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Acker Bilk

Acker Bilk -- or Mr. Acker Bilk, as he was billed -- has won immortality on rock oldies radio for his surprise 1962 hit "Stranger on the Shore," an evocative ballad featuring his heavily quavering low-register clarinet over a bank of strings. To the jazz world, though, he has a longer-running track record as one of the biggest stars of Britain's trad jazz boom, playing in a distinctive early New Orleans manner. After learning his instrument in the British Army, Bilk joined Ken Colyer's trad band in 1954 before stepping out on his own in 1956. By 1960, a record of his, "Summer Set" -- a pun on the name of his home county -- landed on the British pop charts, and Bilk was on his way, clad in the Edwardian clothing and bowler hats that his publicist told his Paramount Jazz Band to wear. Several other British hits followed, but none bigger than "Stranger," which Bilk wrote for his daughter Jenny. The single stayed 55 weeks on the British charts and crossed the sea to America, where it hit number one in an era when radio was open to oddball records of all idioms (Bilk gratefully called "Stranger" "my old-age pension"). Released on English Columbia in Britain, several Bilk albums came out in America on the Atco label, and he continued to have hits until the British rock invasion of 1964 made trad seem quaint. With that, Bilk moved into cabaret and continued to have some success in Europe, leading jazz bands, recording with lush string ensembles, and even scoring another hit, "Aria" (number five in Britain), in 1976. Continuing to perform through the 2000s, Bilk slackened his pace so that he could pursue, like Miles Davis, a hobby of painting. ~ Richard S. Ginell
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Stranger On The Shore

1. Stranger On The Shore

2. Summer Set

3. Aria

4. Buona Sera

5. That's My Home

6. Lonely

7. A Rainy Night In Georgia

8. A Taste Of Honey

9. You've Got A Friend

10. A Whiter Shade Of Pale

11. Yesterday

12. Nights In White Satin

13. White Cliffs Of Dover

14. Lay Lady Lay

15. Bridge Over Troubled Waters

16. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You

x

Track List: The Fabulous Mr. Acker Bilk

Disc 1

1. Wolverine Blues

2. I'm An Old Cowhand

3. Marching Through Georgia

4. Stranger On The Shore

5. Under The Double Eagle

6. There'll Be Some Changes Made

7. Norwegian Wood

8. Blaze Away

9. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You

10. Hiawatha Rag

11. Aria

12. Acker Bilk A'rovin'

13. Bloodshot Eyes

14. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out

15. Honeysuckle Rose

16. Georgia On My Mind

17. Sometimes I'm Happy

18. September In The Rain

19. Stompin' At The Savoy

20. Travellin' On

Disc 2

1. Dardanella

2. Sweet Georgia Brown

3. Gladiolus Rag

4. Nature Boy

5. South Rampart Street Parade

6. Slab's Blues

7. Jump In The Line

8. Misty

9. Times A-Wastin'

10. Boodle-Am-Shake

11. Mama Told Me So

12. Delia's Gone

13. What A Wonderful World

14. Someday You'll Be Sorry

15. Franklin Street Blues

16. My Journey To The Skies

17. Burgundy Street Blues

18. Going Home

19. Liza (Open Up De Door)

20. Travellin' Blues

x

Track List: At The Movies

1. Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing

2. Over The Rainbow

3. Three Coins In A Fountain

4. Love Story (Where Do I Begin)

5. Lady In Red

6. All The Way

7. Can You Feel The Love Tonight

8. Hello Dolly

9. Unchained Melody

10. Up Where We Belong

11. You'll Never Know

12. When You Wish Upon A Star

x

Track List: Clarinet Moods

1. Stranger On The Shore

2. Summertime

3. Night And Day

4. I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now

5. Long Ago And Far Away

6. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)

7. Body And Soul

8. Stardust

9. Embraceable You

10. I'll Get By

11. That Old Devil Called Love

12. Ole Buttermilk Sky

13. Pennies From Heaven

14. South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way)

15. Try A Little Tenderness

x

Track List: The Pye Jazz Anthology

Disc 1

1. Travelling Blues

2. Delia Gone

3. Gladiolus Rag

4. Willie The Weeper

5. Dardanella

6. Franklin Street Blues

7. Easter Parade

8. Marching Through Georgia

9. Blaze Away

10. Under The Double Eagle

12. El Abanico

13. Higher Ground

14. Carry Me Back

15. Jump In The Line

16. Louisian-I-Ay

Disc 2

1. Wolverine Blues

2. Burgundy Street Blues

3. Rose Of The Rio Grande

4. I'm An Old Cowhand

5. South Rampart Street Parade

6. Sweet Georgia Brown

8. There'll Be Some Changes Made

10. Honeysuckle Rose

12. Bloodshot Eyes

13. Liza (Open Up De Door)

15. Mama Told Me So

16. Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You

17. Times A-Wastin'

x

Track List: Essential Acker Bilk

1. A Rainy Night In Georgia

2. Stranger On The Shore

3. A Taste Of Honey

4. Bridge Over Troubled Water

5. Nights In White Satin

6. White Cliffs Of Dover

7. Yesterday

8. Aria

9. A Whiter Shade Of Pale

10. Youv'e Got A Friend

12. That's My Home

x

Track List: The Incomparable

1. Arthur's Theme

2. Do That To Me One More Time

3. This Masquerade

4. Stuck On You

5. If Ever You're In My Arms Again

6. Could I Have This Dance

8. Three Times A Lady

10. I Want To Know What Love Is

11. I Just Called To Say I Love You

12. Longfellow Serenade

13. Truly

14. One Hundred Ways

15. Still

16. Always On My Mind

17. Memory

18. Ships

19. Hello

20. Just Once

Comments

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His vibrato playing is out of sight...what a talent!
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His vibrato playing is outof sight...what a talent!
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Mmmmmmm,,,Go o d !
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Pandora is by far the greatest and most awesome entertainmen t value on the internet.Kee p up the good work
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linda.rae301
His "stranger on the shore" my favorite of Ackerman Bilk.
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Loving Bik, but Pandora more! Thanks much
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This is actually Weary Blues. For some reason, Mr. Acker Bilk called it Travelling Blues when he performed it.
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THIS IS THE VERY ONE IMOST ENJOY TO RELAX AFTER WORK NOT JUST ONE SONG BUT ALL OF THEM !!
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Fine Happy Sounds.
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My soul basted on beautiful sounds.
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Thank you Pandora, unique sound loved as much the Beatles and Rolling Stones; still do.
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If you need to relax ,just listen to Acker Bilk,this man is a master at the clarinet
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VERY SOOTHING AND RELAXING AND REMINICE MUSIC
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The best vibrato I've ever heard!
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dukespal
@SC me too, a mere lad of 13- "Stranger" is an all time classic
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I am so glad for Pandora radio because his music is unavailable in stores.
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He's a master of the licorice stick, I've known him since 1962,I was just a pup then of 12
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Certainly has the Clarinet mastered.
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tallplace
the sound so warm, the memories, thoughts of my youth come back as I listen the master clarinetist. . . . . .
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Bilk is the absolute master of the clarinet. His playing is noticeably richer, fuller and more effortless than anyone I've ever heard. He's the Buddy Rich of clarinet players.
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His music resonates in my soul.
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the best romasntic piece EVER , STRANGER ON THE SHORE !!!
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rmghera
Never heard of him till now. Would like to hear Stranger on the shore. Thanx
Report as inappropriate
Every once in a while an artist captures magic in a jar.
Stranger on the Shore is timeless and even a hard core rap lover is going be captivated by this perfect piece of music.
Enjoy it like fine wine or a forbidden dessert.

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