Les Humphries, R.I.P.

by Derrick Bostrom


Though it happened over two months ago, word of the death of Les Humphries in England is just starting to trickle out onto the internet. Apparently, he died on the day after Christmas, of heart failure brought on by a severe case of pneumonia. He was 67 years old. Unreported in his native country, Humphries' death didn't come to light until eight weeks later when his son contacted Les' estranged ex-wife, German singer Dunja Rajter. Since Humphries was a bona fide pop star in Germany, that country's press and blogosphere has reported it dutifully. European tributes are not hard to find, but as far as I know, Bostworld is the only outlet originating from America that has given the matter any space at all.

I don't feel like rehashing the details of Humphries' brief but prolific career. You can read about him the same way I did, on the German news sites. Google Translate reveals the sad story: "Les Humphries had in recent years lived very withdrawn.... He was sick, he had incredibly many problems, which he probably only by a certain amount of living could compensate."

We've featured Les Humphries previously, not once but twice on this site. Eerily enough, the last time was on Christmas Day, one day before he died. I was swamped with work craziness at the time, and pretty much just threw the post up with little thought. A few weeks earlier, I broadcast an all-Les Humphries Singers episode of my program on LuxuriaMusic.com. That show celebrated both the group, and my discovery last fall of a lone torrent of six LHS albums. This find ended years of slim Humphries pickings on the net. But unlike so many other hard-to-find artists, Les' luster was in no way diminished by the harsh light of this opportunity for more detailed examination.

My most fervent hope is that the death of Les Humphries will generate an outpouring of album sharing the likes of which we last witnessed with the passing of Lee Hazelwood last year, but I suppose that's not likely. But I'll get the ball rolling anyway, with these six out of print albums. They're not my rips, so they're offered "as is." Regardless, they are greatly appreciated, and the unknown torrenter has my gratitude.


Here: grab these and spread 'em around: