My mother came home from her work one day in the early 1960s and announced that she’d had an unimpressive encounter with what she described as a “foppish pop singer”.
How and where she met him has faded from memory, but his name I do recall: it was Jerry Dorsey. I remember it because not long afterwards he re-launched himself as Englebert Humperdinck in what was, I surmised at the time, a desperate attempt to escape the withering verdict of my mother.
There was a picture of the real Englebert Humperdinck on my classroom wall at school. He was equally unimpressive — an obscure 19th century German composer with bizarre facial hair. This guy Jerry was surely a born loser. History tells a different story. He’s had quite a life.
Here’s an interesting roll-call of other singers who have similarly shed their mundane names on the road to fame and fortune, including Reg Dwight, Gordon Sumner and Chaim Weitz who are better known as…