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Engelbert Humperdinck

Ultrasmooth balladeer Engelbert Humperdinck was often billed as "the King of Romance," and for millions of fans around the world, he more than lived up to that title. Despite the strange name and the latter-day ads hawking his music on late-night TV, Humperdinck was one of the finest middle-of-the-road balladeers around, a sensitive lyric interpreter with excellent vocal technique and a three-and-a-half-octave vocal range. During his heyday in the late '60s and early '70s, Humperdinck cultivated the image of a mysterious heartthrob, sporting shaggy sideburns and a flamboyant wardrobe that, when coupled with his rich, silky crooning, drove female fans wild. He was especially popular in Europe and his native U.K., and his worldwide record sales -- counting both albums and singles -- eventually totaled well over 100 million. Like his friendly rival Tom Jones (with whom he shared a manager for many years), he later settled into a comfortable niche as a stalwart of the Las Vegas entertainment circuit.

Humperdinck was born Arnold George Dorsey on May 2, 1936, in Madras, India. His father worked as an engineer for the British Army, and the family returned to England when Arnold was seven, settling in Leicester. Arnold took up the saxophone at age 11, but didn't really try his hand at singing until 17, when his friends talked him into entering a small local singing contest. Not only did he earn a standing ovation, he also impressed the audience with a knack for comic impressions, particularly Jerry Lewis (which he often included in his later live shows). In fact, his Lewis impression gave him his first stage name, Gerry Dorsey. He started singing in nightclubs, but after finishing school, he put his budding music career on hiatus to serve in the military through 1956.

When Dorsey returned, he got the chance to record for Decca in 1958, but the lone single released, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," flopped. He managed a few appearances on British television, most prominently on the show Oh, Boy!, and toured with Marty Wilde; the exposure helped him become a popular concert attraction in his own right, even though he had no hits of his own. His career was nearly derailed in 1961 when he contracted tuberculosis, which kept him completely out of commission for six months; once he recovered, he found that England's burgeoning rock & roll movement was pushing more traditional pop out of the spotlight.

As Gerry Dorsey, he struggled for several years until he got in touch with former roommate Gordon Mills in 1965. Once the lead singer of a skiffle group called the Viscounts, Mills had moved into artist management, and at the time was enjoying breakout success with Tom Jones. It was Mills who suggested that Dorsey change his name to the well-nigh unforgettable Engelbert Humperdinck, after the 19th century Austrian composer who adapted Hansel and Gretel into an opera. To create an air of mystery around the singer, Mills insisted that he refrain from any contact with his fans following concerts, even if that meant escaping through windows. The gimmicks worked, as the newly christened Humperdinck scored a new deal with Decca. His first two singles, "Dommage Dommage" and "Stay," were released in 1966, and both missed the charts. But the third time proved to be the charm. In 1967, Humperdinck cut a pop-ballad version of "Release Me," previously a hit for country singer Ray Price and R&B chanteuse Esther Phillips; Humperdinck's cover made the song a standard. Given some exposure by the singer's last-minute addition to a bill at the London Palladium, it rocketed to the top of the British charts and sold over a million copies, ultimately keeping the Beatles' seminal double-sided hit "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields Forever" out of the top spot. It also went to number four in America, where the accompanying album made the Top Ten.

"Release Me" kicked off a streak of seven straight Top Five hits in the U.K., which lasted into 1969. Those hits included "There Goes My Everything," the million-selling number one "The Last Waltz," "Am I That Easy to Forget," "A Man Without Love," "Les Bicyclettes de Belsize," and "The Way It Used to Be." While they weren't as successful on the American pop charts (none reached the Top Ten), they all made the Top Ten on the easy listening charts; his albums of the 1967-1970 period sold well too, as his first six all landed in the Top 20. Humperdinck's string of easy listening hits continued apace in the early '70s; 1970 brought "Winter World of Love," "Sweetheart," and "My Marie," and the following year "Another Time, Another Place" and "When There's No You." By this time, Humperdinck had become a hugely popular live act, touring extensively on the cabaret and nightclub circuits, and became a regular in Las Vegas as well.

Humperdinck concerts were such a profitable enterprise, in fact, that the singer's management began to de-emphasize recordings, instead encouraging him to continue touring. As a result, the chart placements of his less frequent new material were suffering considerably by the mid-'70s. In late 1976, after signing a new deal with Epic, Humperdinck did return to make his second appearance in the American Top Ten with "After the Lovin'," an adult contemporary chart-topper that also made the lower reaches of the country charts. The album of the same name made the Top 20 and gave him his biggest-selling LP since 1970. Humperdinck topped the adult contemporary charts one last time with 1979's "This Moment in Time," and had his last chart single in 1983, with "Til You and Your Lover Are Lovers Again."

Humperdinck continued to make a profitable living on tour and in Las Vegas, still commanding a sizable female following; by this time, his act featured several celebrity impressions -- not just Jerry Lewis, but Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, and Julio Iglesias. Compilations of his work were heavily advertised through direct-marketing campaigns on American television, keeping his sales at a steady pace; he also re-recorded much of his material in different languages, helping maintain his popularity across Europe. He attempted a recording comeback with the 1987 album Remember I Love You, which featured a duet with Gloria Gaynor and wound up earning him a Golden Globe Entertainer of the Year award. The lounge revival of the '90s helped bring traditional pop and smooth crooning back into fashion, and Humperdinck found himself with a new hip cachet; he capitalized by recording "Lesbian Seagull," a song for the Beavis and Butt-Head Do America soundtrack, in 1996. He followed it with a foray into contemporary dance-pop, The Dance Album, for the Interhit label in 1998; a new version of "Release Me" had some success in the dance clubs. In 2003, the Hip-O label issued Definition of Love, a new album featuring standards, rock oldies, and more recent pop hits by the likes of Aerosmith and Robbie Williams. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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What a great singer.
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I think he is the best I am black man I love his music Frank Sinatra, Jerry vale, Dean Martin, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis jr.neil diamond Mr Engelbert you are number one in my book
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My favorite singer of all time.
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t_heath
My aunt's absolute favorite..he a r d a lot of him growing up.......
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He and Frankie Valli should record this song on a new album and sing live at Frankie's Concerts with excerpts from Andy Williams.
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Very few that could hold a candle to Engelbert.
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But I also like this rendition
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Frankie Valli sings the song better
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The best!!!
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Eversince his songs were introduced to me about 20yrs ago i've never stop listening to his songs and in fact I prefer to sing his songs in piano bars or parties
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artist685
After the loving is my song that I sing to everyone I sleep with!
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I can not stop tinking about you
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This amazing man sings directly to the depths of the romantic chords mysteriously drifting through our very soul...alway s been in love with his music...
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Love his music! Unfortuatly he hit the music scene same as Tom Jones!! And between the two it was no contest. Tom Jones was the best!!!
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Engelbert Humperdinck is A Great Artist Sing It Bro
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Beautiful!
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Amazing he still performs and sounds fantastic and has great stage presence after all these years. Awesome!
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I'm yours forever
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rosannasavar i n o 9
Blessed with a voice of real love from the heart very few love your songs
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Bestsong
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I saw him in California in 1973 and OMG what a performer. I was in the front row had on a mini skirt and he said he couldn't concentrate after looking at my legs! what a complement and the whole audience went wild. I happened to be 20 and kind of shapely. I didn't know whether to be embarrassed or proud? lol
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Maybe the best pure romantic singer of his generation
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divelady4u
i miss the lyrics to songs ! ! !
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Probably his best! Love, love, love this song!
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Classic love song
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Please back the lyrics
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THATS A BADASS JAM BY A BADASS SINGER
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Love it absolutely love this song!❤������
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❤❤❤❤❤❤
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❤️❤️❤️❤️
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I like to learn the word of the son can you put it thanks
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I like to hear engelbert humperdink I have a cd of him I hear it every chance I get
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I like his songs
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This is the way to own a song! Beautiful! Love Engelbert!!! !
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I love him so much
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I love engelbert humperdink
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I have ALWAYS loved his music. I should of been born in an earlier era. I can't wait until January 28, 2015 as we are going to see him in Ft. Pierce Florida. Dream come true! I hope he still sounds good. If not, I'm sure he will try.
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memories of days gone by. love it
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I grew up listening to Engelbert,Al b e r t King,Andy Williams and Arthur Prysock and countless others.My father played them religiously and I'm very glad to be around to introduce them to others.With music we must past the torch down to the next generation.
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bugzr8
I would like to listen to some Robert Goulet espcially My Love Forgive Me
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This song makes me so feel very happy even though I have a bad day
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I've always love his songs. He makes me feel relax and in love again.
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Grew up on him thanks to my dad and his love of music. Still have all of his albums. ��
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Super Smooth indeed, Him and Tom was the best out of England that could've happened to us who like romantic music.
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The man lived up to the man of romance title, he could have opened a lingerie store with all the freebies that were thrown on stage when he was on.
My kind of guy, someone to emulate with no doubt, LOL
Engelbert you and Tom Jones were my heroes back in the day. Loved it,!!!
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tbowmommy
$$$$$$$ bgg t.mu,jc&%;:+ / / lkkjc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Englebert, the Main Man, I used to listen to this song and remember all the girls I used to send to sleep after making love, and I would be playing this song for them after waking up.
The best song After the Loving definitely.
Why do we have to get old, that is the question??
And the music today is garbage. That is a statement.
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Andrea has a new version!!
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lindalfairba i r n
Hoping to see him again this year. Two years ago, I was invited on stage with him, for the 2nd time!! What an experience! One of the best singers/ente r t a i n e r s of our time. Love him!!!!
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Englebert Humperdinck
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