Englebert Humperdinck HONORING ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK
At Our Next Luncheon: SEPTEMBER 20, 2019
Location: AirTel Plaza Hotel, Van Nuys

Engelbert Humperdinck never wanted to be a singer. A career in music, yes, but he was extraordinarily shy. The youngest boy of a family of ten children originally from Leicester, England, he grew up in Madras, India, where his father was stationed during World War II. Engelbert’s childhood was dominated by the love of his parents and his brothers and sisters. He knew he could sing harmonies, but the power of his own voice came as a surprise to him and other people. “It’s just so loud, but I discovered I can be tender with it at the same time.”

Like all great icons, he is a man of great depth – masculine and loving, shy inside and uninhibited onstage, prepared to play the sex god to the hilt and still, at this stage of his career, managing to get away with it. “My mother’s side of the family had the signing voice so I must have inherited that from her. My father was a man’s man – strong, athletic, charismatic. And I like to do all kind of men things. I love sports, golf, tennis martial arts, soccer, skiing, but at the same time, yes I do appreciate women.”

In a career spanning almost 50 years, Engelbert has generated sales in excess of 140 million records, including 64 gold albums and 23 platinum, four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe, and stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Las Vegas Walk of Fame. He has performed for the Queen four times and many heads of state. He has recorded everything from the most romantic ballads to movie theme songs, disco, rock, and even gospel. His unique voice has charmed millions of fans around the globe. However, it’s not just the voice, but the man himself, with his endearing sense of humor and self-deprecating jokes. Engelbert has managed to strike a new chord with a younger generation after appearing on MTV several times.

Engelbert entered the world as Arnold George Dorsey. At the age of 11, he started studying music and playing the saxophone. When he was 17, Engelbert found himself playing at a pub that sponsored a singing contest. Goaded by his friends to enter, he put down his sax and for the first time revealed another vocal talent: impersonations. Arnold George Dorsey gave an incredible impersonation of comedian Jerry Lewis – and was quickly dubbed Gerry Dorsey by his fans. It soon became his professional stage name.

Gerry Dorsey was very popular on the UK music circuit and in 1959 he released a single called, “Crazybells/ Mister Music Man” on Decca Records. However, he contracted tuberculosis, which silenced him for six months and nearly ended his rising music career. Upon regaining his health, Gerry Dorsey knew he had to end his former image to make a comeback as a strong, dynamic performer. A former manager suggested the new name, Engelbert Humperdinck, taken from the Austrian composer who wrote Hansel and Gretel. It was outrageous enough to be memorable. And thus was born the soon-to-be legend, Engelbert Humperdinck.

Engelbert exploded on to the music scene in the sixties with The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. His sixties did not so much swing as rage. The shy handsome boy catapulted almost instantly to world icon. He became great friends with Elvis Presley and the two legends often performed each other’s songs. His first single in the charts was “Release Me,” which went into the Guinness Book of Records for achieving 56 consecutive weeks on the charts. It was No. 1 in 11 countries. The song was re-released after being used for a UK national television commercial for John Smith’s beer.

The following decades saw Engelbert touring the world to sell-out crowds. Engelbert seems to take great pleasure in every moment on stage, a place where he can lose his inhibitions and no longer be the child who was once shy.

Engelbert’s music has transcended time and his voice still continues to reach out to people now – serving to transport and inspire, to embrace and to provoke feelings and emotions…ingredients that are no doubt the essence of his long-lasting success.


SCHEDULED ON THE DAIS
• Ron Alexenburg
• Johnny Dark
• Paula Salvatore
• Jo Anne Worley
• James Darren



LAST LUNCHEON JUN. 14, 2019
Fritz Coleman Honoree:
Fritz Coleman



Fritz Coleman received PPB's Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award from President "Shotgun Tom" Kelly at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys on June 14th.

Fritz is NBC4's beloved weathercaster for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. He joined NBC4 in 1982 as the weekend weathercaster and two years later moved to weekdays, where he has been part of the longest-running evening news team with legendary journalists Chuck Henry, Colleen Williams and Fred Roggin. A Southern California broadcasting icon, he is renowned in the region for his extensive knowledge of weather, his sense of humor and affable personality. Follow him on Facebook here.

Fritz is the cornerstone of the NBC4 Weather Team that won two Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards for the station's specials, El Nino: Currents of Change and Running Dry: California's Historic Drought. He was honored by the Associated Press Television and Radio Association with the Stan Chambers Award for Extraordinary Achievement. Fritz has received countless accolades over the last three decades, including "Best Weathercaster" by nearly every major newspaper in Southern California, including the Orange County Register and four times in the Los Angeles Daily News.

In addition to his celebrated broadcast career, Fritz is well-known for giving his time to numerous charitable activities, and hosts hundreds of local events to raise awareness for services that benefit underserved communities. His involvement in NBC4's goodwill initiatives has been the foundation to the success of the station's community outreach, including Fritz's Holiday Lights which spotlighted festive neighborhoods lit up for the holiday season. His role in NBC4's Help 4 the Hungry helps raise awareness about families in need during the holidays. Fritz is also featured as a proud example of the rewards of giving time with NBC4's signature community program, I Am A Volunteer.

His community work has been recognized by hundreds of prominent organizations, including a Humanitarian Award from the United States House of Representatives for his work with the American Red Cross, as well as honors from the Salvation Army, Shelter Partnership and others.

A long-time stand-up comic who regards Bob Hope and Johnny Carson as heroes, Fritz has done stand-up for decades at local comedy clubs. Fritz has appeared several times on the "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and Jimmy Fallon. He had a number of series and specials that aired on NBC4 including "What a Week," "It's Fritz," "Fritz and Friends" and "The Perils of Parenting." He earned four Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards for his work.

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Fritz attended Salem College in West Virginia and Temple University in Philadelphia where he studied radio, television and film. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy. Fritz lives in the San Fernando Valley and has three children and two grandchildren.




FRITZ COLEMAN LUNCHEON

Pictured below are members of the luncheon dais. Front Row, L-R: Tim Conway, Jr.; PPB President "Shotgun Tom" Kelly; Honoree Fritz Coleman and David Sheehan. Back Row, L-R: Chuck Henry, Kelly Lange, Colleen Williams and Steve Carlston. (Roxanne Schorbach photo)
An InvitationAN INVITATION

Would you like to join the PPB and attend the Englebert Humperdinck Luncheon on September 20, 2019? If you have worked in Broadcasting or in any related field for 10 years or more, please e-mail our Membership Committee with your request to join us to honor Englebert Humperdinck. Please include your name and daytime telephone numbers.

PPB Members receive their Luncheon Notice and Reservation Form by mail before the date of each luncheon, and send in their request for table seating along with their check.

Past Honorees


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