The Northern Echo’s Interview With the Legendary Engelbert Humperdinck
International music legend Engelbert Humperdinck recently spoke with the UK’s The Northern Echo for an exclusive interview. The King of Romance spoke about his 50 years in show business, his plan of never retiring, and a missed opportunity to work with the Gorillaz. Read some of the exclusive interview below. Be sure to visit TheNorthernEcho.co.uk for the full interview.
It has been 50 years since Engelbert Humperdinck‘s hit Release Me stopped The Beatles from reaching the number one spot. The fact that his version of the old US country hit trumped The Fab Four’s Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever is still something the crooner, now 81, feels proud of.
He said: “I cannot believe it. It’s been 50 years of my show business career, which all started with Release Me. It really was a stunning record that took me all over the world and gave me a global career immediately and stopped The Beatles from having their 13th number one, which was rather unique.”
He says: “It was an amazing feeling because Release Me wasn’t a hit immediately, it took about three months and then I did Sunday Night at the London Palladium and the next day it started selling like 80,000 a day, 90,000 the next day and it went up to 127,000 a day, which is unheard of, and every day I would call to ask ‘how many did we do today?’, It was just something that never happened in my life before and will probably never happen again.”
He says: “I’m not going to retire, what is that? Retire? I love what I do.
“The funny thing with social media is you go to another town and people know exactly what you’re going to do when you get on stage and people are aware of exactly how you look, what you do. There is nothing that is a shock to them because it’s already up front. I don’t know where my energy comes from, but I don’t believe in having things done, I’m growing old gracefully. I don’t intend to have anything done to my face or anything like that, but I’ve had good genes. My mother and father had wonderful skin and I think they left that legacy behind with their children. It’s just wonderful to know that at my age I’m still doing about 80 concerts a year, it’s just wonderful. I feel I’ve achieved so much in my life and I’m still going strong, and I hope the sun never sets on my ending.”
While his regrets seems few and far between, he is still miffed he missed a chance to work with Gorillaz. Back in 2009, Damon Albarn, then recording the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach, wanted some guest vocals and pitched the idea to Humperdinck’s management, who said no without asking the singer.
“That was a pain,” he says. “It hit me so hard because the person who was managing me at the time didn’t know anything about it and if only he had told me I would have said ‘please go ahead, lets do it’, but unfortunately he didn’t know who they were so he just turned it down without even telling me, I was so upset. I think I’ve had a lot of ups and downs as far as my business is concerned, with management here and there, I just wished I had chosen the right people. I’ve had a few that I’ve not been happy with.”
“Fortunately, everything has settled down now and I’m into the sunset of my life.”
Engelbert Humperdinck’s new single “I Followed My Heart” is available now for digital purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. It is also available to stream on all major streaming platforms including Spotify.
Engelbert Humperdinck’s duets album Engelbert Calling is available for purchase at music retailers nationwide and online from our webstore, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Bandcamp, and Spotify. Humperdinck’s limited edition vinyl, Duets EP, is available for purchase our web-store.