178 "Shrouded in History"
January 20, 2014

As it turns out, there are quite a few famous people who go by names other than the ones they were given at birth. Sometimes it's just a matter of adopting a new last name, but others just go the whole nine yards. While a name change strikes me as a pretty big life decision, it seems that more often than not the stories and rationale behind these choices often go untold, as though there were compelled by a voice in the night to wake from their slumber and henceforth answer to a stranger's moniker. I'm sure the actual stories are much less romantic.

To be fair to Engelbert Humperdinck, his Wikipedia page does briefly touch on the fact that--at a partner's suggestion--he stole the name from a 19th century German composer, who I can only imagine would be rolling in his grave if he knew that his name was being used to peddle adult contemporary music. Or maybe he'd be swooning in the grave, enraptured by New Humperdinck's melodic vocals. I can't pretend to know the man, nor what people do in their graves.