ACKER BILK (1929-2014)

Bernard Stanley “Acker” Bilk, (Pensford, January 28, 1929 – Bath, November 2, 2014) was an English clarinettist in dixieland-jazz. Characteristic for him were a goatee, bowler hat, striped cardigan and his full, vibrating, lower register clarinet style. He was also known by his stage name Mr. Acker Bilk.

The nickname Acker is the southwest English slang for ‘friend’ or ‘comrade’. His parents tried to let him learn the piano, but as a boy his interest went more to outdoor activities such as football. In a fight at school he lost two teeth and in a tobogganing accident he lost half a finger, and according to Bilk those two incidents influenced his final clarinet style.

Acker Bilk only became an international star after he expanded his band and released his own song in 1962. After the birth of his daughter Jenny, he wrote a song for her. That song was used for the British television series “Stranger on the Shore”. That’s why the song stayed in the British charts for 55 weeks and ended up in the American charts. More than a million copies were sold, and the song was awarded a gold record. It was the beginning of a great international career for Acker Bilk.

He had fame under these names: Acker Bilk And His Paramount Jazz BandAcker Bilk And Strings, Acker Bilk His Clarinet And Strings, Mr. Acker Bilk Orchestra.

Songs of Acker Bilck you can hear at Instrumentals Forever:

A Taste Of Honey
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Bird In The Park
Blue Derby
Carolina Moon
Confessin’ (That I Love You)
Evening Shadows
Ev’rytime We Say Goodbye
Fancy Pants
Horn Of Plenty
I Can’t Get Started
I Left My Heart In San Francisco
If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight)
I’m In The Mood For Love
It Had To Be You
Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair
La mer
La Playa
La Vie En Rose
Lady In Red
Lady Of The Lake
Love Changes Everything
Moon River
Nature Boy
Night Lights
Only You
Only You
Petite fleur
Sentimental Journey
Stella By Starlight
Stranger On The Shore
Stranger On The Shore
Sweet Crystal
Take My Breath Away
Theme From Madame ‘X’
Tune For Melody
Underneath The Arches
When Lights Are Low
When You Are There
When Your Lover Has Gone