Engelbert - What's in a name....like Elvis?!
Any of you read the recently published autobiography of the Legendary 'King of Romance' - Engelbert Humperdinck? It's titled 'Engelbert - What's in a name'.
I've been waiting for years to read about Enge's rise to fame and at last it's in the stores. Obviously, I've heard him on chat shows throughout the years talk about his connection with Elvis in Vegas and relating the famous story about how he was the first to grow the mutton-chop style sideburns before Elvis did (can't help but think there is a tinge of bitterness here because Enge was the one who ended up shaving his off because people thought he was copying Elvis!).
Nevertheless, it appears that Mr. H as remained true to 'The King' over the years, because it does come across in the book that he more or less worshipped Elvis - read the story about August 16th when Engelbert was playing Lake Tahoe...really moving stuff...and an amazing tribute...
Enge touches on the fact that when they both played Vegas, Elvis and himself used to attend each other's shows and in turn introduce each other in the audience. But, I can't help but think that Engelbert's memoirs of such stories are somewhat hazy and misleading as time as gone by. I know Enge talks about himself being 'friends' with Elvis in Vegas, but if truth is known Engelbert probably only saw/met Elvis on a few occasions that you could count on one hand.
One particular story that struck me as a big question mark is when Enge states that Elvis used to have this woman follow him around in the early Vegas days of 1970 and have her make sketches of him with new creations of jumpsuits and she used to illustrate Elvis with sideburns and big collars in the sketches, so Elvis liked the look of them and decided to adopt his sideburned-look(thought Elvis' sideburns were already fully mutton-chop style in 1970??)...Enge then goes on to state that in a documentary this woman can be seen giving Elvis one of these sketches and Elvis snarls at it saying, "It looks like Engelbert Humperdinck!"
Hmmm....isn't this woman known as Barhega (forgive the spelling - Elvis' pronounciation) and wasn't she the fan at the foot of the Vegas stage presenting this sketch to Elvis in 'That's The Way It Is - Special Edition'?
Hmmmm.....Mr. H....can't help but think that you have got an overactive imagination....or should we blame your co-author, Katie Wright for you getting her muddled up about sideburns, Barhega, and Jumpsuits?!......one question then - was Barhega on Elvis' payroll to follow him around in Vegas and make sketches of him in proposed designs for jumpsuits - what's that man Bill Belew got to say about this? Is Bill still with us?
One more thing - it appears that Enge didn't have too close a relationship with Elvis' bodyguards as he refers to the controversial Red West by putting an 'F' before his name, making him known as Fred West in the book. In the UK that name is a very dirty and controversial name in itself belonging to a former mass murderer - do we just blame Katie Wright again for this or do we accept the fact that Engelbert thinks Red's name is actually 'Fred'?
It's a shame that such stories appear to be very much in the line of fabrication - any big Elvis fan can spot this a mile off....but, nevertheless, Enge has remained true to Elvis over the years unlike his Welsh counterpart, the undisputed 'King of Fabrication' - Mr. Tom Jones.
Enge is a character and a very sincere one too as well as being a wonderful performer of the highest quality - plus there is also THAT voice. I do like and admire Engelbert, but he probably would have liked to have known and spent more time with Elvis than what he actually did.
Anyway, if you are also a fan of the 'Humpster' go and buy his book and enjoy it - even for the 'hazy' cross-wire memoirs of his time with Elvis in Vegas.
What do you think guys?