Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Acker Bilk RIP Life Story Interview….
Bernard Stanley “Acker” Bilk MBE was an English clarinettist and vocalist who toured the world for over 50 years.
Acker who personified the trad jazz revival of the 1950s and 60s, has died after a lengthy illness, aged 85. He passed away on 2nd November 2014.
His most famous number Stranger on the Shore was the UK’s biggest selling single of 1962 and made him an international star.
Born Bernard Stanley Bilk, he changed his name to Acker – Somerset slang for mate – after learning to play the clarinet in the Army.
His last concert was in August 2013.
He was best known for his trademark goatee, bowler hat, striped waistcoat and his breathy, vibrato-rich, lower-register clarinet style.
Enjoy a rare interview with Acker Bilk….
Acker has been ill for some years. He leaves his wife Jean, daughter Jenny and son Pete.
Born in Pensford in Somerset, Bilk tried a number of different careers before borrowing a clarinet and copying recordings of famous jazz musicians while in the Army.
He formed his first band in Bristol after his demobilisation.
Known for his goatee, bowler hat and fancy waistcoat, Bilk was awarded an MBE in 2001 for services to the music industry.
He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2000 but recovered and continued to play concerts, the last of which was at the Brecon Festival last year.
Recorded 2004 by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio.