Friday, 2 March 2012
Summing up 1967 - you know, Summer of Love, San Francisco (be sure to wear flowers in your hair), Monterey festival, Purple Haze, Cream, Velvet Underground's first, Strange Days, John Wesley Harding - the British music press spoke with one voice: It was, they declared, the year of Engelbert Humperdinck. The Hump's smooth ballad stylings had indeed dominated the charts to the extent that the great crooner (born Arnold Dorsey) even kept Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane off the Top Spot. And now, it seems, it is again the Year of Engelbert Humperdinck: he has been chosen to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, that jewel of the Caspian Sea. This is immensely heartening news, suggesting that at last we've got the hang of Eurovision and stopped regarding it as some kind of song contest or as something worth winning, except as a rather good joke. I'm only sorry that this versatile songster, who dominated the 1965/6 charts to an almost Engelbertian extent, was overlooked. Maybe next year?