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“Performing Is My Lifeblood,” Says Engelbert Ahead Of First Live Stream

“You need to keep in contact with your public,” says the entertainer, “and this is the one way of doing it.”

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Engelbert Humperdinck promo Greg Gorman
Photo: Greg Gorman

Engelbert Humperdinck is preparing for his first-ever live stream, at noon PST tomorrow (July 23), in the knowledge that the at-home broadcast provides a lifeline to his audience. With much of his concert schedule inevitably postponed until 2021 amid pandemic concerns, “you need to keep in contact with your public,” he says, “and this is the one way of doing it.”

Engelbert Live

Photo: Engelbert Humperdinck/YouTube

The veteran entertainer, now 84, has been singing for well over 65 years and, by this stage of the year, would normally be scores of concerts into his energetic and global performing schedule. But while that’s not possible, he will be taking to a small studio in his Los Angeles home, singing live to track as an engineer sits at a safe distance, relaying him to the world via his YouTube channel.

In a new conversation with uDiscover Music, Humperdinck has been talking about the Engelbert Live stream, life at home and his plans to get back into the road and the recording studio. In one perhaps unexpected development, he reveals, he’s been able to catch up on his do-it-yourself skills.

Global star, home decorator

“It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever spent so much time at home,” he says. “It’s a financial disaster [for everyone], but what can you do? I’ll be honest with you, it’s given me a chance to do some things at home. I did some decorating of different rooms in the house.”

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, much of the singer’s time was spent caring for his wife Patricia, who has had Alzheimer’s disease for more than a decade. The couple celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in April. With no touring commitments, he says, “I’m able to drive my wife to the clinic three times a week, instead of the carers doing it. I’ve got to spend time with her and she seems to be doing well, [with] the fact that I’m around.”

Engelbert promo 2 Greg Gorman

Photo: Greg Gorman

Engelbert will be in his virtual chatroom to “meet” with his loyal, worldwide fan base both before and after the hour-long show. “I’ve been in preparation for it, I’ve done a couple of tests so far and it’s been amazing,” he says. “The last test, a few days ago, a thousand people or more casually dropped in. They asked questions and I answered them, and it’s quite fun [with] all the various countries that drop in, from all over the world.”

An unexpected positive of lockdown, he says, has been the chance to take stock. “It’s given me a chance to really do some thinking about my show. Prior to that, everything had been quick, trying to put things together. But I’ve had time to ponder it and I think it’ll be a lot better now, with the preparation I’m doing.”

“I’ve chosen different material”

The Engelbert Live audience can still expect to hear his trademark songs, but punctuated by some more unusual selections. “I’ve chosen different material that’s going to be much more interesting to my audience, besides doing all the stuff that I’ve been fortunate enough to have hits with,” he says. “If you make it interesting for yourself, they will find it interesting.”

Like many seasoned vocalists, he knows that he must keep his voice supple. “At home,” he notes, “all I do is I put my Bluetooth speaker up with music in it and practice with [the songs], keeping the voice going. It’s a muscle, you’ve got to keep it moving.”

Humperdinck has also been “keeping up with the times,” as he puts it. “I try to watch the new talent programmes like The Voice and things like that, because the young people that sing are usually singing current songs, or good material in order to get voted on. So I watch these shows and see what’s happening. Quite interesting.”

Born in Madras in then-British India, he was raised in Leicester in the English midlands, and is painfully aware that the city has lately been in an enforced local lockdown, with coronavirus infections running well beyond the national average. “It’s been hit hard,” he says.

“It’s so upsetting that I can’t do concerts”

“When this all first happened, I was very fastidious in the way I conducted myself, but people are not paying attention to it, and that’s one of the reasons it’s building, instead of going back down. I certainly miss coming home. It’s so upsetting that I can’t come over and visit my home in England and my family, and I can’t do concerts.”

After the streaming show, he will resume development of his next album project, and is continuing to find material for it. “I’m in the process of doing a song that’s very current, lyrically,” he reveals. “I think it’s going to be a good one. It was written many years ago, but it seems to have come to the foreground with the conditions now.” 

“When are you coming back to Tahiti?”

For now, while the streaming experience is new to him, it’s an exciting opportunity to connect with audiences, albeit from a distance. “When I’m reading the comments on the test run, people say ‘When are you coming back to Tahiti, or South Africa, or Australia, New Zealand, Germany?’ All these places,” he enthuses. “It’s so wonderful to know that people still want you to come to their particular part of the world.

“There’s lots and lots of countries I haven’t been to,” he concludes. “In May, I was supposed to go to a lot of places and we’ve had to rebook for the new year. I’m ready, I’m chomping at the bit. I can’t wait to get back on stage. It’s my lifeblood.”

Engelbert Live starts at noon PST on July 23 on the artist’s YouTube channel

Listen to the best of Engelbert Humperdinck on Apple Music and Spotify.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Joyce Mishmash

    July 23, 2020 at 1:22 am

    Ive loved that man since I was 17! I am now 70 and still do!

  2. Deborah Callahan

    July 23, 2020 at 1:46 am

    I have loved him too since the first time I saw him when I was 16. It’s been 50 years and when he sings my heart still smiles and beats for him

  3. Jeane

    July 23, 2020 at 1:58 am

    I am so looking forward to tomorrow. Ive seen you so many times and you just get better with age. I still swoon

    I must say though, i get upset when you sing “Don’t Let the Old Man In”.

    • June Benson

      July 23, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      The first time I heard The Last Waltz years and years ago, I fell in love with the song and the voice. I had no idea who he was. I just was instantly in love. The song just spoke to me for some reason and remains my favorite to this day. When I finally saw him, I fell in love with the man. I’m 73 now, he is still my favorite. God bless him. I hope he keeps on going for many years to come

    • Cindy fortune

      July 23, 2020 at 10:51 pm

      Hi englebert.i love all your songs.i am big fan long time.hope to see you some time love in concert
      .I would love to meet you a say hi to you.my heat best for you..be safe.fan Cindy fortune. I live Pa. USA.great job.

  4. Mary

    July 23, 2020 at 2:11 am

    Looking forward to tomorrow. Your songs are amazing. I love to hear you speak about Patricia.

  5. Carol Thomas (Dean) IG cjt1950 Dean

    July 23, 2020 at 2:57 am

    I Need You is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The video accompanying your sing is fabulous. It’s you and nature, how very beautiful! You are truly a wonderous creation from God. Your talents, your charisma, your lovely blue eyes You -JUST YOU. I had a very special person in my life many years ago and he would always say – YOU I LOVE and now I’ll pass it on to you. YOU I LOVE!

  6. Lucky

    July 23, 2020 at 3:47 am

    Although you were around a lot longer than I was you are an inspiration to my generation and generations to come. I’ve been a fan for a while now and now my children are as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen you in two concerts and got two autographs. Can’t wait until tomorrow! Luv u! U r the most legendary performer ever!

  7. Laura OBrien

    July 23, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Beautiful song and you know he was singing to his beautiful wife. His voice
    Hasn’t changed from the time he started his singing career. He still is
    Amazing. I’ve seen him many times and will go see him again when he
    Returns to the stage again. Just love him.

  8. Gaynell Holmes

    July 23, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    I’ have loved you from the start of your career! I’m 80 years old and we did get to see you at Goldstrike in Tunica In January! I’m so glad you can still connect with us fans! My lifetime dream was to meet you and I did at Mount Dora, FL. I traveled by car from North Alabama to your show there! I can’t wIt to see you today on u tube!

  9. Lori Flynn

    July 23, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    I have loved you and your wonderful songs for 17 years. Gone to many concerts. The best was when I handed you a rose and you kissed my hand like the gentleman that you are. God Bless you.

  10. K Shan

    July 24, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Just can’t get enough of your music, have been to your concert 3 times and will continue to attend when you are back to Melbourne. Stay safe and well.

  11. Jonnapat

    July 24, 2020 at 11:13 am

    A great singer for 5 decades. I first saw Enge in 1968 in his home town of Leicester and 45 years later in Bangkok.
    Voice is in remarkably good condition for an 84 year old and the singing of Smile at the end was beautiful. Keep safe and keep entertaining us.

  12. Joyce

    July 24, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    I’m 82 just a little younger and you. I make quilts several hours a day and listen to you on my Amazon player nonstop. Just can’t get enough of your beautiful music and voice.

  13. Anne blakeney

    July 24, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    I love his voice…my husband and I have a few records of his. and we have also been to quite a few shows in Vancouver, and now that my husband has died from what Patricia is suffering from, it brings back lots and lots of memories we shared together listening to his special songs….. thank you Englebert..I send you my love and best wishes. X

  14. Roger Eyers

    July 25, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    I’m 77yrs old and I love to watch him and listen to him I’m always watching his show at the London palladium keep going Englebert love you buddy x

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