From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
||Arnold George Dorsey|
|Also known as
||Engelbert, Gerry Dorsey|
||2 May 1936 (1936-05-02) |
Madras (now Chennai), India
||Pop, easy listening|
Engelbert Humperdinck (born Arnold George Dorsey; 2 May 1936) is a popular music singer who became famous internationally during the 1960s and 1970s, after adopting the name of the famous German opera composer Engelbert Humperdinck as his own stage name.
As Arnold Dorsey, Humperdinck was one of ten children born in Madras, India, to British Army officer Mervyn Dorsey and his wife Olive. His mother and father were themselves both British. His family moved to Leicester, England, when he was 10, and a year later he showed an interest in music and began learning the saxophone. He started work as an apprentice engineer and by the early 1950s he was playing the instrument in nightclubs, but he is believed not to have tried singing until he was 17 and friends coaxed him into entering a pub contest. His impression ofJerry Lewis prompted friends to begin calling him "Gerry Dorsey," a name he worked under for almost a decade.
Though Dorsey's music career was interrupted by his national service in the British Army Royal Corps Of Signals during the middle 1950s, he got his first chance to record in 1958 with the Decca Records label after his discharge. His first single, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," was not a hit, but Dorsey recorded for the same company almost a decade later with much different results. Dorsey continued working the nightclubs until 1961, when he was stricken with tuberculosis. He regained his health and returned to nightclub work with, unfortunately, little success. However, in 1965, he teamed with his former roommate, Gordon Mills, who had become a music impresario and the manager of Tom Jones.
He had his first real success during July 1966, in Belgium where he and four others represented England in the annual Knokke song contest, and in October he was on stage in Mechelen. In that period, Dorsey was already No. 1 in the Belgian charts, six months before the release of "Release Me". Belgian Television then made a video clip in the harbour of Zeebrugge.
Changes and chart topping:
Aware that Dorsey had been struggling for several years to make it in music, Mills suggested a name change to the more arresting Engelbert Humperdinck, borrowed from the composer of such operas as Hansel and Gretel. Mills also arranged a new deal with Decca Records. In early 1967 the changes paid off when Humperdinck's version of "Release Me", done in a smooth ballad style with a full chorus joining him on the third chorus, scored the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic and scored number one in Britain, keeping The Beatles' adventurous " Strawberry Field Forever" from entering the top slot in the UK. "Release Me" spent 56 weeks in the Top 50 in a single chart run.
Even in a year dominated by psychedelic rock music, the success of "Release Me" actually might not have been that surprising, considering Frank Sinatra's chart comeback that began a year earlier, and label-mate Tom Jones's own success with a ballad or two in the interim, both of which probably opened some new room for more traditionally-styled singers. "Release Me" was believed to have sold 85,000 copies a day at the height of its popularity, and for years, it was the best known of his songs.
Humperdinck's deceptively easygoing style and casually elegant good looks, a contrast to Tom Jones's energetic attack and overtly sexual style, earned Humperdinck a large following, particularly among women. "Release Me" was succeeded by two more hit ballads, "There |Goes My Everything" and "The Last Waltz," earning him a reputation as a crooner with which he did not always agree. "If you are not a crooner," he told Hollywood Reporter writer Rick Sherwood, "it's something you don't want to be called. No crooner has the range I have. I can hit notes a bank could not cash. What I am is a contemporary singer, a stylised performer."
He was successful with "Am I That Easy To Forget," "A Man Without Love," "From Here To Eternity," "Les Bicyclettes de Belsize," "The Way It Used To Be, "A Place In The Sun," "I'm A Better Man," and "Winter World of Love" before the 1960s ended. In the 1970s he scored with such albums as The Last Waltz, The Way It Used To Be, A Man Without Love, and Engelbert Humperdinck. His own television program was less successful, being cancelled after six months.
Beyond the 1960s
Engelbert Humperdinck poses after giving a concert in a Belgian café, named "Club nr. 1", October 1966
As his kind of balladry became less popular, and after he adopted some Broadway influences, Humperdinck concentrated on selling albums and on live performances, developing lavish stage presentations that made him a natural for Las Vegas and similar venues. He still had successful singles, however, and "After The Lovin'," a ballad produced by Joel Diamond and recorded for CBS subsidiary Epic, a deal which had been orchestrated by Joel Diamond and Gordon Mills, became one of the greatest successes of his career during 1976 and won him a Grammy Award nomination, a gold record, and the "most played juke box record of the year" award. Joel Diamond went on to produce "This Moment In Time" which also hit #1 on the adult contemporary charts along with two Christmas albums. Joel and Engelbert still remain good friends to this day.
It was a conscious effort to update his music and his image. "I don't like to give people what they have already seen," Humperdinck was quoted as saying in a 1992 tourbook. "I take the job description of 'entertainer' very seriously! I try to bring a sparkle that people don't expect and I get the biggest kick from hearing someone say, 'I had no idea you could do that!'" He also defended his fan mania, which helped him continue to sell records when radio play largely ended for him. "They are very loyal to me and very militant as far as my reputation is concerned," Humperdinck had told Sherwood. "I call them the spark plugs of my success."
But he later revealed that he had little if any say in the selection of songs for his albums, a fact that had sometimes brought into question whether he was his own or his manager's or record label's pawn. As his career moved on, however, Humperdinck began gaining more creative freedom, and his albums accordingly brought several kinds of songs into his reach beyond syrupy ballads. But he kept romance at the core of his music regardless, and his fans still tagged him as "the King of Romance," even as of April 2010.
1980s to present
By the 1980s, approaching his fiftieth birthday, Humperdinck continued recording albums regularly and performing as many as 200 concerts a year, yet maintained a strong family life. He and wife Patricia raised four children (Bradley, Scott, Jason and Louise) who are said to have become involved in their father's career, even as the family alternated between homes in England and in southern California.
In 1980, Sunday School teacher Kathy Jetter won a paternity ruling that Engelbert was the father of her daughter Jennifer, who had been born in 1980, and Humperdinck continued making paternity payments for her from there although he declined to meet her. Diane Vincent also claimed that Engelbert was the father of her daughter Angelique, and whilst he never admitted the child to be his, he was forced to make a one-off settlement payment for her upbringing.
Humperdinck was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1989 and won a Golden Globe Award as entertainer of the year, while also beginning major involvement in charitable causes such as the Leukemia Research Fund, the American Red Cross, the American Lung Association, and several AIDS relief organisations. He wrote a song for one group, the theme anthem for Reach Out. "He's a gentleman," longtime friend Clifford Elson has been quoted as saying of him, "in a business that's not full of many gentlemen."
In 1989 he recorded the album Star Of Bethlehem, which was released under the title Ich Denk An Dich in Germany. All the songs on the album were written by Dieter Bohlen, and some were written with Barry Mason. Star Of Bethlehem (Ich Denk An Dich) contained the singles "Red Roses For My Lady," "I Wanna Rock You In My Wildest Dreams," and a version of Dieter Bohlen's first hit, from the album Modern Talking, "You're My Heart, You're My Soul."
The 21st century
Humperdinck—who changed his name legally to his stage name at the height of his career —hit the top five British album charts in 2000 with Engelbert At His Very Best, and returned to the album top five four years later, after he appeared in a John Smiths advertisement.
In the spring of 2003, Humperdinck collaborated with Grammy Award-Winning artist-producer Art Greenhaw to create the roots gospel album Always Hear the Harmony: The Gospel Sessions. The critically-acclaimed album was Grammy Nominated for "Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album of the Year", and Humperdinck was photographed with generations of fans at the 2004 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles where he was an honored Nominee guest. Joining Humperdinck on the album were the artistry of The Light Crust Doughboys, The Jordanaires and the Blackwood Brothers Quartet.
In August 2005, Humperdinck auctioned hisHarley-Davidson motorcycle on eBay to raise money for the County Air Ambulance in Leicestershire, where he spent much of his British youth. His latest album, The Winding Road, released in September 2007, is a tribute to British composers.
During the creation of the Gorillaz albumPlastic Beach, Humperdinck was asked by Damon Albarn to perform on a selection. However, after listening to the proposed selection, he declined the offer.
On 25 February 2009, Leicester City Council announced that Humperdinck would be given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester alongside author Sue Townsend and former professional footballer Alan Birchenall
19 December 2009, saw Humperdinck perform at the Woolworths "Carols in the Domain," a popular Christmas event held in Sydney, Australia.
"Am I That Easy to Forget"
"Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You"
"The Last Waltz"
"There's a Kind of Hush"
"Il Mondo (My World)"
"Yours Until Tomorrow"
"After the Lovin'"
"Quando, Quando, Quando"
"Wonderland by Night"
"A Man Without Love" (Appears in John Turturro's movie "Romance & Cigarettes")
"From Here To Eternity"
"Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings"
"This is My Song"
"There Goes My Everything"
"The Way It Used To Be"
"Two Different Worlds"
"A Place In The Sun"
"Everybody Knows (We're Through)"
"What Now My Love"
"Winter World Of Love"
"This Moment in Time"
"Les Bicyclettes de Belsize"
"Lesbian Seagull" (from the film "Beavis and Butt-head Do America")
Release Me (1967) UK #6
The Last Waltz (1967) UK #3
A Man Without Love (1968) UK #3
Engelbert (1969) UK #3
Engelbert Humperdinck (1969) UK #5
We Made It Happen (1970) UK #17
Another Time, Another Place (1971) UK #48
Live at the Riviera Las Vegas (1972) UK #45
In Time (1972)
Engelbert King of Hearts (1973)
My Love (1973)
Engelbert Humperdinck - His Greatest Hits (1974) UK #1
engelbert humperdinck live in Japan(2lp) (1975)
After the Lovin' (1976)
Miracles By Engelbert Humperdinck (1977)
Christmas Tyme (1977)
Christmas Tyme Again written and composed by Yank Barry
Last of the Romantics (1978)
This Moment in Time (1979)
love's only love (1980)
Live in Concert All of Me (1980)
A Merry Christmas With Engelbert Humperdinck (1980)
Don't You Love Me Anymore (1981)
You and Your Lover (1983)
A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening(2lp)(1985)
Träumen Mit Engelbert (1986)
Remember-I love you (1987)
In love (1988)
Ich denk an Dich (Star Of Bethlehem) (1989)
" Coming Home" (1991)
" Hello Out There" (1992)
" Yours" (1993)
" Yours Quiereme Mucho" (1993)
" Love Unchained" (1995)
" After Dark" (1996)
" A Little In Love" (1998)
The Dance Album (2000) UK #48
Always Hear The Harmony: The Gospel Sessions (2002)
Definition of Love (2003)
Engelbert Live (2003)
His Greatest Love Songs (2004) UK #4 - New Recordings by Ted Carfrae
Let There Be Love (2005)
Totally Amazing (2006)
Greatest Hits and More (2007)
The Winding Road (2007)
" Legacy Of Love" (2009)
 Hit singles
Year Title US Chart Position UK Chart Position US AC US Country
1967 "Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)" 4 1 28
1967 "There Goes My Everything" 20 2
1967 "The Last Waltz" 25 1 6
1968 "Am I That Easy to Forget" 18 3 1
1968 "A Man Without Love (Quando M'Innamoro)" 19 2 3
1968 "Les Bicyclettes de Belsize" 31 5 3
1969 "The Way It Used to Be" 42 3 4
1969 "I'm A Better Man" 38 15 6
1969 "Winter World of Love" 16 7 3
1970 "My Marie" 43 31 2
1970 "Sweetheart" 47 22 2
1971 "When There's No You" 45 – 1
1971 "Another Time, Another Place" 43 13 5
1972 "Too Beautiful to Last" 86 14 16
1972 "In Time" 69 – 12
1972 "I Never Said Goodbye" 61 – 18
1973 "I'm Leavin' You" 99 – 17
1973 "Love Is All" 91 44 33
1974 "Free as the Wind" – – 34
1974 "Catch Me, I'm Falling" – – 43
1975 "This Is What You Mean to Me" 102 – 14
1976 "After the Lovin'" 8 – 1 40
1977 "I Believe in Miracles" – – 15
1977 "Goodbye My Friend" 97 – 37 93
1977 "Lover's Holiday" – – 26
1978 "The Last of the Romantics" – – 28
1978 "Love's in Need of Love Today" – – 44
1978 "This Moment in Time" 58 – 1 93
1979 "Can't Help Falling In Love" – – 44
1979 "A Much, Much Greater Love" – – 39
1980 "Love's Only Love" 83 – 28
1981 "Don't You Love Me Anymore" – – 41
1983 "Til You and Your Lover Are Lovers Again" 77 – 17 39
1988 "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" – 93
1989 "Red Roses for My Lady" – –
1996 "Lesbian Seagull" – –
1999 "Quando Quando Quando" – 40
2000 "How to Win Your Love" – 59
2002 "Once in a While" –