Well the lyrics are pretty macho but the voice singing the lyrics is very very romantic and that’s all I thought about or understood about this song when my paternal grandmother would play this on her 8-track player over and over again. Nanny’s Humperdinck and Charley Pride tapes were two of her favorites. (So perhaps now you can see another of the many roots of my eclectic musical tastes.)
“Release Me,” composed by Eddie Miller, Dub Williams and Robert Yount, was the breakout hit for Britain’s Arnold Dorsey. Arnold had been struggling on the music scene since the early fifties first as a saxophone player and later as a singer.
In 1965 Arnold ran into a former roommate, George Mills, who also happened to be managing the singer Tom Jones.
Aware that Dorsey had been struggling several years to make it in music, Mills suggested a name change to the more arresting Engelbert Humperdinck, borrowed from the composer of such operas as Hansel and Gretel. Mills also arranged a new deal with Decca Records. And in early 1967, the changes paid off when Humperdinck’s version of “Release Me,” done in a smooth ballad style with a full chorus joining him on the third chorus, reached the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic and went to number one in Britain, keeping The Beatles’ adventurous “Strawberry Fields” from entering the top slot in the UK. Release Me also went on to become the longest running chart single in history. It spent 56 weeks in the Top 50 in a single chart run, a record that still holds to this day (SOURCE)
This first hit was my favorite EH sang until “After the Lovin’” came along in 1976. His voice was too smooth in that one! Simply dreamy.
Englebert continues to wow crowds today. His Official Site features his tour schedule plus fan club information, discography, photos, news, and web shop.
Please enjoy this visual of EH performing the song that has become his trademark. The clip is from the series “The Engelbert Humperdinck Show” recorded in London 1969-1970.
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