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Engelbert Humperdinck: My latest album is a love letter to my wife

March 02, 2019

By Jane Rocca, March 3, 2019 The Sydney Morning Herald

Occupation Singer. Age 82. Relationship status Married. Best known for His 1967 hit Release Me. Currently Touring Australia.

My mother, Olive, had a wonderful operatic voice and used to make the chandeliers shake when she sang. I am sure I got my powerful singing voice from her. She always said I was the only one of her 10 children – I was the ninth, born in Madras, British India – who took after her, and would always refer to me as "my son, my son" and say it twice. I felt we shared a bond she may not have had with the others – at least that's how it felt to me growing up.

My father, Mervyn Dorsey, was an officer in the British Army and travelled a lot for his work. I knew very early on that I didn't want to follow in his footsteps.

I had seven sisters growing up. Two, Celine and Olga, have now passed, but the rest of us are all still very close. My parents raised us to be loving and supportive of one another, a valuable tradition that we hold on to. We are as close-knit as it gets.

Olga gave me a saxophone when I was 11. I quickly started playing it and bought lessons after doing paper rounds each week. I was very shy but loved to sing with my family.

My career as a singer happened accidentally. It was only after getting a standing ovation after being on stage at a working-man's club as a 17-year-old that I thought maybe this could be a career path for me.

The first song I released, Release Me, stopped the Beatles from having their 13th number one and it is also in the Guinness Book of World Records for selling the most singles in that era. It gave me world recognition.

My sisters were really supportive of me as their brother who reached the pop charts. My family was very proud of my achievement. I have since sold more than 150 million albums.

I have had the honour of working with some incredible women over the years, from Dionne Warwick to Olivia Newton-John. Olivia duets with me on a Shirley Bassey cover, Never, Never, Never, we recorded in 2014. She is a beautiful woman who I have a lot of time for.

I always adored Dusty Springfield. She sang Ain't No Mountain High Enough on my TV show in 1970 – that was lots of fun. I knew her family before she got into the business and invited her to sing with me. I stand by the fact she is one of the best singers I have ever met. Karen Carpenter is another favourite.

My first kiss was actually with my wife, Patricia. It happened before we married, of course. I met her when she was 17 at a dancehall and we've been together ever since.

I never had to worry about female fans getting in the way of my private life because I have been happily married to Patricia since 1964. Being a global star means you do get lots of recognition, but I got married before I became famous and Patricia stood by me through all the years while I was trying to make it.

It's not that hard to ignore the attention of women these days. It was in the beginning, but not any more! Audiences now don't care if I'm married, but when I started out they did care. Women want you to be single and available.

My marriage works because it comes down to a little word called "love". Patricia has been a great asset to me, a great wife and a wonderful mother to our four children.

Our daughter, Louise, is the firstborn child and I'd go as far to say she is the one who leads the family. She is instrumental in keeping my family together and is the matriarch. She's a songwriter who lives in the USA. We also have three sons – Bradley, Scott and Jason.

My latest album, The Man I Want to Be, is a love letter to my wife. It's really about reminiscing about the history between us.

There is a song on the album written by my daughter Louise and her husband called I'm Glad I Danced with You. Their child Olivia, my nine-year-old granddaughter, sings it with me – it's the only duet on the album. It's wonderful to have a grandchild who's drawn to the stage like me. It brings me to tears.

Engelbert Humperdinck is performing at the State Theatre, Sydney, on March 8 and the Palais Theatre, Melbourne, on March 9.





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
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
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
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
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
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
We Made It HappenWe Made It Happen
Engelbert HumperdinckEngelbert Humperdinck
A Man Without LoveA Man Without Love
Last WaltzLast Waltz
Release MeRelease Me