You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Engelbert Humperdinck

It's sad to watch the demise of the crooner, with a whole generation of today's music lovers missing out. Keeping the flame flickering is Engelbert Humperdinck, the oddly named crooner with a slew of mid-'60s velvety pop hits that included "Release Me," "A Man Without Love," "The Last Waltz" and "After the Lovin'."

With:
Band: Eddie Tobin, Roy Vogt, Tony Pia, Brian Fox, Steve Aho, Matt Waldrum, Andrew Martinez, Adriana Hall, Yvette Gonzalez.

It’s sad to watch the demise of the crooner, with a whole generation of today’s music lovers missing out. In their heyday, crooners could pick and choose the best songs from any format and offer comfortable, nonthreatening interpretations for a wide generational swath to enjoy. Keeping the flame flickering is Engelbert Humperdinck, the oddly named crooner (real name: Thomas Arnold George Dorsey) with a slew of mid-’60s velvety pop hits that included “Release Me,” “A Man Without Love,” “The Last Waltz” and “After the Lovin’.”

All these songs were creampuff in their time, and still are, but they served to keep an alienated listenership in touch with the pop revolution of the time, dominated by the Beatles and the “Peace & Love” generation. Yet this sub-genre refuses to go down without a fight: The Cerritos Center for the Arts was sold out for two evenings. (The Saturday show was his last before Humperdinck heads to Russia for a monthlong tour.) After an overture of hits by his band, Humperdinck entered stage right with his signature baritone and tan, dressed in black shirt and pants, hair coiffed in throwback style (with a well-covered bald patch), as he opened with “Let the Music Play.”

His highly scripted 90-minute set bore the stamp of Las Vegas as Humperdinck touched on Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable,” tweaked “A Man Without Love” into a samba-like cut and then launched into a disco-fueled “Cuando Cuando.” Next, a bow to rap and its energy caused a winded Humperdinck to exclaim at the end of a wicked, beat-driven interlude, “I feel like Puff Daddy!”

And that’s where the fun is with crooners, whose sole focus is to entertain and offer audiences a chance to truly leave the world’s problems at home and just enjoy the evening. Serving as a gracious host who invites you into his environment with self-effacing humor and inoffensive song and dance, Humperdinck brought the past to life with rocking versions of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” and Elvis Presley’s interpretation of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” after which Humperdinck acknowledged Presley as both an influence and as a friend.

Still in fine voice at age 67, Humperdinck eased into a medley of his previously mentioned hits, with the closer “Release Me” drawing the women in the audience to the stage with roses in hand. If this is to be “The Last Waltz” of the crooner generation, then Humperdinck is a fine, yet underappreciated representative of a genre that deserves a better future.

Engelbert Humperdinck

Cerritos Center for the Arts; 1,747 seats; $57 top

Production: Presented inhouse. Reviewed June 7, 2003.

Cast: Band: Eddie Tobin, Roy Vogt, Tony Pia, Brian Fox, Steve Aho, Matt Waldrum, Andrew Martinez, Adriana Hall, Yvette Gonzalez.

More Music

  • Sam Smith Cancels iHeartRadio Performance Due

    Sam Smith Pulls Out of iHeartRadio Performance Due to Vocal Emergency

    It’s sad to watch the demise of the crooner, with a whole generation of today’s music lovers missing out. In their heyday, crooners could pick and choose the best songs from any format and offer comfortable, nonthreatening interpretations for a wide generational swath to enjoy. Keeping the flame flickering is Engelbert Humperdinck, the oddly named […]

  • Patti Davis Patti Davis, daughter of

    Patti Davis Defends Christine Blasey Ford, Recalls Sexual Assault by Prominent Music Exec

    It’s sad to watch the demise of the crooner, with a whole generation of today’s music lovers missing out. In their heyday, crooners could pick and choose the best songs from any format and offer comfortable, nonthreatening interpretations for a wide generational swath to enjoy. Keeping the flame flickering is Engelbert Humperdinck, the oddly named […]

  • Benny Medina'The Today Show', New York,

    D.A. Declines to Charge Benny Medina With 2004 Sexual Assault

    It’s sad to watch the demise of the crooner, with a whole generation of today’s music lovers missing out. In their heyday, crooners could pick and choose the best songs from any format and offer comfortable, nonthreatening interpretations for a wide generational swath to enjoy. Keeping the flame flickering is Engelbert Humperdinck, the oddly named […]

  • J. ColeWireless Festival, Day 1, Finsbury

    J. Cole Announces New Date for Dreamville Festival Postponed by Hurricane Florence

    It’s sad to watch the demise of the crooner, with a whole generation of today’s music lovers missing out. In their heyday, crooners could pick and choose the best songs from any format and offer comfortable, nonthreatening interpretations for a wide generational swath to enjoy. Keeping the flame flickering is Engelbert Humperdinck, the oddly named […]

  • Singer Win Butler performs with Canadian

    Concert Review: Arcade Fire Perform Debut Album 'Funeral' in Its Entirety

    It’s sad to watch the demise of the crooner, with a whole generation of today’s music lovers missing out. In their heyday, crooners could pick and choose the best songs from any format and offer comfortable, nonthreatening interpretations for a wide generational swath to enjoy. Keeping the flame flickering is Engelbert Humperdinck, the oddly named […]

  • Jakob Dylan2018 Film Festival Opening Night

    LA Film Festival: Jakob Dylan Talks Music Documentary 'Echo in the Canyon'

    It’s sad to watch the demise of the crooner, with a whole generation of today’s music lovers missing out. In their heyday, crooners could pick and choose the best songs from any format and offer comfortable, nonthreatening interpretations for a wide generational swath to enjoy. Keeping the flame flickering is Engelbert Humperdinck, the oddly named […]

  • The Hex

    Album Review: Richard Swift's 'The Hex'

    It’s sad to watch the demise of the crooner, with a whole generation of today’s music lovers missing out. In their heyday, crooners could pick and choose the best songs from any format and offer comfortable, nonthreatening interpretations for a wide generational swath to enjoy. Keeping the flame flickering is Engelbert Humperdinck, the oddly named […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content