Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Please Release me.


As a nipper, I suffered from an inexplicable infatuation with popular cabaret crooner Englebert Humperdinck. I was six years old at the time, and I can only ascribe this strange affliction to a precocious love of ridiculously attired, big haired, velvet clad crooners. It was a phase of my life that was thankfully brief: my attentions in later years focusing on the lovely Linda Carter (cracking norks) as Wonder Woman, and the killer cheek boned Debbie Harry.

For some reason I had always assumed that Englebert was American. Britons are not normally prone to Liberace tendencies, and have a general distrust of pompaded twats in large bow ties warbling meaningless lyrics to an audience of polyester clad homebodies from Boise, Idaho.

Imagine my shock when I recently discovered that Englebert is actually from Leicester. The shock was almost as great as discovering that Gary Glitter was a paedo, although, in retrospect I probably shouldn’t have been that surprised.

Englebert’s chief claim to fame is that he managed to keep the Beatles ‘Strawberry Fields/ Penny Lane’ off the number one spot in 1967. I think ‘Please Release me, Let me Go’ was the musical masterpiece responsible.

My Englebert worshiping days are thankfully a thing of the distant past (honest). I stick to P J Harvey and the Black Crowes these days. Not that they’re exactly at the cusp of modernity: but they do have the edge on James Blunt and Snow Patrol.

15 comments:

Arabella said...

Was, still am, a complete pushover for a velvet suit; the Humperdink, Jason King - even Cliff had one. I had LPs by E.H and C.R as a youngster but then, I was weird, I liked The Inkspots and Shirley Bassey too. Thinking about it, I must have been a very camp little girl.

garfer said...

I can almost imagine you flouncing around the room, casting a wistful gaze at K9, and dispatchimg justice in an 2000ad style.

suburban wonder said...

I think it had to be the name - it's just so, so, so... I don't know. It's just a weird name that makes you do a mental double-take when you first hear it and go WHOA! That can't be his real name!

I went through a Barry Manilow phase when I was 7. Don't ask me how it came or went. I'm still thankful it went.

UnderCrackers said...

My fave LP in the 70's was a Male Welsh Voice Choir doing show tunes...it was called 'Say It With Music'. Oh and the TOTPs LP with Chicory Tip doing 'Son Of My Father'. These things set us up for greatness.

Betty said...

Englebert (real name Arnold George Dorsey) is 70 this week and STILL doesn't dye his hair, honestly. He was born in Madras, which is slightly more glamorous than Leicester, I suppose.

My in-laws saw Chicory Tip live. Apparently you can hire them for your party for about 500 quid.

Wyndham said...

I have had the pelasure of meeting Mr humperdinck a couple of times and can say with some confidence that he is the thickest man alive, but Please Release Me is,by any musical standard, a cracking song.

MJ said...

And he's a golfing buddy of Johnny Briggs (Coronation Street's Mike Baldwin.)

Bronwen: Now Copacabana is stuck in my head.

garfer said...

Cliff Richard was also born in India.

Perhaps we should blame the sub continent for the musical atrocities visited upon us.

Kyahgirl said...

*looks askance at garfer*

hmmmm, we'll have to keep an eye on you.

funny thing said...

Englebert Humperdinck is no name for a Leicester lad.

Not that I've ever been to Leicester (or would want to), or feel any allegiance to anyone from anywhere in England (apart from Imp), or have any opinion about anyone from Leicester, or...

Oh bugger. That sentence got too long, now I'm confused.

PJ's nice.

First Nations said...

Ah Englebert....you and my mother have something in common!

Mind you, she's dead now.

Arabella said...

Chicory Tip - that was the man with the cape and cod-piece, yes?

S.I.D. said...

Nah, he's a big shite.

I once lost a two quid bet with a mate, cos I thought he was dead.


Bastard's alive.

I think?

Rowan said...

meh I still like him.

I always thought he was american too!

MHN for short said...

I used to listen to my mom's 73 vinyl of E.H. greatest hits. I loved it because they were so singable.

When Dave & I took ballroom dancinglessons, I discovered that he liked E.H. too. His favourite id "Les Byciclettes de Versailes" <--- Not sure that I spelled that correctly, but if you listen to E.H., you know the song...

I like "Last Waltz".