King of Romance
“When I was an utter flop, I kept having the same dream; that all my teeth were falling out. I don't have that dream any more.” Engelbert Humperdinck
A popular pop-singer, Engelbert Humperdinck, also known as Gerry Dorsey and Engelbert, has enjoyed massive success and reached the status of being one of the world's premiere live performers. Because of his success as a romantic performer, his fans gave him the title “King of Romance.” Always a source of attraction for his female fans, the Engelbert Humperdinck fan clubs have reached more than 200 in numbers around the world. Grammy nominee and Golden Globe winner Humperdinck's most well-known songs include “Release Me,” “Am I That Easy to Forget,” “ The Last Waltz,” and “ After the Lovin.” In 2000, he released Engelbert for Universal Records. The compilation album hit the Top 5 on the U.K album charts.
Aside from music, Humperdinck is known for his support to charity foundations. He has contributed to The Leukemia Research Fund, the American Red Cross, and the American Lung Association, and several AIDS relief organizations. In addition, he is a frequenter of the charity County Air Ambulance, based in the East Midlands of England.
As for his personal life, in 1980, Humperdinck was discovered to be the biological father of a 4-year-old girl. Although he declines to see her, he does pay child support. One of the richest musicians in the industry with worth around $100 million dollars, Humperdinck bought the Pink Palace mansion from actress Jayne Mansfield in the 1970s. He sold the estate to developers and it was destroyed in November 2002. In addition to his house in Great Glen, not far from his native Leicester, Humperdinck also has homes in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks and Las Vegas.
Childhood and Family:
Arnold George Dorsey was born on May 2, 1936, in Madras, India. He is the youngest of 10 children to Mervyn and Olive Dorsey. His father served in the British military and his mother was a housewife from India. His family returned to England when he was 10 years old and they settled in Leicester. Shortly after the move, young Arnold developed a love for music and began to learn saxophone. He took the stage name Engelbert Humperdinck, after the renowned German opera composer.
Arnold married Patricia in 1964 and had four children with her. In 2006, he received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Leicester.
After the Lovin
Arnold George Dorsey began learning saxophone at age 11, but did not try his hand at singing until he was 17 when he performed at a pub that supported a singing competition. He offered a memorable impression of Jerry Lewis and his friends soon called him Gerry Dorsey, which became his stage name until he used the pseudonym Engelbert Humperdinck in the mid 1960s. Since then, he never picked up the sax again. Dorsey went on to perform in nightclubs until after completing school when he had to serve in the military through 1956.
Upon returning, Dorsey resumed his musical career and in 1958, recorded the single “I'll Never Fall in Love Again” for Decca Records, which was considered a disappointment. Undaunted, he kept on performing whenever he could, but once again he was forced to put his career on the back burner in 1961 because of tuberculosis. Many people believed that his career was finished, but after six months he made a convincing comeback and emerged as a strong and dynamic performer. In 1965, his career entered a new phase when he began his partnership with his ex-roommate, manager/promoter Gordon Mills. It was Mills that convinced Dorsey to take the name Engelbert Humperdinck and helped him secure a recording contract with Decca Records.
Two years later, in 1967, Humperdinck hit the big time with his single “Release Me.” The song reached No. 1 on the British music charts and No. 4 on the U.S. music charts. In the height of its success, it sold an unprecedented 85,000 copies daily and the slow, powerful ballad became his signature melody. This victory won Humperdinck legions of loyal fans, many of them female. He further built a strong reputation with a string of successful love songs throughout the late 1960s to early 1970s. “There Goes My Everything”(1967) was a Top 2 hit on the UK charts and “The Last Waltz”(1967) put him back on the top of the charts. These were followed by “Am I That Easy To Forget” (1968, #3), “A Man Without Love” (1968, #2), “Les Bicyclettes de Belsize” (1968, #5), “The Way It Used To Be” (1969, #3) and “Winter World Of Love” (1969, #7). The single “When There's No You” (1971) hit No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and stayed there for a week.
In addition to producing albums, Humperdinck also created good stage shows. When the climate of the Top 40 radio changed, his music remained a favorite among his devoted fans. During that period, his live performances became an effective way to reach his fans and the singer created munificent, dynamic extravaganzas that set the standards for Las Vegas-style glamour. Engelbert Humperdinck fan clubs began to sprout up all over the world in the late 1960s and by the next decade, the fan mania had grown to giant proportions.
“They are very loyal to me and very militant as far as my reputation is concerned. I call them the spark plugs of my success.” Engelbert Humperdinck on his devoted fans
In the early 1970s, Humperdinck headlined his own show on the British TV, “The Engelbert Humperdinck Show,” based on Tom Jones' enormously well-liked series “This Is Tom Jones.” Humperdinck's show, however, only lasted for six months.
Returning to the studio, Humperdinck had another triumph on his hands with the 1976 album After the Lovin. The titled track peaked at No. 8 on the U.S music charts and No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Most notably, the singer was nominated for a Grammy and for his significant contributions to the industry, Humperdinck was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Golden Globe for Entertainer of the Year in 1989.
Still releasing popular and successful albums, Humperdinck dedicates his life to his family and charitable activities.
Golden Globe: Entertainer of the Year, 1989