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On Stage - The Unionville Times

April 07, 2019

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times, April 6, 2019

 

The singer whose career has flourished for more than a half-century is Engelbert Humperdinck, who will be bringing his “The Angel on My Shoulder Tour” to the American Music Theatre (2425 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, 800-0 648-4102, www.AMTshows.com) on April 7.

In a career spanning 50 years, Humperdinck has earned 64 gold and 35 platinum albums, four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe, and stars on the Hollywood and Las Vegas Walks of Fame.

He has recorded everything from the most romantic ballads to movie theme songs, disco, rock, and even gospel.  Some of the evergreen hits that belong to Engelbert include “After the Lovin’,” “The Last Waltz,” “Spanish Eyes,” “Quando, Quando, Quando,” and the unforgettable “Release Me,” which spent 56 consecutive weeks on the charts.

“The longevity of your career depends on how hard you work,” said Humperdinck, during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon from his home in Los Angeles.

“I’ve always wanted to be in show business, and I’ve maintained it by giving people what they want to hear – going all the way back to songs such as ‘Release Me’ and ‘A Man Without Love.’ I continue to play shows around the world. I just came back from a tour of Australia, Tahiti, New Zealand, Malaysia and Indonesia.”

Ironically, Humperdinck wanted a career in music but never wanted to be a singer.

The youngest boy of a family of 10 children originally from Leicester, England, he grew up in Madras (Chennai), India, where his father was stationed during World War II. He knew he could sing harmonies, but the power of his own voice came as a surprise to him and other people.

According to Humperdinck, “It’s just so loud, but I discovered I can be tender with it at the same time. My mother’s side of the family had the singing 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.”

Humperdinck’s appeal is more than just his voice. It includes his endearing sense of humor and self-deprecating jokes – and his ability to connect with audiences.

At the age of 11, Humperdinck, whose birth name is Arnold George Dorsey, started studying music and playing the saxophone. When he was 17, he was 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. He gave an incredible impersonation of comedian 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 moniker.

The name Engelbert Humperdinck was taken from the Austrian composer who wrote “Hansel and Gretel.” It was outrageous enough to be memorable.

Humperdinck exploded onto the music scene in the 1960s in England along with The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. 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.

“Making a set list for my shows is difficult,” said Humperdinck. “My show has been tried-and-tested. But it’s hard work putting it together.

“I don’t want to sit at home and put my feet up. I’m always doing something. If I’m not riding my motorcycle, I’m playing golf, writing songs or working on the house.

“I used to write songs a lot but not now. I am responsible for my musical arrangements. I make a big judgment on what is going to appeal to the masses. My audience is an unbelievable cross-section – people of all ages from very young to very old. For me, that’s really nice to see.”

Humperdinck’s life has been filled with highlights. One of the most recent had nothing to do with music.

A native of Leicester, England, he has been a life-long fan of Leicester City F.C., a football team in England’s Premier League. In the 2015-2016 season, the Foxes won their first-ever Premiership title. It was a remarkable event considering British bookmakers thought Leicester’s victory was so unlikely that Ladbrokes and William Hill offered odds of 5,000-1 for it at the start of the season.

“That was so great when Leicester won the Premiership,” said Humperdinck. “Being such a fan, it really meant a lot to me. I even had the opportunity to hold the (championship) Cup.”

Video link for Engelbert Humperdinck — https://youtu.be/G6G3L3jOSpU.

The show at the American Music Theatre will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $69.

 


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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