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Acker Bilk

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Stranger on the Shore Acker Bilk 03:17
Petite Fleur Acker Bilk, Leon Young String Chorale 02:53
Moon River Acker Bilk 02:43
My Way Acker Bilk 03:39
Woodchoppers Ball Acker Bilk 07:29
Only You Acker Bilk, Leon Young String Chorale 02:19
Aria Acker Bilk 03:02
Nights in White Satin Acker Bilk 04:27
At Sundown Acker Bilk 06:22
Blueberry Hill Acker Bilk 04:25

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Instantly identifiable for his unique style of bowler hat, goatee beard and waistcoat, the Somerset clarinetist Acker Bilk will always be remembered for his atmospheric and evocative instrumental Stranger On The Shore. Bilk took up playing the clarinet in 1948 while serving in the British Army in Egypt, and subsequently became a key part of the traditional jazz boom in Britain, along with Kenny Ball and Chris Barber. He joined The Ken Colyer Band in 1954, before fronting his own outfit called the Bristol Paramount Jazz Band two years later, achieving a top ten record with Summer Set. In 1961 Bilk released Stranger On The Shore, shifting his style by using a string accompaniment. This record established him as a household name, selling over a million copies and becoming the first ever single to achieve the number one spot in both the UK and US simultaneously. Many more hit singles followed until, in the 1960s, pop music took over from jazz and blues in terms of popularity on the airwaves. Bilk endeavoured to stay prominent in the music industry, adapting his style to match the needs of the new generation. In 2000 Bilk was diagnosed with throat cancer and took up painting as a way of retaining his creativity while he was unable to play his beloved clarinet. A year later he was awarded an MBE, shortly followed by an Honorary Master Of Arts Degree from the University Of Bristol and two Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Worshipful Company Of Musicians and The Parliamentary Jazz Awards. In 2014, at the age of 85, Acker Bilk passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer, his wife Jean by his side.