View Full Version : Another legend dies.

2nd Nov 2014, 21:55
Bernard "Acker" Bilk, gentleman of the clarinet has played his last.

2nd Nov 2014, 21:57


2nd Nov 2014, 22:20

2nd Nov 2014, 22:23
Saw (and heard) the gentleman perform live several times.
Happy memories - these are what keep the departed in Heaven (http://www.pprune.org/7898037-post7670.html) . . .

His last concert was in August 2013 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-29874053).

2nd Nov 2014, 22:27
Stranger on the Shore - I remember it very well. Beautiful piece.

2nd Nov 2014, 22:38
It was originally called 'Jenny' ISTR - it became popular when used as the theme music to the TV series of the same name in the early 60's. I vaguely remember the series, about a French au pair in Brighton, I think. My Dad taught himself the clarinet, and used to watch Acker intently whenever he saw him play...

2nd Nov 2014, 22:59
I remember the series too, Reynolds No. . I think Stranger on the Shore held the record for the number of weeks in top 50 charts for many years - seemed to be a permanent fixture at the time!

Nearly went to see him at the Flamingo, Redruth, in 1962 but we couldn't get tickets. Missed my chance now :(

3rd Nov 2014, 00:37
Liked his music, and also the way he called himself 'Mister' Acker Bilk, to distinguish himself from Count Basie, Duke Ellington and other musical nobility.

3rd Nov 2014, 08:04
Saw and heard him a several times. The 1st at RAF Yatesbury camp theatre circa 1955-6 with the Paramount Jazz Band.


Yamagata ken
3rd Nov 2014, 08:59
In my mid 20s, (C1975 or thereabouts), I was offered the job as roadie to the band. The interview was held in a pub, where I limited myself to a couple of halves during the course of the evening. That impressed them. I turned it down. I took the bus out for a run and it could only do about 50mph. The thought of endless late nights trundling slowly down the M6/M1 to London, with everyone else pissed and asleep in the back was too much. Nice bunch though, and I liked the music.

3rd Nov 2014, 10:02
with everyone else pissed and asleep in the back

I note you didn't mention Bert Weedon. What AB and the Paramount Jazz Band did to him when on tour together must have given him a hangover for a year. Poured scrumpy into him like it was water.

Yes, great memories, my first introduction to trad jazz. Saw him in de Montfort Hall Leicester where I also saw Bob Dylan, the Animals, the 'Stones and many more. My recollections are he was a really nice guy.

tony draper
3rd Nov 2014, 10:13
The Clarinet was once described as
"An ill woodwind that no one blows good"
He blew that out of the water.

3rd Nov 2014, 10:40
I saw Aker and his band twice in the 1960s,Watford Town Hall and the Red Lion at Hatfield which ran a Jazz club on Monday nights.I still have several LPs.They did like their beer/cider.


Yamagata ken
3rd Nov 2014, 10:49
OFSO. The end of the story goes like this. I ran everyone home from the pub in the bus. The last one (not AB) I poured out of the bus onto the front-room sofa where he crashed. Then his missus (a fit milf) put her arms around me and wanted to sh*g me, there and then. I made my apologies (girlfriend waiting up for me blah blah) and left. It wasn't morality, I'd have been up for it, but a glimpse of the dark side. Rock'n'Roll lifestyle would have got me, I knew enough to know that. RIP Acker Bilk. Thanks for the music.

cockney steve
3rd Nov 2014, 10:59
Aussie frend was Merchant Navy and lugged around a huge Eddystone Comms Reciever....he would tune in all over the world and jot down records he'd heard and liked.....local record -shop would get a list of around 100.

Took a bit to decipher "STRONGER ON THE SHORE...ARCHIE BELT"

IIRC, it spent around 17 weeks at No.1 a record record.

3rd Nov 2014, 16:16
I play the clarinet (and the sax) and can play 'Stranger on the Shore' quite well but I can't replicate the sound of Acker Bilk's original version. His obituary mentions that he lost three front teeth and a finger end and it was to these losses he ascribed his unique sound. I still have my full quota of teeth/fingers so maybe that's the reason I can't do it.

3rd Nov 2014, 17:58
They'd never show this on the idiot box nowadays - look at that smoke!

POTTERS BAR FAMOUS RESIDENT - Mr Acker BIlk - In a Persian Market - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUb3IGALuZY&feature=player_detailpage#t=3)

victor tango
3rd Nov 2014, 18:21
Thank you chaps for posting all the links so that I can hear his music again.
Absolutely first class................ Another sad loss.

3rd Nov 2014, 18:31
POTTERS BAR FAMOUS RESIDENT - Mr Acker BIlk - In a Persian Market


3rd Nov 2014, 19:06
I remember watching him in the mess at St. Mawgan - wonderful evening.

3rd Nov 2014, 21:11
Saw Acker quite a few times at the Midland Jazz Club in Brum during the 60s' and early 70s' before emigrating to Oz. As others have said Acker was very approachable, always came into the bar for a lubrication session and talked to anyone who wanted to listen.
He then turned up for a concert in Adelaide at the Festival Theatre there. Swambo and myself decided to go along dressed in our usual casual gear, as you do for jazz gigs, only to find the rest of the audience dressed as if on a visit to the opera. It was a strange place, Adelaide, in 1974. Probably still is.

4th Nov 2014, 16:01
They'd never show this on the idiot box nowadays - look at that smoke!

..and he's actually playing with a lighted cigarette between his fingers!