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Englebert Humperdink has always been smooth. The smooth - voiced ballad singer Engelbert Humperdinck was born Arnold George Dorsey on May 2, 1936, in Madras, India. Raised in Leicester, England (one of ten kids), Englebert Humperdinck started playing saxophone when he was eleven. Englebert Humperdinck claims his singing career was an accident. "I went to a small club in Leister and everyone was getting up and singing. So I got up on stage and sang a ballad - - and I got a standing ovation!"
Englebert Humperdinck went on to then launch a career as a dance - band singer under the name Gerry Dorsey. This was in the middle 1950s. For ten years Englebert Humperdinck struggled for success, but his one single, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" went nowhere. Englebert Humperdinck toured with Marty Wilde and even appeared on the U.K. TV series Oh Boy. During this time, Dorsey contracted tuberculosis. He hit bottom around 1963.Then in 1966, Dorsey contacted his former roommate, Gordon Mills. Mills, formerly a singer in the skiffle group Viscounts, had moved on to songwriting (producing top hits for groups like Johnny Kidd and the Pirates) and then to artist management of matinée - idol singers of the likes of Tom Jones . Mills decided to re - invent Dorsey, gave him the name of the 19th - century classical German opera composer (Hansel and Gretel), and introduced him to the world as the enigmatic balladeer Engelbert Humperdinck.
Englebert Humperdinck always disappeared after every show - - never meeting his fans, to maintain his mysterious image. This often involved climbing out of bathroom windows and the like. Armed with his new name, a vivid stage presence, rugged good looks, smooth style, and three - and - a - half octave singing range, Englebert Humperdinck broke into full stardom in 1967 with his version of the country song "Release Me." This was followed by "There Goes My Everything" and "The Last Waltz." Englebert Humperdinck remained in the charts until the early '70s and was often the biggest selling artist in the U.K.
Country music offered Humperdinck a smorgasbord of material for his silky voice. He had many songs in the "Hot 100" and his albums charted time and again in both the U.K. and U.S. He had another huge hit, "After the Lovin'," in 1986 but, for the most part, he has toured the cabaret circuit for the last 27 years. He did a successful album with Gloria Gaynor, Remember I Love You in 1987. He has earned many different awards (Golden Globe, etc.) including some 59 Gold records, 17 Platinum albums, and various Grammy Awards. Englebert Humperdinck can't - buy - these - in - stores compilations are among the favorites of late - night two - minute TV advertisers.
Englebert Humperdinck presides over the largest fan club in the world with 250 chapters and some eight million members. Still on the road, he travels with an 18 - member group and has added impersonations and comedy skits to his act over the years (imitations of Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, and his arch - rival, Julio Iglesias), somewhat obscuring his impact as a singer. Still, when he is not goofing around on stage, Humperdinck can sing a ballad like few others. His dynamic range, heartfelt understanding of lyrics, and clarity of exposition make Englebert Humperdinck one of the great ballad singers. Englebert Humperdinck states "There's always going to be a market for romance and, as long as people come and see me, I'll be there."
In 1989, Englebert Humperdink was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as a Golden Globe Award for Entertainer of the Year. He had met Queen Elizabeth II and several American presidents. Still, he retained his element of humanism, and began major involvement in charity foundations. In addition to involvement with The Leukemia Research Fund, the American Red Cross, and the American Lung Association, Humperdinck contributed to several AIDS relief organizations. For one of these, Reach Out, Humperdinck even penned and performed an anthem for the organization's mission, called "Reach Out." As longtime friend Clifford Elson said of Humperdinck, "[h]e's a gentleman in a business that's not full of many gentlemen."
Englebert Humperdink is a patron of the charity County Air Ambulance, which is based in the East Midlands of England. In August 2005 he put up his Harley-Davidson motorcycle up for auction on eBay to raise money for the Air Ambulance and other charities in Leicestershire.
Englebert Humperdinck Song List
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