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Engelbert Humperdinck will be 'All About Love' at The Hanover Theatre

August 25, 2023

Richard Duckett Worcester Telegram & Gazette August 25, 2023

When Engelbert Humperdinck brings his "All About Love" tour to The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts on Sept. 27 he'll be all business.

"That's what my business is all about, really," he said of the subject of love during a recent telephone interview. " I find that's the best way for me to go."

Humperdinck, 87, will be returning to The Hanover Theatre, where he performed in 2018 following the release of his "The Man I Want To Be" album, which was dedicated to his wife, Patricia. "It's a love letter to my wife," he said at the time of Patricia, who had Alzheimer's disease and later passed away in 2021.

The iconic English pop singer/balladeer has sung a lot of songs about love in all its manifestations and ups and downs from the time of his first spectacular 1967 hit single "Release Me." That song is about a person who wants to be released from a relationship because they have found someone new to love. "The Last Waltz" which quickly followed to the top of the charts in 1967 is about the singer's first and last dances with the woman he loves. Other hits have included “A Man Without Love,” which was just featured in Marvel’s “Moon Knight” Disney+ Series more than 50 years after it was first released.

'All About Love'

On May 2, to mark his 87th birthday, Humperdinck released his latest album, "All Abut Love." The album includes renditions of Barry White's "You’re The First, The Last, My Everything,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes), “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” (the Bee Gees), and “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (The Manhattans).

"The new album has a country feel to it," Humperdinck noted. All the tracks were recorded in Nashville.

"All About Love" also includes duets sung partially in Spanish with Mexican starLupita Infante on "Bésame Mucho” and “A Man Without Love” with Angelica Maria.

Humperdinck divides his time between homes in California and England. On the album and on the phone he sounds like you would expect Engelbert Humperdinck to sound — smooth, strong, but with undercurrents of vulnerability. He hasn't lost his English accent, and there's no denying the Englishness of remarks such as the album is "doing quite well. People quite like it."

"When it comes to the personal side of love, Humperdinck said "I'm a one-person lover."

'I think about her all the time'

It was obvious that he feels acutely the loss of his wife, Patricia, who died in 2021 at 85 after contracting COVID-19. He met her at a dance hall when she was 17. She had been battling Alzheimer's disease for more than a decade.

The tenor of the whole conversation changes when he talks about her.

"I think about her all the time," he said. Patricia was "an irreplaceable person."

When he performs his repertoire now, "The lyrics and songs have taken on a different sort of feeling. It hits me in a different way. I read the lyrics in a different way. For some reason it hits home," he said.

"It shows in your face, eyes and voice. My interpretations are a lot different now. When you've suffered a blow lyrics take on a different meaning altogether. But life goes on. You want to keep doing it," he said of performing.

"I keep fresh and I keep performing. That's all I think about these days," he said. His mood lightens when he talks about that.

"I love my job. I love the reaction I get (from fans). They're still with me, and I love that and I'm gonna keep doing it," he said.

'Looking forward to coming back'

He's toured "so many theaters" over the years, but asked about The Hanover Theatre he said, "I do remember coming there. I'm looking forward to coming back."

Another veteran singer who made repeat performances at The Hanover Theatre was Tony Bennett, who died earlier this year aged 96. Both Bennett and Humperdinck performed separate shows at The Hanover Theatre in 2018.

"I met Tony in 1968 when I first came to the United States," Humperdinck recalled.

"A couple of years later he was on my show in England. He did three songs. He was just a great person. I admired him very much."

What's in a name?

Humperdinck was born with the name Arnold George Dorsey and lived for a while as a child with his parents in India before they returned to England and settled in the city of Leicester. Dorsey performed as Gerry Dorsey but his singing career was sidelined for a while by illness. His new manager/agent suggested a change of name. Engelbert Humperdinck (1854–1921) was a German composer best known for the opera "Hansel and Gretel."

"I was a struggling artist. When my new manager came up with the name, I didn't question it," Humperdinck said.

The name was romantic and fun. "It distinguished me from the other guys," he said.

Humperdinck had the name, his good looks, and then he had a winning song, "Release Me." He was 30 and had maybe been wondering if his time would ever come.

The song was originally written by Eddie "Piano" Miller and Robert Yount in 1949, but had been successfully recorded by several artists. 

Humperdinck's version hit No. 1 on the British charts, blocking the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane" from the spot, the first time in four years that a Beatles single hadn't made No. 1. "Release Me” eventually went into the Guinness Book of Records for achieving 56 consecutive weeks on the charts. It was No. 1 in 11 countries.

Asked if he had a favorite song, Humperdinck said "not really," but did note that "Release Me" was "the one that started it ... I've been very lucky. The songs kept my career going."

A new audience

"A Man Without Love" appearing on Marvel’s “Moon Knight” has helped introduce a younger audience to the singer.

"So now I get young people in my shows," he said.

For Sony Pictures’ 2022 Brad Pitt film “Bullet Train,” Humperdinck was brought in to sing the perennially popular song “Forever Blowing Bubbles.”

A documentary about Humperdinck will be coming out later this year.

All told, Humperdinck has generated sales in excess of 140 million records over the decades, including 64 gold albums and 35 platinum, four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe (for "Entertainer of the Year"), and stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Las Vegas Walk of Fame and Leicester Walk of Fame.

"I have stepped out," he said of performing in different music genres, including a dance album, movie theme songs, disco, rock, and gospel. He was good friends with Elvis Presley.

Meanwhile, he performed for Queen Elizabeth II four times, several presidents and many heads of state.

He was made an MBE in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours list, and was presented the award at Windsor Castle in April, 2022, by Princess Anne. The Queen died Sept. 8 last year.

Humperdinck was proud to receive his MBE. "I think anything the Royal Family bestows on you is very important," he said. "I loved our old Queen very much." He recalled that he had also met the Queen Mother

'I'm ready to go back around the world again'

Before coming to The Hanover Theatre, Humperdinck will have performed some engagements in the Philippines, and then will travel across the U.S.

Regarding his remarkable longevity, he said, "Know what it is? I'm a hard worker. I'm always rehearsing and getting new ideas. I've always loved the idea of being in show business, and now with social media (there's) a wonderful way of being in contact."

So don't look for Humperdinck to be retiring any time soon.

"Retirement? It doesn't look like it. Next year is a world tour. I'm ready to go back around the world again."

He also has a new project where he'll be "stepping out of my comfort zone, but can't talk about it right now," he said.

He will "keep working and do what I have to do, and hope the people come along with me."

Engelbert Humperdinck: All About Love Tour

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27

Where: The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester

How much: $49, $59, $69 and $89 depending on seat location. (877) 571-7469; www.thehanovertheatre.org.





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The Man I Want to Be The Man I Want to Be
The Complete Decca Studio AlbumsThe Complete Decca Studio Albums
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My Love/King of HeartsMy Love/King of Hearts
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At His Very BestAt His Very Best
The Engelbert Humperdinck Collection The Engelbert Humperdinck Collection
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In the Still of the Night: 20 Beautiful Love SongsIn the Still of the Night: 20 Beautiful Love Songs
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Magic NightMagic Night
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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
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Love LettersLove Letters
The Last of the RomanticsThe Last of the Romantics
A Time For UsA Time For Us
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Christmas TymeChristmas Tyme
After the Lovin’After the Lovin’
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