Inducted to the Walk of Fame on October 23, 1989 with 1 star. Comments
Quick Facts
Born:
May 2,
Madrasdia, India
Ethnicity:
Asian

Engelbert Humperdinck is a popular music singer who became famous internationally during the 1960s and 1970s, after adopting the name of the famous German opera composer Engelbert Humperdinck as his own stage name.

As Arnold Dorsey, Humperdinck was one of ten children born in Madras, India, to British Army officer Mervyn Dorsey and his wife Olive. His mother and father were themselves both British. His family moved to Leicester, England, when he was 10, and a year later he showed an interest in music and began learning the saxophone. He started work as an apprentice engineer and by the early 1950s he was playing the instrument in nightclubs, but he is believed not to have tried singing until he was 17 and friends coaxed him into entering a pub contest. His impression of Jerry Lewis prompted friends to begin calling him "Gerry Dorsey," a name he worked under for almost a decade.

Though Dorsey's music career was interrupted by his national service in the British Army Royal Corps of Signals during the middle 1950s, he got his first chance to record in 1958 with the Decca Records label after his discharge. His first single, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," was not a hit, but Dorsey recorded for the same company almost a decade later with much different results. Dorsey continued working the nightclubs until 1961, when he was stricken with tuberculosis. He regained his health and returned to nightclub work with, unfortunately, little success. However, in 1965, he teamed with his former roommate, Gordon Mills, who had become a music impresario and the manager of Tom Jones.

He had his first real success during July 1966, in Belgium where he and four others represented England in the annual Knokke song contest, and in October he was on stage in Mechelen. In that period, Dorsey was already No. 1 in the Belgian charts, six months before the release of "Release Me". Belgian Television then made a video clip in the harbour of Zeebrugge.

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