Reference Library – USA – New Jersey
Dedicated Fans Follow Their Hearts to Engelbert Humperdinck’s 50th Anniversary Concert LIVE! at BergenPAC
It s Friday, April 7, 2017, and excitement is in the air as we, along with so many others, traverse bustling North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, NJ.
We reach address #30 and join the throng of people filing into the lobby of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (BergenPAC), anxious to experience tonight s special event Engelbert Humperdinck s 50th anniversary concert celebrating the release of his 1967 hit, Please Release Me.
As we make our way inside, we meet Annette from Hamilton, NJ who tells us she s been a devoted fan of Engelbert s since the 1960s.
Noting that her mother was also a fan, Annette discloses, This is my annual spring pilgrimage. I ve seen Engelbert about 30 times two times every year once every spring and once every fall.
Annette shows us a 50th anniversary gift she s brought for Engelbert a box of Godiva chocolates and a card telling us about the accompanying message she wrote him which reads, Dear Engelbert, All those singers out there today think they re performers? They re not. You are.
As fans continue to make their way through the lobby, Annette introduces us to her friend, Anna, from Yardville, a relatively new fan of Humperdinck s. Anna tells us she had never even heard Humperdinck s music until just a few years ago when, as she explains, Annette told me she wanted to go to an Engelbert concert, and said she needed a ride.
Ever since, Anna s husband, Ray, has volunteered to drive both women to numerous Humperdinck concerts. Now an enthusiastic fan, Anna reveals, I find Engelbert s songs to be very soothing very loving. In fact, Ray and I even celebrated our 50th anniversary to one of his songs.
Walking from the busy lobby into the rapidly-filling BergenPAC auditorium, we come upon Samia and Elias, who tell us they came to see Engelbert Humperdinck here in Englewood, NJ all the way from Kuwait!
A long-time fan, Samia exclaims with a smile, I married Elias because he looked like a young Engelbert.
Moreover, Samia discloses that her father was also a fan of Humperdinck s for nearly a half century and always kept with him a photo of himself taken with Engelbert back in the 1970s.
Why do you like him so much? we ask the couple, who traveled nearly 7000 miles to see their musical hero.
Replies Samia, When Engelbert sings, it feels like he s singing every song personally to me. Elias further adds, Engelbert Humperdinck is one of the very few performers still around who sings music that will stand the test of time.
Inside the auditorium, we also meet Linn, a young man from Moorestown, NJ, who tells us he s seen Humperdinck in person between 30 and 40 times since I was a bottle baby, he reveals.
Linn tells us that both his mother and grandmother were fans of Engelbert and that his mother was even a member of a fan club which, as Linn explains, used to decorate Mr. Humperdinck s dressing room whenever he performed in Atlantic City.
According to Linn, his mom would follow Engelbert to concerts around the country, and Linn remembers making pilgrimages to Las Vegas, New York, and South Carolina with his mother while growing up. In fact, Linn tells us that when he was five, he was even brought up on stage with Engelbert when Humperdinck performed at Resorts International Casino in Atlantic City.
Linn recalls that once he got on stage, Engelbert s drummer, Tony Savage, gave him a pair of drumsticks and asked him if he would like to sing on the microphone.
Regarding that experience, Linn now states, I was terrified. I jumped off the stage and hid under a table, and my poor mother and everyone else spent the entire night trying to convince me to come out from under it!
That early childhood trauma notwithstanding, Linn still loves Mr. Humperdinck, declaring, Engelbert transcends generations. He s still going strong still touring and the number one reason is because he appreciates his fans; he just adores his fan base.
Linn takes a moment to introduce us to his friend, Emily, from Hainsport, NJ whom he s asked to accompany him to this special Engelbert Humperdinck 50th anniversary concert at BergenPAC.
Reveals Emily, This is my very first time at an Engelbert concert. I don t really know his music at all, smiling while admitting, I usually listen to country and metal.
As we ponder just how this first-time concert-goer will find tonight s performance, the house lights dim and the packed house begins to cheer as the members of Engelbert Humperdinck s band make their way onto the stage.
On a large screen overhead, we re treated to a classic TV clip of singer Dean Martin doing a comedy sketch where he mispronounces Engelbert Humperdinck s name each time he tries to introduce Humperdinck to his television audience.
As the BergenPAC crowd chuckles, the clip finishes and a sign flashes, The Legend Continues At this point, Humperdinck s talented band begins to play a medley of 50 years of Engelbert Humperdinck hits.
Soon, the stage glows red, and the audience can hear emanating from off-stage that famous full-sounding baritone voice of Engelbert Humperdinck, never sounding better.
Within moments, Engelbert enters, singing the lyrics, I m crazy for loving you, from Willie Nelson s Crazy, to which an enthusiastic fan screams, Oh my God, I love you!
After moving on to a memorable rendition of Am I That Easy to Forget? the crowd cheers and Humperdinck uses one hand to acknowledge his music director, David Arana, while with his other hand, he blows a kiss to his adoring fans.
I m celebrating my 50th anniversary, Humperdinck explains to the audience, so I m going to do everything like I m 50!
Going on to introduce his next number, Humperdinck says, This next song says everything a performer wants to say to an audience.
Launching into Gladys Knight s You re the Best Thing that Ever Happened To Me, Humperdinck points directly to his fans in the audience and warmly sings directly to them.
Next, Engelbert invites the crowd to sing along with him on two of his biggest hits, Man Without Love and After the Lovin , to which the entire house happily obliges.
Lights flashing, the room starts to shake when Engelbert s band plays The Stripper, and Humperdinck starts to remove his jacket and strut his stuff. There are cat calls from the audience, one fan enthusiastically screaming out, Give it to me!
Smiling, Mr. Humperdinck proposes a toast to all of his loyal fans saying, Here s to you and here s to me. Shall we always be friends.
On his next classic Humperdinck number, Quando, Quando, Quando, the famous baritone invites his back-up singers to dance with him while ace band member Johann Frank plays a rockin electric guitar solo.
As the lyrics to another Humperdinck song, Girl of Mine, flash on the screen behind him, Engelbert invites the audience to sing along with him yet again.
Then, he performs one of two songs which he says may soon be released as his 50th anniversary single. In the first of these two new numbers, he sings, I can hear the sounds of words so softly spoken/I don t want to call it goodbye, the audience cheering mightily in response to the song.
Humperdinck and the band follow this up with a medley of several more of Engelbert s classic hits This Moment in Time, The Way it Used to Be, Les Bicyclettes de Belsize, There Goes My Everything, Spanish Eyes, and Love is All I Have to Give after which he receives a well-deserved standing ovation.
I m so proud of all of those songs, exclaims Engelbert, before launching into a tune which, he says, is played in every dance hall around the world at the end of the night The Last Waltz.
Making fun of his own name calling himself both Humpy and Engy Humperdinck performs a world-class vocal rendition of Paul Simon s Bridge Over Troubled Water, for which he not only earns a standing ovation from the crowd but an earnest round of applause from his band members as well.
Acknowledging, It s every artist s dream to appear on Broadway, Humperdinck presents an energetic version of On Broadway, and follows that up by spotlighting the members of his top-notch band as they play I Can t Stop Loving You.
Announcing, Now it s time for the celebration song, Engelbert sings his 1967 #1 worldwide hit, Release Me, still sounding as good as he did on the legendary recording he made a half-century earlier!
After receiving yet another standing ovation, Humperdinck returns to the stage to sing the second number he says could be released as his 50th anniversary single, I Followed My Heart.
As the audience cheers, Humperdinck closes his magical evening of song with You re My World. Afterwards, he takes leave of the stage for a moment, but soon returns sporting a red robe and, then at the tender age of 82 vigorously shadow boxes for the crowd!
Following the performance, we catch up with Annette the woman we first met in the lobby standing in the front row, tossing her gift of candy and a card up and on to the stage.
After a few moments, when Annette notices it hasn t yet been picked up by Engelbert or a member of his band, Toni, a friendly security guard, comes to her rescue and offers to deliver it to Mr. Humperdinck for her.
Thank you so much! exclaims Annette, before disclosing, I always bring him chocolates now but I used to bring him cigars.
Lucky to have had seats in the front row, Annette exclaims, I throughly enjoyed this concert; there s no way I would ever want to sit in the back!
Annette s friend, Anna, agrees and adds, Obviously, Engelbert Humperdinck is an icon. You have to respect his talent. It s a privilege to see him perform his whole body just sings.
Making our way up the aisle, we also catch up with Samia from Kuwait. She tells us that, at the end of the show, she ran down to try to meet Engelbert, acknowledging, Even though I couldn t get a picture or an autograph, I still love him.
We also come upon Emily invited by her friend, Linn, to experience her very first Engelbert concert who asserts, I really liked it! You can be sure I ll be coming back for more!
And Linn who s seen Humperdinck so many times since childhood chimes in, declaring, He hasn t lost his touch at all! He still sounds great!
As we make our way back through to the lobby, we come upon two fans whom we hadn t yet met before Gail and Meredith a mother and daughter who traveled from Atlanta, GA by train to BergenPAC just for this evening s special 50th anniversary performance by Engelbert Humperdinck.
Says Gail, who s been a fan of Humperdinck s for over 40 years, This concert was a Christmas gift from my daughter. I ve been going to shows with her since she was a little girl. In fact, in Wheeling, West Virginia, when Meredith was six years old, she was kissed on-stage by Engelbert and a photo of the pair was published in the local newspaper.
And as if right on cue, Gail s daughter, Meredith, takes out her mobile phone and shows us that very photo and article, admitting with a smile, I m a fan because of my mom but I really do love Engelbert and his music.
As a result of our presence here at Engelbert Humperdinck s momentous 50 year concert celebration at BergenPAC, it occurs to us that, for all of the devoted fans who traveled here from places in New Jersey in addition to those who made the pilgrimage from elsewhere in this country and from around the world experiencing Engelbert Humperdinck live is more than merely attending a concert.
For them, it s a profound tribute to the man which comes from following their hearts.
And that is something which even after a half-century Engelbert Humperdinck recognizes and appreciates, because he feels the exact same way, particularly as evidenced when he earnestly sings to them from his potential 50th anniversary single:
This one thing is true
I followed my heart
Every single part
From the very start
I followed my heart.
For more information about Engelbert Humperdinck s 50th anniversary concert tour, please go to engelbert.com. To learn more about upcoming concerts at BergenPAC including David Crosby on May 16, Donovan on June 1, and Blood, Sweat & Tears with Bo Bice on June 15 please go to bergenpac.org.
Kyle Rowland @KyleRowland
Jim Harbaugh gets scolded by security inside shopping mall for playing catch. https://t.co/cywWm8yPgm
The Wolverines head coach played catch in the middle of a shopping mall, which drew the ire of a security guard. He pointed toward the exit sign, either kicking Harbaugh out or asking him to toss the pigskin outside.
The typically uptight leader appears to be enjoying his time abroad. Kyle Rowland of the Toledo Blade also provided footage of Harbaugh fighting to keep his khakis clean in a paintball battle:
Kyle Rowland @KyleRowland
Jim Harbaugh just bought a selfie stick. “Who wouldn’t want one of these things. This is awesome.” https://t.co/DJMSzuaktR
Kyle Rowland @KyleRowland
A Nigerian refugee, talking with Jim Harbaugh, is utterly baffled at why it’s called football. https://t.co/KYCuEG8BZn
Paintball, selfie sticks and playing ball in the house. Just how everyone would envision a football getaway with Harbaugh.
Joseph Boudreaux says taking Johnson & Johnson’s blood-thinning drug Xarelto was one of the biggest mistakes of his life. While Xarelto was supposed to help cut his stroke risk, Boudreaux says it instead caused internal bleeding that required a week-long hospital stay in the intensive-care unit, several blood transfusions and multiple heart procedures. “I don’t want anybody else to suffer like I have from that drug,” the part-time security guard says. Starting Monday, Boudreaux will get a chance to have jurors hold J&J and Bayer, which jointly developed Xarelto, responsible for the treatment’s potentially fatal side effects as his case in New Orleans becomes the first lawsuit targeting the medicine to go to trial.
The companies are facing more than 18,000 U.S. patient suits blaming the blood thinner for internal bleeding. The medicine also has been linked to at least 370 deaths, according to Food and Drug Administration reports. The drug is Bayer’s top-selling product, generating $3.24 billion in sales (3 billion euros) last year and $2.5 billion (2.3 billion euros) in 2015 for the Leverkusen, Germany based pharmaceutical company. Xarelto is J&J’s third-largest seller, bringing in $2.29 billion in 2016 as the New Brunswick, New Jersey, company seeks to replace revenue from its Remicade arthritis treatment, which lost patent protection a year ago. Boudreaux’s case is the first of four suits overseen by U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orleans slated for trial over the next three months.
“The allegations made in the Xarelto lawsuits contradict years of data on the medicine and the FDA’s determination of its safety and efficacy,” said William Foster, a spokesman for J&J’s Janssen unit that sells the drug in the U.S.
Bayer officials contend that despite some patient complaints, Xarelto’s bleeding risks are fully outlined on the medicine’s warning label and well known by prescribing doctors. “Bayer stands behind the safety and efficacy of Xarelto, and will vigorously defend it,” spokeswoman Astrid Kranz said in an emailed statement. U.S. regulators approved Xarelto in 2011 to prevent blood clots in users undergoing knee and hip surgeries. The drug’s use has been extended to patients, such as Boudreaux, who suffer from irregular heartbeats and are at high risk of stroke. Xarelto belongs to a new class of drugs aimed at replacing Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Coumadin, which has thinned patients’ blood since the 1960s. Other new thinners include Pradaxa made by Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, a German company that paid $650 million in 2014 to settle thousands of suits claiming it hid the medicine’s bleeding risks.
J&J and Bayer are accused of falsely marketing Xarelto as more effective at preventing strokes than Coumadin and easier to use, because Xarelto patients didn’t need frequent tests to monitor blood-plasma levels. Lawyers for Boudreaux and other former Xarelto patients stress the drug has no antidote, so it puts some users at high risk for bleeding out if they suffer an injury. Coumadin’s blood-thinning effects can be stemmed.
“This trial is an important first step in gaining broader awareness of one of the most high-risk drug treatments in medicine today,” Andy Birchfield, one of Boudreaux’s lawyers, said in an email. J&J and Bayer officials should have warned consumers they could be tested to gauge their Xarelto bleed-out risk, patients’ attorneys claim. The companies “concealed their knowledge of Xarelto’s defects from physicians, the FDA, the public and the medical community,” Boudreaux’s lawyers said in the filing.
J&J and Bayer point to the FDA’s finding that Xarelto is “safe and effective” for patients seeking to avoid stroke-causing clots to buttress claims the drug doesn’t pose undue risks, according to court papers. The pharmaceutical makers also argue Boudreaux and other patients can’t prove doctors would have avoided prescribing the drug even if they’d had the kind of bleeding warnings sought by the plaintiffs, according to court filings. “Xarelto’s label is adequate as a matter of law,” the companies’ attorneys said. Boudreaux’s case serves as a bellwether to help decide the Xarelto claims’ strength, said David Logan, a mass-tort law professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Fallon will allow a number of such trials to see if jurors rule for patients and award damages, Williams said. “Once the results are in, the parties may feel more confident about whether to settle the remaining claims,” he said.
Xarelto cases filed in federal courts around the U.S. have been consolidated before Fallon while other suits are awaiting trials in state courts in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Fallon previously oversaw suits against Merck & Co. targeting its Vioxx painkiller that resulted in a $4.85 billion settlement.
“Judge Fallon has been through the process several times,” said Carl Tobias, who teaches product-liability law at the University of Richmond in Virginia. “He knows how to get suits to trial that will give the companies and plaintiffs a good feel for what these cases are worth.”
Bloomberg’s Della Hasselle contributed.