Spotlight: Engelbert Humperdinck

So firstly, I just wondered if you could talk me through how you decided on the songs for this record?  

My producer and I got together, he brought a whole bunch of songs. Finding new songs is very difficult today and songs that you could turn into standards of your own. So therefore, I think familiarity is a very important issue, people have heard the song before but want to hear your stamp on it and that’s what I’ve done with this particular song. All the tracks are recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, with some very good musicians over there.  

A lot of the record was recorded at Blackbird studio in Nashville, a fantastic place, can you tell me a little bit about the recording process? 

The musicians recorded in Blackbird studio in Nashville and I recorded my voice in Los Angeles. That’s the great part about recording in today’s world, you can do so in one studio and finish it in another. It’s very convenient for me to be in Los Angeles, because it’s where I live and the studio that I use over here is one I’ve used many times before. It’s a beautiful studio. 

There’s two collaborations on this record, one with Lupita Infante and one with Angelica Maria, how did they come about? 

These two are lovely, massive stars in Latin America, and we decided to do a couple of songs with the Spanish influence. I speak Spanish, I was able to cope with these two titles, I took lessons four years ago, but I still remember, my enunciation is pretty good so I’m told. So I decided to do these two tracks. I think ‘Besame Mucho’ is one of the most famous love songs ever written in the world. ‘And A Man Without Love’ is a song that Angelica Maria recorded when I recorded it 55 years ago. Mine was a big hit, and then when it came out into the series, Moonlight, it went boom, right back to number one on Spotify. It was amazing. After all these many years, it was back again. 

Do you have a favourite song on this record?  

I particularly like the song ‘You”ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ and ‘When Will I See You Again’, by The Three Degrees. As a matter of fact, when I first did Vegas many, many years ago, they were my opening act. Then they recorded this song and became big stars themselves. So I’m happy to be part of that successful life, so I decided to record it on this particular album. I just put my stamp on it and hopefully people will love what I’ve done.  

I was wondering what country music meant to you?  

Well, I’ll be honest with you, the reason I like country music is because my very first hit which was ‘Release Me’ which is in the Guinness Book of Records, and it stopped the Beatles from having their 30th number one with Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, which was a double sided single. It was in 1967 that this magical moment happened in my life stopping the almighty Beatles from going to number one and putting me on the map. That’s one of the reasons why I’m talking to you today was because of that beautiful song and that was a country song. All my early hits like ‘There Goes My Everything’ and they were all country music songs and I liked the country flavour, I’ve been successful with it so I decided to keep doing it. 

I was going to ask you about ‘There Goes My Everything’ because I think that’s my favourite song of yours that you’ve done. Can you remember when you recorded that what your expectations of it were at the time?  

It’s so long ago, it was done by a dear friend of mine Johnny Harris, who absolutely was a magnificent arranger. He’s done many songs for me like ‘Quando, Quando‘, which is quite popular right now again in a series called The Umbrella Academy. That was a great arrangement, a great song and as a matter of fact, I still to this day, sing that song in my show.  

If they were to make a movie about your life, what would be the opening theme tune? 

It has to be ‘Release Me’ because that’s the song. In today’s world, they don’t have signature songs that people are associated with. When I was coming up, and people like Tom Jones or myself, his signature is, ’It’s Not Unusual’ and mine is ‘Release Me’ and many other people have their signatures that they start the show with, when you hear your overture, it has that wonderful sound of the song that made your life, it doesn’t happen in today’s world. Signature songs are very important and I’m glad that I lived in the era where we had them. 

Has there been a stand out song you’ve released over the years which means more to you than the others?  

There is one that came 10 years after my first big hit. That was a song called ‘After The Loving’, which is an unbelievable song. It played a massive part in my life. It’s good for people getting married and good for scaley competitions and all kinds of things. When I hear people say, I got married to your song, it’s such a great compliment to know that you’ve been part of somebody else’s life. 

What’s next for you?  

I just want to keep doing it. I just want to keep traveling around the world, doing my show and showing people that I’m still capable of running around on stage and dancing and doing my show that I’ve been doing since 1967. 

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