Remember when English-born pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck (born Arnold George Dorsey) became a huge sensation in the 60s worldwide after his number one hit "Release Me" followed by "There Goes My Everything"? His handsome looks and laid-back style made him ever so popular with female fans. Well, he's still singing with a new album of duets called ENGELBERT CALLING, and he will be appearing for one night only at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills February 20.
With so many duet albums on the market today, why did you decide to do one as well?
WHEN I FIRST STARTED RECORDING THIS CD (OVER 2 YEARS AGO) THERE WEREN'T AS MANY DUET CDS BEING RELEASED. IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYONE DECIDED TO RECORD DUETS AT THE SAME TIME. I THINK THE PUBLIC ENJOY LISTENING TO THE VARIETY OF ARTISTS, AND IT BECOMES A BIT OF A COLLECTORS ITEM. MOST ARTISTS WILL ONLY EVER DO ONE (MAYBE TWO) DUETS CD IN THEIR LIFETIME.
You sound amazing and your artists from Elton John to Olivia Newton-John to Dionne Warwick to Johnny Mathis to Il Divo are simply great. Did you have a say in who was chosen? How did you go about choosing these wonderful singers?
MY SON SCOTT (WHO IS ALSO MY MANAGER) AND I SAT DOWN WITH THE RECORD LABEL AND DECIDED WHO TO APPROACH. SCOTT WAS SOLELY INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING THIS PROJECT OFF THE GROUND, AND I THINK HE DID A FANTASTIC JOB.
Is the intent to bring young folks into the pop world of the 60s and 70s? You did include some newer artists that would attract them, but I assume it's to get them into the music of the past. There is so much beautiful music for them to appreciate.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO EXPERIENCE DIFFERENT MUSICAL STYLES FOR ALL GENERATIONS. PERHAPS BEFORE I RECORDED WITH GENE (SIMMONS) MY FANS WEREN'T FAMILIAR WITH HOW GREAT HE WAS...THEY ARE NOW!..AND HOPEFULLY A LITTLE OF THAT WORKS BOTH WAYS.
I'VE ALWAYS LOVED ROMANTIC SONGS..SONGS WITH MEANING AND FEELINGS. I USED TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE LIKE NAT KING COLE AND SAM COOKE AND OF COURSE ELVIS...NOT BAD TEACHERS RIGHT?
Do you have a favorite song from your collection of hits?
THEY ARE ALL SPECIAL TO ME (AND I MEAN THAT). HOWEVER, I WOULD HAVE TO SAY "RELEASE ME" WAS THE SONG THAT REALLY STARTED MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE AND GAVE ME A GLOBAL CAREER
How difficult is it to keep your voice in such great shape? You must be constantly touring and therefore practicing. I remember Debbie Reynolds telling me once that you should never stop practicing if you expect to get it right.
THE VOCAL CHORDS ARE LIKE MOST OTHER MUSCLES THAT NEED TO BE WORKED OUT.DEBBIE IS RIGHT... THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER REST ON YOUR LAURELS BUT TO KEEP CHANGING THE SHOW AND REHEARSING. I STILL GET NERVOUS BEFORE EVERY PERFORMANCE.
Who among the newer crop of singers do you particularly like? Why?
I THINK ED SHEERAN IS FANTASTIC. IN FACT I HAVE JUST PUT HIS SONG "THINKING OUT LOUD" INTO MY SHOW AND IT IS GETTING A HUGE RESPONSE. MY 5 YEAR OLD GRANDDAUGHTER KIKI TAUGHT ME THE LYRICS! CANT BE MUCH NEWER THAN THAT!
What is your overall impression of the way music has changed over the last few decades?
I THINK MUSIC GOES IN CYCLES.THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME GREAT TALENT AROUND AT THE MOMENT.THE IMMEDIATE SUCCESS THAT A LOT OF THE TALENT SHOWS ENABLE YOUNG ARTISTS IS FANTASTIC BUT IT CREATES IMMEDIATE STARDOM ..SOMETIMES IT'S GOOD TO HONE YOUR CRAFT BEFORE THE SUCCESS COMES IN ORDER TO KNOW HOW TO DELIVER AND DEAL WITH IT. I DO LIKE THE SIMPLICITY OF BEING ABLE TO DOWNLOAD SONGS ...AS LONG AS THE WRITERS AND PERFORMERS GET PAID
What else is new in your world?
I'M EXCITED TO LAUNCH MY JEWELRY LINE WITH ZALE MARK JEWELERS ON VALENTINES DAY ALL THE INFO WILL BE ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE.