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Engelbert Humperdinck to film Christmas special at Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage

November 30, 2021

Brian Blueskye Palm Springs Desert Sun November 29, 2021

It's been a rough year for British crooner Engelbert Humperdinck. 

The 85-year-old singer — known for his takes on songs such as "Release Me" and "The Last Waltz" — and his wife, Patricia Healey, were diagnosed with COVID-19 in early 2020. Healey, who also suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died after being infected. 

But Humperdinck recovered and, as an active user of social media, spent the year sharing stories of his life as well as live performances from home. Earlier this year, he returned to the stage. 

Humperdinck will be stopping by Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. The concert is being filmed for his second annual Christmas special airing at noon Dec. 18 over loopedlive.com

Humperdinck spoke to The Desert Sun about utilizing social media to communicate with fans, his wife's death and surviving COVID-19. The following interview was edited for length and clarity. 

THE DESERT SUN: Lately you've done several Instagram and YouTube videos sharing things about your life and singing some of your classic songs. Is this outlet and communication with your fans something new for you? 

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK: I've been doing that (on Facebook) for quite some time now. This is the only way I could share my life with the rest of the world while we had this pandemic going on. I guess it was very instrumental in keeping me in touch with people and the fans around the world.

Did you have a lot more interaction with your audience than you normally would?

I guess social media brought this about. We created that thing on Facebook called "Tuesday Museday." It was created by my daughter and it was a very clever idea. There's big numbers every every week from people around the world. Of course I share that with Instagram too. This last year and a half has been a very trying year, not only for me, but of course for everybody else too. I had a loss this year, my wife. I lost her in February, and it's been very hard for me. (My wife) was always a person who stood behind me in my career. I don't think she would want me to sit idle and waste whatever life I have, and she would want me to do what I do and love to do, and of course, be in touch with my fans around the world.

You had COVID-19 at the beginning of the year. What was it like for you? 

It was horrible. I had long COVID, and as soon as I got it, my doctor got me on monoclonal antibodies. I think that more or less did a good job of saving me, because having long COVID means that it would have affected me a lot differently. Had I not gotten monoclonal antibodies, it would have been quite horrendous. I'm glad it's all over with and I can sing again, thank god. 

How do you feel being back on stage again? 

I've done nine concerts so far this year, and it's been very successful. When I read my feedback on my Facebook and Instagram, they've been excellent. I'll be traveling to the United Kingdom to do 14 more concerts this year before the tour ends. 

What do you love about performing in the Coachella Valley?

I've always had an amazing time. I look forward to it each time I go there and this is going to be special for me this year, a little different mind you without the lady behind me, but I'm sure we'll get through it and do the right thing.

Do you have plans to record new material? 

I'm in the process of making plans for a new album, but it's going to be a country album this time. It's been a while since I've done country music and that's what's on our program for next year. 

What's your favorite country song?

When I first started in show business, my first hit was a country song called "Release Me," which of course was in the Guinness World Records because it was No. 1 on the charts around the world and it stopped the Beatles from having a No. 1. It has a great history of stuff that happened at that particular time.

Country music packs an emotional punch. There are podcasts telling the stories behind some of the genre's legendary songs and how they were recorded. Do you ever connect with some of the stories behind the ones you record?

Well, my first one has a great story because it was recorded about six times and it was written and released in 1949. Of course, I did it in 1967. It was a hit many times prior to that, especially by Ray Price and he was a great country singer. When he went on stage, he always used to tell his audience, "This song was mine before Engelbert Humperdinck came along and made it heard around the world, but I'm still going to sing it." He always paid me a nice compliment on that score. I've had country songs like "There Goes My Everything" and "Am I That Easy To Forget." Most of my early hits were of a country nature, so I figured all these many years later, I would repeat that performance by recording some country songs.

Has there ever been a song you've wanted to record and couldn't because it didn't sound right or you couldn't get the rights to do it?

I'll be honest with you, there's a story about how I went to Spain and visited Bert Kaempfert's home, and he gave me some songs. He gave me "Spanish Eyes," "Strangers in the Night and "Wonderland by Night." I went back to London and I recorded all three songs, and then my manager (Gordon Mills) said to me, "You can't have 'Strangers in the Night." I said, "Why? I've already recorded it and it's a hit song, Gordon." He said "You can't have it because Sinatra wants it." He had a No. 1 with it if you can believe that. I lost my chance of having another one with "Strangers In the Night"  because I knew it was a hit song when I got it from Bert, but unfortunately Mr. Sinatra was more powerful. His words were more powerful. So, he won the battle.

You can't argue with the "Chairman of the Board."

You can't do that, no. He did a great job on it.

What would you like for the fans to know about this upcoming concert?

My show is trialed and tested around the world. All my standards are chosen very carefully because I know which ones people want to hear, therefore I incorporate them in the show, but I also put a lot of new material in to keep them interested in what I'm doing in the present moment. 

If you go

What: Engelbert Humperdinck

When: 8 p.m., Dec. 4

Where: Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, 32-250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage

Cost: $45 to $65 





Warmest Christmas WishesWarmest Christmas Wishes
The Man I Want to Be The Man I Want to Be
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