Colne singer performs Englebert Humperdinck classics on radio

Russell Shaun
Russell Shaun

TWO Colners appeared on the same live radio show last Thursday night.

Following his hugely successful hometown gig at Colne Muni in February, Russell Shaun performed at short notice on Tony Livesey’s radio programme.

Russell was singing in a restaurant in Manchester when he received a call from the BBC wanting him to perform cover versions of two Engelbert Humperdinck songs live on air that night.

After completing his session at the restaurant, Russell rushed across town to the Five Live studio in the newly-built Media City to do the cover versions.

But what’s more, Russell had to get some practice in ahead of singing Humperdinck’s 1967 number one “Please Release Me” and “Quando, Quando, Quando” and had half an hour to perfect them before his live act.

The idea for an appearance on the radio show came about after Humperdinck was announced as Britain’s entry into this year’s Eurovision song contest due to be held in Azerbaijan in May.

Tony described Russell as a “swing singer and crooner extraordinaire” and “one of Britain’s top crooners” on introducing him to the show before Russell shared a humorous story about the time when his father Mike, a big band artist at the BBC, was with Terence Parsons (later Matt Monro) and Arnold Dorsey on the night Dorsey announced he was changing his name to Engelbert Humperdinck.

Russell said: “I was singing at Rosso, Rio Ferdinand’s restaurant in Manchester, when I got a call from a BBC researcher during the break asking me to sing a couple of Engelbert Humperdinck tracks.

“It was a bit of a surprise, I was on the verge of saying no but it was the BBC and they don’t call every day. I don’t think Tony knew the researcher had contacted me because when I arrived he was like ‘Oh, great!’.

“I arrived about 10-30 p.m. and was on just after 11 p.m. I had to download the tracks when I got there to rehearse them. I could have passed it on to another singer due to the lack of preparation but I thought I’d regret it and I backed myself to get it right.”

To listen to Russell on Tony Livesey’s show, visit www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01cmskj/Tony_Livesey_01_03_2012/

He appears at 55 minutes and one hour 46 minutes.