MR SHOWBIZ Engelbert Humperdinck - who plays Sheffield City Hall on November 5, 2011 - has revealed: “Elvis stole my sideburns!”
The Release Me and Last Waltz chart-topper says he was the one who started the fashion craze and got there first...by a whisker.
“In 1965 I started growing my sideburns. Elvis put his on I think in 1970 or 71. It all started with the Hump,’’ he laughed, in an exclusive chat with digital editor Graham Walker.
“I told Elvis, I said ‘you stole my sideburns’. He said, ‘If it looks good on you it’s gonna look good on me’.”
It’s one of the many fascinating stories the 75-year-old has to tell after a 44-year career which started with him playing working men’s clubs in the region.
He went on to sell 150 million albums, as one of the biggest stars in Las Vegas.
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr and Elvis were among his personal friends.
“In the early days, when I was performing in working men’s clubs, Sheffield was my home every week. I would get the train from Leicester. It was my apprenticeship. I met a lot of lovely people and stayed in some nice digs,” Engelbert recalls.
He has no plans to quit or slow down. He is half way through Released 2011, a 14-date UK tour, performing new songs and greatest hits, such as Quando Quando Quando and A Man Without Love.
“If I don’t put Release Me and Last Waltz in the show I’m in trouble,” adds the superstar, who divides his time between homes in Los Angeles and his beloved Leicester.
Born Arnold George Dorsey, his manager changed his name to Engelbert Humperdinck after a 19th century Austrian composer. It was a gimmick and, with an equally unforgettable voice, he became a household name.
* Tickets for his performance at Sheffield City Hall are from £33.50, may be subject to a booking fee. Buy in person, call 0114 2789 789, 0114 256 5567 or 0844 338 0000, go online at sheffieldcityhall.co.uk, arenaticketshop.co.uk or bookingsdirect.com