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Engelbert Humperdinck rides fabulous name to fame

January 24, 2019

By Ed Condran, The Gazette, January 24, 2019

UPDATE: The show has been canceled. If you have purchased tickets, refunds will be available through the point of your purchase.

If you have a name like Engelbert Humperdinck, it helps to have a sense of humor.

The veteran singer, who was born Arnold Dorsey and raised in India and England, didn’t change his name for laughs before music’s British Invasion. Appropriating the unusual moniker from the 19th century German composer who crafted the “Hansel and Gretel” opera, has earned notice and then some.

During an “All in the Family” episode back in the mid-70s, the iconic Archie Bunker, a malaprop master, called the singer “Engelbert What’s His Dink.”

“To hear Archie in all his Bunker bravado say that on prime time, well, I knew I’d made it,” Humperdinck, 82, said by phone from Clearwater, Fla. “Ed Sullivan and Dean Martin messed up my name too, much to the audience’s delight, and we are still talking and laughing about it.”

Yes, the romantic hits “Release Me” and “There Goes My Everything” are a huge part of Humperdinck’s appeal. But he also engages with his audiences. The Gazette is presenting him in concert Sunday (1/27) at the Paramount Theatre, and he said he’s still having a blast onstage more than a half century after making his debut.

“There is still that excitement for live music in a show that has been 52 years in the making,” he said.

It’s a much different world than when Humperdinck started out. Back then, the record industry was strong and love songs were ubiquitous. That’s not so today.

“I don’t know why love is hard to find on the charts,” Humperdinck said. “The Beatles philosophy carries to this generation, ‘All You Need is Love.’”

There’s lots of love in the tunes at Humperdinck’s shows. “After the Lovin,” “The Power of Love” and “Crazy” are just some of the love songs he’s delivered. He has so many choices when selecting from his deep canon.

“Making a set-list is so challenging,” he said. “People relate to different songs and some have been on this ‘Release Me’ road from the beginning, so there are, thankfully, a myriad melodies and memories to choose from for the show. The format stays somewhat the same in dynamics, because it is tried and tested worldwide, but I like to include unexpected gems that take the audience by surprise and take them back to another ‘Moment in Time.’ I also like to find great current love songs and do them my way and pay tribute to the talent of today.”

Humperdinck has been covering such contemporary tunes as Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” and Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are.”

“I was introduced to Ed by my granddaughter Kiki, who kept singing ‘Thinking Out Loud’ to me until I recorded it and sang it onstage,” Humperdinck said. “Apparently Ed’s mum is a big fan and I was flattered to learn that he liked the rendition. I connected with his lyrics on a deeper level.”

When Mars was a kid, he showcased for Humperdinck.

“Having met him when he was just 5, it just made total sense that I should cover him and maybe some of that ‘24 Karat Magic’ (Mars’ album) would rub off on me. What a fantastic entertainer,” he exclaimed.

Damon Albarn of Gorillaz wanted to work with Humperdinck, but his management never let him know about the proposal.

“Missed opportunities by mismanagement is a huge pet peeve of mine,” Humperdinck said. “It wasn’t presented to me personally and it was a big lesson on being more hands-on with offers that come in.”

But Humperdinck is very busy.

“Basically, the suitcases stays by the front door,” he said. “The first four months (of 2019) have little time scheduled for the dry cleaners and resting in my easy chair. I’m testing out my new show and we start the national tour before heading to Australia and Southeast Asia. ...

“I have a lot going on and I like it that way,” he said. “I’ll be in the studio recording a phenomenal new song that sounds like it should be at the end of a Clint Eastwood movie. Now there’s a legend.”





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