Engelbert Humperdinck

Indian-born singer and Britain’s 2012 Eurovision song Contest Entrant Engelbert Humperdinck (A.K.A Arnold “Jerry” Dorsey), was born on this date 2nd May in 1936. when he was 10 He Moved to Leicester in the East Midlands and soon showed an interest in music and began learning the saxophone. By the early 1950s he was playing saxophone in nightclubs, but did not trysinging until he was 17, when friends coaxed him into entering a pub contest. His impression of Jerry Lewis prompted friends to begin calling him “Gerry Dorsey,” a name he worked under for almost a decade. In 1965, Humperdinck teamed with his former roommate Gordon Mills, who was the manager of Tom Jones. who suggested a name-change to the more arresting Engelbert Humperdinck, borrowed from the 19th-century composer of operas such as Hansel and Gretel. 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 refrain, made the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic and number one in Britain. Another groundbreaking video showed Engelbert tied up with a lasso. “Release Me” spent 56 weeks in the Top 50 in a single chart run and is believed to have sold 85,000 copies a day at the height of its popularity, it remains the best known of his songs Humperdinck’s easygoing style and good looks gained him a large following, particularly among women.

His hardcore female fans, who included the young Princess Anne, called themselves “Humperdinckers”. By the end of the 1960s, Humperdinck’s roster of songs included “Am I That Easy to Forget,” “A Man Without Love,” “Les Bicyclettes de Belsize,” “The Way It Used To Be”, “I’m A Better Man” “Winter World of Love” and “A Man Without Love”. By the start of the 1970s, Humperdinck had settled into a busy schedule of recordings, with songs like: “We Made It Happen,” “Sweetheart,” “Another Time, Another Place,” and “Too Beautiful To Last”. As his kind of balladry became less popular, he adopted some Broadway influences and concentrated on selling albums and on live performances, developing lavish stage presentations that made him a natural for Las Vegas and similar venues. The song, “After the Lovin’” was also a Top-10 hit in the US, and marked another peak in his career; it also recieved a Grammy Award.

By the 1980s, Humperdinck continued recording albums regularly and performing as many as 200 concerts a year, and in 1989 Humperdinck was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame 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 remains popular to this day. In 2012 Humperdinck represented the United Kingdom in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, in Baku, Azerbaijan, singing a track called, “Love Will Set You Free

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