can be an actor or act being a romantic for that number of years. You can do it for a while, but you can’t fool the public all the time. You have to have a great memory to be a liar, and I’m not a liar. So I like to be the person who does things real. Yes, I am a romantic.
When were you last in Las Vegas doing a monthlong run of headliner shows?
In the ’80s. My early Las Vegas career was so magnificent. On my first visit, I wound up at the Riviera and met Dean Martin. Dean took a shine to me right from the get-go, and he signed me up to that hotel putting his name on the marquee, “Dean Martin presents Engelbert Humperdinck.” He never did it with any other artist that appeared there. I thought that was magnificent.
As we went on, we became good friends — it was a great relationship. I went on his show several times. He even let The Gold Diggers travel with me as my opening act. Dean used to rent my home, he used to stay in my home in Las Vegas. I’ve continued to come in for weekend shows at the Orleans over the years.
It’s been a long journey from the early days in Leicester and London. Any regrets about it changing your life entirely?
I have no regrets, no. Just a couple like when Gordon, my manager, died. There wasn’t a person to hold up as good as he did as a manager, and I had quite a few not-so-good managers along the way. My son Scott right now is managing me. He’s doing a fabulous job being that he knows me so well, and he understands my music.
He’s very good and has a very good ear for music. So when we’re choosing songs for the show, he’s very instrumental in choosing songs with me, and I’m very happy with that. I need his help.
When do you finish wrapping up the documentary of your career and life?
It will be finished actually when I come to Las Vegas. It’s going to be finished over there. It’s taken a whole year. You’re going to be seeing things that have never been seen before on film. There are backstories that nobody knows about. It’s going to be nice exposure. A lot of good things are happening in my life right now. We have a jewelry line coming to market that’s going to be fantastic.
But I’m really looking forward to bringing this legacy of love to the Smith Center for Valentine’s Day Weekend.
Engelbert Humperdinck plays the Smith Center on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
By Robin Leach, Las Vegas Sun
Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 | 2 a.m.
Engelbert: Love Makes His World Go Round
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and thouisands of people planning to spend it in Las Vegas just can’t get over The Hump.
Nor will they have to. That’s because we’re referring to Engelbert Hunperdinck, the legendary artist long ago given the moniker “The King of Romance,” who will be appearing in the 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in the city on Sunday, February 15th. The perfect Valentine’s Day weekend “date,” he’s handsome, sexy, and has a great personality. But can he “cook?” Audiences will see for themselves that after 48 years in show business, he still sizzles on the stage as he serves up romantic reverie -- both before and “After The Lovin’.”
“Show business is in my blood,” says the youthful, dynamic entertainer, talking about what keeps him going and going and going. “I love to entertain. I love to sing. I love portraying something on stage. I am a ‘thespian of song’ – I love that expression. I get fired up when I walk out on stage. The audience charges my batteries and sometimes I overflow with energy when the crowd is overly enthusiastic. And no matter how tired I am, the audience can pick me right up.
“After all these years, I haven’t lost my enthusiasm,” he adds. “Even when I’m at home, I’ll call up Jeff, my arranger, and tell him that we’ve got to fix this and fix that – we’re always fixing to get things right and perfect the show. I am a perfectionist. It takes thought on a daily basis and time to keep the show fresh. There are a lot of repeat people in my audiences. I work on the show on a gradual basis – my shows have been all over the world and they contain the kind of music that people want to hear from me. I change my show here, there, and everywhere and add new things. I just put in a contemporary song that was a massive hit by a singer in England. It’s called ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and I do it with my interpretation. People like it so much that I’m being asked to record it.”
Live performance and an international touring schedule aside, the iconic international superstar couldn’t have more on his plate at the moment. His latest and first-ever duets CD (his 80th), Engelbert Calling, was released in the U.S. on September 30, 2014 and he will soon be unveiling on TV his new upscale jewelry line by Zales Jewelers and a documentary about his life along with doing national TV appearances, including a major interview on the Hallmark network.
In addition, he enjoyed a number one hit in his native England over the holidays as a major voice on a collaborative recording of The Farm’s anti-war anthem, “All Together Now,” to benefit the Red Cross/Red Crescent (the record, consisting of a host of big names in England, beat out Iron Maiden for the number one spot) and had an audience with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace stemming from his role in another British charity that he is a longtime member of.
Engelbert credits Engelbert Calling with giving him new avenues to explore. Renowned for his powerful and versatile vocal ability and possessing a reputation for never resting on his laurels or “phoning in” a performance, the respect that he has garnered from his peers in the industry is reflected in the list of 22 major names on the CD, which was recorded in London, New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Canada, France, and South America.
The artists cross every musical genre from pop to country, rock, soul, classics, and Latin and include Sir Elton John, Gene Simmons, Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Neil Sedaka, Wynonna Judd, Johnny Mathis, Dionne Warwick, Luis Fonsi, Johnny Reid, Charles Aznavour, Il Divo and more. The album’s success in England, where it was first released, even spawned a hit single, “Since I Lost My Baby” with Sir Cliff Richard, which charted at Number 3 and stayed there for several weeks.
“This album gave me the satisfaction, for the first time in my life, to be able to work with legendary artists that I have looked up to and admired all these years,” Engelbert humbly states. “Gene Simmons has been very instrumental in promoting me – he always puts my name in his Tweets. And Elton John has been absolutely magnificent. He has agreed to do anything he’s asked to do to promote the CD. It will take a year of work to promote the album and get it out there the way I want to.”
Part of that promotion, of course, happens during his touring and while he has sailed through nearly five decades with his career never waning, the business today, for almost every entertainer, has become a mass of one-nighters. Engelbert often finds himself on his tour bus or in an airplane traveling between different cities, countries, or time zones following his show.
“The thing about it is that it’s hard to keep my diet on the road – I eat a lot of fast food – and getting proper rest or exercising is also difficult because I’m traveling all night and sleeping late the next day,” he admits. “I do enjoy visiting nice restaurants -- I like Korean, Japanese, and Chinese food and oysters and seafood. I’d love to do Vegas for a couple of months at a time. The city has changed but it stills has its charm. People come here from all over the world and being an international performer, my music is all over the world so there would always be an audience.
“While being in a different place every night has changed some things, my routine before a show hasn’t changed,” he adds. “I do a sound check and a rehearsal then I have an early dinner, which is my sustenance and gives me the energy to explode on stage. Afterwards, I’ll take a 20- to 30- minute nap and then I’ll shower, during which I’ll hum to warm up my vocal chords, and following that, I’ll put on makeup and get dressed. Then I walk out on stage.”
Engelbert says that he is still hard on himself if he is not satisfied with his performance, which he admits is usually due to a sound problem or an issue with the performance of someone in his band. He feels that the most important thing when one is a good artist is to have a good manager and a good agent because they determine the quality of the places an entertainer plays and the things he does.
“Gordon Mills created me from the git-go,” Engelbert acknowledges. “He was my one good manager with maybe one other, Alan Margulies, coming later on. Now I’m being managed by my son Scott, who is doing one heck of a job. He is responsible for a lot of the things that are happening in my life. He got me my record company, Ok! Good Records, and I’m thankful to them for what they are doing for my recording career.”
Surprisingly, the down-to-earth star admits that he is genuinely amazed by how much he has achieved in his life. He comes from a large family (he is the youngest male and second youngest of 10 children) and expresses that he is so glad that his parents, who were very proud of his world-renowned status, got to see his success before they left this world. As for how he has kept his feet on the ground through all his fame, accomplishments, and honors, he relates that when he walks out on stage, he is a celebrity, but offstage he is “a very down-to-earth homebody.”
“I like to play golf and tennis and go water-skiing,” Engelbert relates. “And I have a gym in my home. I like to watch Seinfeld before I go to sleep. It puts my mind at ease and the humor allows me to go to bed with a smile on my face. I also enjoy doing crossword puzzles and writing original quotes and poetry. I do take pride in my appearance – I’ve been coloring my hair since the age of 20 because I can’t afford to walk out on stage with gray hair. I don’t want to look in the mirror and see someone who’s growing old. I want to see someone who is not changing – I want to look at myself the way I did years ago.”
What, then, is the one thing that he wants in life after all is said and done?
“Good health,” he responds. “I don’t wish for any material wealth. I just wish for good health so that I can maintain what I’m doing.”
Valentine’s Day and every day, it’s love that makes Engelbert’s world go round.
Published on Thursday, 05 February 2015 21:46
Written by Bobbie Katz, Vegas Insider Daily
Engelbert Humperdinck brings latest tour to Plaza Theatre
After 47 years in the industry, classic English crooner Engelbert Humperdinck says he still gets nervous before each new tour.
"Preparation is hard. It's just getting out there and getting started that makes me nervous," Humperdinck says. "But once I get out there on the road and get one or two shows under my belt, I'll be fine."
In a phone interview from his home in California, Humperdinck said that while he has toured consistently throughout his career — performing 80 to 100 shows, year in and year out — performing live is still the most interesting part of entertainment for him. "It keeps my batteries charged," he said.
Humperdinck, whose tour started Jan. 13 in Corpus Christi, should be fully charged Thursday when he brings his latest tour to Downtown's Plaza Theatre.
With such a long and busy career, you'll have to forgive Humperdinck for not recalling the last time he played in El Paso. One memory of the Sun City did come to mind, however: "I remember going down to Tony Lama's and buying about 50 pairs of boots for me and all my friends."
Born Arnold Dorsey, the man whose fans refer to themselves as "Humperdinckers," has also scored hits with "The Last Waltz," "After the Lovin'" and "A Man Without Love." Younger generations may remember him for "Lesbian Seagull," from the iconic 1990s movie "Beavis and Butthead Do America" soundtrack.
Humperdink, who scored his first of many international hits with 1967's "Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)," recently released a new album of duets, "Engelbert Calling." The album includes collaborations with a diverse collection of artists including Elton John, Willie Nelson and Kiss front-man Gene Simmons.
Humperdinck said he had a lot of fun in the studio with his collaborators, many of whom he called personally to invite to record for the album — hence its title.
"Having Elton in the studio was an exciting experience," Humperdinck said. "He is just the gentleman of all gentleman. He's an amazing artist and he brought so much class in to the studio and made me feel really comfortable. And Gene Simmons from Kiss was amazing in the studio. He brought a lot of pizzazz and was so much fun to be with in the studio."
His latest set list will include a few of the album's songs, which Humperdinck said he performs as "duets" with a little help from technology in the form of pre-recorded vocals and video screens.
Of course, Humperdinck's romantic repertoire has always been a hit with the ladies, and the tour rolls in to town just two days before Valentine's Day. He says that while the female side of his fanbase has remained strong, he has gained many fans from the other side of the gender aisle in recent years.
"I would say when I started off (my audience) was about 90 percent women," he said. "Now it's about 50/50."
Humperdinck chalks that up to his constant drive to stay relevant, reinventing himself and keeping his passion for live performance fresh. He is constantly updating his shows, he said, and each tour is different.
"You have to do things that are challenging, and I love a challenge," he said. "If my car breaks down on the road, I don't call a mechanic to come and repair it — I sell the car!"
Dave Acosta may be reached at 546-6138.
Who: Engelbert Humperdinck
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Plaza Theatre in Downtown
Tickets: All Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, Plaza Theatre box office or 800-745-3000.
By David Acosta / El Paso Times
POSTED: 02/05/2015 11:36:08 PM MST
Humperdinck Celebrates Romance in Chandler
Happily married for 50 years and a purveyor of romantic songs, Engelbert Humperdinck knows full well the meaning of Valentine’s Day.
“I do enjoy a Valentine’s Day and I think it’s a special day,” Humperdinck says during a recent phone interview. “I use it in that respect. I send flowers to my little girl if I’m working—my ‘little girl’ is my wife, by the way. Apart from that, usually I’m away from my wife. I can’t take her to dinner and do normal things.
“I’m not a normal person. I’m in show business.”
He may not be able to spend Valentine’s Day with his family, but he’ll be surrounded by his “cheerleaders,” as he calls his fans, on Saturday, Feb. 14, when he plays Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino in Chandler. He’ll perform evergreen hits like “(Please) Release Me,” “After the Lovin’,” “Spanish Eyes,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Quando, Quando, Quando.” He has sold more than 150 million copies of his 80 albums.
“I think I’ve been very fortunate,” says Humperdinck, 78. “From the get go, I’ve had a great following. My following stayed because it reaches three, four generations. That’s what given me longevity.
“If you have a specific age, they go away from you. If you have all different ages, they stay with you. Plus, I respect my fans and my cheerleaders, my sparkplugs. They are responsible people in the audience. They light the candles wherever I am and keep that audience alight.”
He says he respects his fans and thanks them for giving him such a “great career and great lifetime.”
Recently, Humperdinck celebrated the release of his first duets album, “Engelbert Calling,” which features a slew of special guests ranging from Johnny Mathis to Gene Simmons of KISS.
“To have such distinguished people like Elton John and Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Johnny Mathis...those are some legendary names I never thought I’d have the chance to sing with.
“With technology it was able to happen. Obviously I can’t go to them and they can’t come to me, but I sent the tracks to them, they did it, sent it back to me. I put my voice on we see if it work, if it doesn’t work, you send it back. It’s taken two years. It’s been a labor of love.”
“Engelbert Calling”—produced by Martin Terefe, who also worked with Jason Mraz, James Morrison and KT Tunstall—came together easily after Elton John signed on.
“When I called Elton, I was listening to a live album of his and he said, ‘This song I am about to do, I recorded when I was a struggling artist living in a flat in London with my partner,’” he recalls John saying.
“‘I’m waiting for Engelbert Humperdinck to come along and take my song and make it a hit.’ I didn’t call him then, but I called him in this particular instance and he said, ‘Certainly I’ll do it.’ Once you have Elton, you have the honeycomb. Everyone followed quite easily.”
Simmons, he says, was “unbelievable.”
“He was so funny in the studio,” Humperdinck says. “He’s got a great sense of humor. He walked in and he’s a giant of a man. I’m 6-foot 1, and he’s about 3 or 4 inches taller than me. He has a great sense of humor and brought so much musical talent in the studio. He said to relax and have fun with it. The results are on the record.”
For 2015, Humperdinck is focusing on touring the world to promote the album that he loves.
“I’ll be working until December now on this tour,” he says. “Not only in this country, but around the world. I’m hoping for great, great results for the album and also with the shows.”
Engelbert Humperdinck performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino’s Ovations Showroom, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler. Tickets are $75 to $150. For more information, call (877) 840-0457 or visit http://bit.ly/1wEcD0w.
Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | Feb 4, 2015, noon, Lovin’ Life
Engelbert Humperdinck Will be Joined by a Special Guest for His LA Performance
Engelbert Humperdinck will be having a special supporting act for his performance at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, CA on February 20th. His special supporting act will be his son, Bradley Dorsey. Bradley and his band will open the show by performing songs from his upcoming EP titled “Changed.”
Engelbert was joined by Bradley on his latest album Engelbert Calling. The two performed Cat Steven’s classic “Father and Son.” Fans can only hope that the pair will perform their duet together live February 20th.
Engelbert’s North American tour is in support of his first ever duets album, Engelbert Calling. His latest album is a celebration of his remarkable career, which has spanned nearly five decades. Engelbert Calling features duets with music legends such as Gene Simmons, Willie Nelson, Ron Sexsmith, Elton John, and Olivia Newton-John just to name a few. Engelbert will performing songs off of Engelbert Calling, as well as providing the audience with a virtual duet of “Something About The Way You Look Tonight” with Elton John. For more information about Engelbert’s tour and to purchase tickets, please visit: engelbert.com/tour
Engelbert Calling will be available for purchase at all of Engelbert’s tour dates as well as music retailers nationwide and online from our webstore, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Bandcamp, and Spotify.
Visit Engelbert Humperdinck:
Bradley Dorsey Opening Act for Saban Theatre Show
I am so happy and proud to announce that my son Bradley Dorsey will be the supporting act at my upcoming concert in Beverly Hills at The Saban Theatre on Feb 20th!
Bradley and his band will be playing some songs from his upcoming EP, "Changed"
Here is a clip of our recent duet of the Cat Stevens classic "Father And Son" from the brand new CD "Engelbert Calling"
Engelbert Humperdinck to Play the Fox Theater at Foxwoods
Engelbert Humperdinck will perform at the Fox Theater at Foxwoods in Mashantucket. CT on April 18 at 8 p.m.
The renowned singer has recently released "Engelbert Calling," a recording of duets with artists like Elton John, Olivia Newton John, and Gene Simmons.
The Connecticut show is part of the second leg of a North American tour that begins in Quebec on April 10.
Engelbert Humperdinck began his career in the U.K. scoring several top hits before charting in the U.S. in 1976 with his seminal hit "After The Lovin'." He has over 150 million records sold in his 40-plus year career.
Tickets for the performance are on sale beginning Jan. 16 at 10 a.m. though the Foxwoods Box Office at (800) 200-2882 and online at foxwoods.com. Tickets are priced between $55 and $75.
on January 12, 2015 at 12:04 PM, updated January 12, 2015 at 12:30 PM
Classic Crooner Among Big Names Performing in the Region Saturday
By Glenn Evans firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 4:00 am
Engelbert Humperdinck remains a romantic after nearly a half-century of recording in studios and crooning for audiences.
“No matter what I do, it’s always great for me, but I know live performances are my best, my favorites,” Humperdinck said as he prepared for a tour which will bring him to Shreveport on Saturday. “It’s great to see an audience that I can hold in my hand for an hour and a half, two hours and take them to another world. And it stays in their minds for a week or longer.”
Humperdinck is one of a trio of big names set for live shows in the region on Saturday.
Brian McKnight will bring his contemporary rhythm and blues sound to the Resort Legends Theater in Diamond Jack’s Casino in an 8 p.m. show.
And the Empress of Soul herself, Gladys Knight, will bring her Grammy winning voice to the Winstar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Knight takes the stage at 8 p.m.
Interviewed from his home in California, Humperdinck said the romantic song remains his favorite.
“It was for me from the get-go,” he said. “I got named the King of Romance for them. People still call me that. The songs I sing are romantic songs, and those are what make the world go ‘round.”
That doesn’t mean that singer of classics such as, “Release Me,” and, “Quando, Quando, Quando” is all black-tie and formal. Audiences can expect a relaxed romantic in the Margaritaville Resort Casino.
“I’m going out this time very casual and less tied-up on top,” he said. “They need to see a more relaxed performer instead of one tied up with a bow tie.”
He’ll be singing from his September release, “Engelbert Calling,” as well as classics from a portfolio of 63 gold and 24 platinum records.
The new album is a compilation of duets with fellow legends including Willie Nelson, Elton John and Winona Judd.
“Gene Simmons was amazing in the studio,” Humperdinck said of the KISS front man. “He brought some pizzazz into the studio.”
He stays busy, working in media interviews on a rainy Saturday.
“When the weather is better, I’m out playing golf or riding my Harley,” he said.
He’s revved up for the upcoming tour after enjoying the holidays with visits from his two kids and eight grandchildren. The little ones don’t call him, Engelbert — or even GrandpaDinck.
“Actually, the ones from Australia call me Booma,” he said. “And the one from Nashville calls me, Pa.”
He hopes audiences will call him often.
“It’s the kind of show that I take all over the world,” he said. They’ve got to hear the songs they know well. It’s got to be well-timed, it’s got to be well-lit. I really get a good reaction from the crowds. It’s been a great journey, and I hope it never ends.”
If you go
What: Engelbert Humperdinck in concert
Where: Margaritaville Resort Casino, 777 Margaritaville Way in Bossier City, Louisiana
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $45 to $70
Tickets: Call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or go to www.ticketmaster.com