Engelbert Humperdinck Explains How He Got His Name

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Credit: VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/GettyImages

Credit: VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/GettyImages

kearthevents Britt Bickel
Web Producer |
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As the “King of Romance,”  Engelbert Humperdinck‘s music is cherished by millions all over the world, and this Friday, fans have a chance to hear his best hits as he kicks off the 2012-2013 season at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts!

But it’s not only Engelbert’s hits like “Release Me” and “The Last Waltz” that are memorable. His unusual and eye-catching name certainly sticks in your head just as much as his music.

Engelbert phoned in this morning to talk a little more about his upcoming performance, plus tell us the story about how he got his intriguing name.

His real name, Arnold Dorsey, is a far cry from his stage name, but he explains that his first manager Gordon Mills (who also managed Tom Jones), renamed him ‘Engelbert Humperdinck’ after the 19th century German composer of the same name.

“[Mills] also gave other people their names that were in the stable like Gilbert O’Sullivan and Tom Jones,” said Engelbert. “He gave them their names as well.”

With a captivating new name, Engelbert went on to release multiple top ten hits, including his first number one “Release Me,” which has the distinguished accomplishment of preventing The Beatles from earning their 13th #1 hit with “Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever.”

As an artist who’s sold millions of records, Engelbert is definitely an inspiration to younger generations of singers. If he could mentor contestants on American Idol, he has some helpful advice to help them fine-tune their performances. He says contestants need to learn microphone technique, stage presence, charisma and interacting with the audience.

You can catch this veteran on stage this Saturday, Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets and info, visit www.cerritoscenter.com.

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