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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


Track List: Gold

Disc 1

1. Release Me

2. There's A Kind Of Hush

3. This Is My Song (from A Countess From Hong Kong)

4. There Goes My Everything

5. Take My Heart

6. My World (Il Mondo)

7. The Last Waltz

8. A Place In The Sun

9. Two Different Worlds

10. Am I That Easy To Forget

11. Everybody Knows We're Through

12. A Man Without Love (Quando M'Innamoro)

13. Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You

14. Spanish Eyes

15. Quando Quando Quando

16. Wonderland By Night

17. What A Wonderful World

18. By The Time I Get To Phoenix

19. The Shadow Of Your Smile (Love Theme From The Sandpiper)

20. Les Bicyclettes De Belsize

21. Let Me Into Your Life

22. The Way It Used To Be

Disc 2

1. I'm A Better Man (For Having Loved You)

2. Winter World Of Love

3. Cafe (Cosa Hai Messo Nel Caffe)

4. A Time For Us (Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet)

5. My Marie

6. We Made It Happen

7. Love Me With All Your Heart (Quando Caliente El Sol)

8. Just Say I Love Her

9. Sweetheart

10. Santa Lija (Sogno D'Amore)

11. When There's No You

12. Another Time, Another Place

13. Too Beautiful To Last

14. In Time

15. I Never Said Goodbye

16. I'm Leavin' You

17. Love Is All

18. Free As The Wind

19. Catch Me, I'm Falling

20. Precious Love

21. This Is What You Mean To Me

22. After The Lovin'


Track List: Let There Be Love

1. Let There Be Love

2. Just The Two Of Us

3. It Had To Be You

4. When You Say Nothing At All

5. With You I'm Born Again

6. You Inspire Me

7. Stand By Me

8. Three Words Ain't Enough

9. We're All Alone

10. There's No Good In Goodbye

11. Dance With Me

12. Love Songs

13. Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman

14. My Confession


Track List: Engelbert Live

1. Overture/Love Is A Many Splendored Thing (Live)

2. Can't Take My Eyes Off You (Live)

3. Stranger In Paradise (Live)

4. Per El Amor De Una Mujer (I Know That We Have Loved Before) (Live)

5. Nothin' A Little Love Won't Cure (Live)

6. Portofino (Live)

7. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay (Live)

8. Release Me (Live)

9. The Shadow Of Your Smile (Live)

10. I Apologize (Live)

11. Too Young (Live)

12. Secret Love (Live)

13. No Other Love (Live)

14. When I Fall In Love (Live)

15. Quando Quando Quando (Live)

16. After The Lovin' (Live)

17. Such A Night (Live)

18. Yours (Live)

19. Unchained Melody (Live)

20. Ave Maria (Live)


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One of the best from the 1960's to now
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I grew up listening to this music brings me back to when growing up thank for the memories
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For in this world there is you
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Such a smooth voice.
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I need my husband to dance with. RIP BABE.
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Love this man's music! What a Romantic! Englebert was meant to sing this song!! He is Perfect at what he does. WOW!! He just melts the emotions!! ✨✨❤️✨✨
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Went to see him Biloxi Mississippi January 15th and at 79 he is still wonderful his voice is still silky smooth I absolutely love him he put on a wonderful show love him love him

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Class personified.
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Love E.H. What an incredible voice !!! Love his music. ❤️
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A great singer you'll fall in love over n over again
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Its nice to fall with the the right person lovr this song Il Mondo
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What a great singer They don't make them anymore
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my mother played his music all the time when I was younger and got to love his music as well . RIP mom I know ur listening with me . I love you more then forever xoxox see you soon but not today .
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This is one of my fave sing in karaoke a lot feels like heaven gosh love it so much
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He still makes me moist
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That was cool!!!Do you think u could do vid??
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Te Quiero
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This is romance at its best....
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With every beat!!!!
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The music today leads the young the wrong way.
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Reminds me back then
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Reminds me
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Just love this song very much
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Engelbert is one of the best singers l have heard
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anitabrownlo w
enjoy Engelbert's singing - let's hear more from him.
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My favorite singer too
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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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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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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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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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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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