February 6, 2015

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 90: Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Help Me Make It Through the Night

Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Place
reel-to-reel tape cover
cover photo photographer unknown
photo of tape box cover by Styrous®

In addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling, I have reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes for sale. If interested, contact me by email please, not by a comment. 

I have the Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Placereel-to-reel tape for sale on Amazon. I have others for sale on eBay now (see links below).    

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Of all the songs on this album, my favorite is, Help Me Make It Through The Night, which was written by Kris Kristofferson. It's the reason I bought the album.  Kristofferson said that he got the inspiration for the song from an Esquire magazine interview with Frank Sinatra. When asked what he believed in, Frank replied, "Booze, broads, or a bible...whatever helps me make it through the night."

Kristofferson wrote the song while staying long term as a struggling songwriter with Dottie West and her husband, Bill, at their home on Shy's Hill Road in Nashville's Green Hills neighborhood. When he offered Dottie the song, she originally claimed it was "too suggestive" for her. Even though she would eventually record it before the year was out, several others had recorded and released it before her, some garnering great success with the song. Later on, West said that not recording it when it was originally offered to her was one of the greatest regrets of her career. 

(click on any image to see slideshow)

Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Place
reel-to-reel tape back cover
photo by Styrous® 

The song was also recorded in 1971 by Elvis Presley and Joan Baez for her album, Blessed Are... (July 1971) (see link below). Gladys Knight & the Pips did it in 1972 and Bryan Ferry for his album, Another Time, Another Place in October of 1974. Jerry Lee Lewis did a bluesy version for his album Touching Home and did the more upbeat version with Kristofferson as well.

In the Country realm, singer Sammi Smith sang the song; her recording of it is the most commercially successful and most well-known version. Smith's recording ranks among the most successful country singles of all time in terms of sales, popularity and radio airplay. Her recording topped the country singles chart, and was also a crossover hit, reaching number eight on the U.S. pop singles chart. It was the most successful version, with the Knight & the Pips version second. Also in the country vein, Tammy Wynette also did a cover of it.

Tina Turner took a shot at the tune. With it’s female chorus backup and her trademark sexy sax it would almost be called gospel if it weren’t so damned erotic. An aside: Turner "Relinquished" her U. S. citizenship in 2013, according to the Washington Post.

 Other American singers would record the song throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. 

While Kristofferson's version is kind of fast and bouncey, Smith's and Presley's are slow, sensual and incredibly romantic. They really make you want to swoon.

The absolutely most beautiful version of the song is by Gladys Knight. It is quiet, dreamy and lovely featuring guitar, flute, snare drum and muted trumpet. Even though it has a dramatic point, it does it with reserve. There is a good version of a BBC show from a 1970s performance with remastered sound from an original VHS tape on YouTube.  

However, there is a comedy version by Ray Stevens á la Homer & Jethro (known as the Thinking Man's Hillbillies), complete with banjos that is hysterical. Links to these versions of the song on YouTube below. 

Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Place
reel-to-reel tape back cover detail
detail photo by Styrous® 

Engelbert Humperdinck is an English pop singer, best known for his UK number-one hits Release Me and The Last Waltz, as well as After the Lovin' and A Man Without Love. He was born Arnold George Dorsey on the 2nd of May, 1936. He was born in Madras, India, and moved to Leicester, England, as a child with his family, where he took an early interest in music. Initially playing the saxophone in nightclubs, he soon started singing, releasing his first single, I'll Never Fall in Love Again, in 1958, a watermark year for music and other events (see link below). 

In the mid-1960s Dorsey adopted the stage name "Engelbert Humperdinck" after the German 19th-century composer of operas. He has been performing under this name ever since, although in Germany he only uses Engelbert as his stage name because the Humperdinck family has not allowed him use of the full name. 

Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Place
reel-to-reel tape back cover detail
detail photo by Styrous® 

Humperdinck enjoyed first real success during July 1966 in Belgium, where he and four others represented England in the annual Knokke song contest. Three months later, in October 1966, he was on stage in Mechelen. He made a mark on the Belgian charts with Dommage, Dommage and an early music video was filmed, with him in the harbour of Zeebrugge.  

In the mid-1960s, Humperdinck visited famed German songwriter Bert Kaempfert at his house in Spain and was offered arrangements of three songs: Spanish Eyes; Strangers in the Night; and Wonderland by Night. He returned to England where he recorded all three songs. Realizing the potential of Strangers in the Night, he asked manager Gordon Mills whether it could be released as a single, but his request was refused since the song had already been requested by Frank Sinatra (see link below).  

Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Place
reel-to-reel tape spine
photo by Styrous® 

In early 1967 his version of Release Me, recorded in a smooth ballad style with a full chorus joining him on the third refrain, made the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic and number one in Britain, keeping The Beatles' (see link below) Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane from the top slot in the UK. Another groundbreaking video showed Engelbert tied up with a lasso. Release Me spent 56 weeks in the Top 50 in a single chart run. Release Me was believed to have sold 85,000 copies a day at the height of its popularity, and for years, it was the best known of his songs.

In 1968, the single A Man Without Love reached number two in the UK Singles Chart, and the album of the same name reached number three.

Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Place
reel-to-reel tape spine
detail photos by Styrous® 

Humperdinck's easygoing style and good looks earned him a large following, particularly among women. His hardcore female fans called themselves "Humperdinckers". Release Me was succeeded by two more hit ballads, There Goes My Everything and The Last Waltz.  

In the 1980s, Humperdinck consolidated his discography, recording regularly, while performing as many as 200 concerts a year. In the early and mid 1980s, he made a number of special appearances as an actor on popular television dramas of the time, including The Love Boat, Hotel, and Fantasy Island.    

Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Place
photo by Styrous® 

Humperdinck was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989 and won a Golden Globe Award as entertainer of the year, while also beginning major involvement in charitable causes such as the Leukemia Research Fund, the American Red Cross, the American Lung Association, and several AIDS relief organisations.   

Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Place
reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous® 


Side 1:

1 - Another Time, Another Place  - 3:00
2 - Help Me Make It Through The Night  - 2:41
3 - Our Love Will Rise Again  - 2:45
4 - Talk It Over In The Morning  - 2:38
5 - There's An Island  - 3:22
6 - Revivin' Old Emotions  - 2:50

Side 2:

1 - Nashville Lady  - 3:19
2 - Morning  - 2:34
3 - Twenty Miles From Home  - 2:41
4 - Days Of Icy Fingers  - 2:25
5 - I'm Holding Your Memory (But He's Holding You)  - 3:05
Gordon Mills Production
Arrangers: Laurie Holloway & Frank Barber

Label: Parrot ‎– PEM 79048
Country: USReleased: 1971
Genre: Pop
Style: Vocal

Engelbert Humperdinck discography   

Humperdinck songs on YouTube:   
Dommage, Dommage (1966 video)
Release Me   
Help Me Make It Through The Night   

Help Me Make It Through The Night by others on YouTube:
Kris Kristofferson     
Sammi Smith   
Elvis Presley
Jerry Lee Lewis    
Lewis and Kristofferson   
Willie Nelson 
Gladys Knight  
Tina Turner     
Ray Stevens    

Joan Baez ~ Blessed Are...   
Van Cliburn & Sputnik ~ 1958   

Engelbert Humperdinck ‎~ Another Time, Another Place is for sale on Amazon

other reel-to-reel tapes now on eBay   

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