R.I.P. Acker Bilk (1929-2014)
Yesterday evening I heard the sad news that “trad” jazz stalwart Acker Bilk had died, aged 85. With his trademark bowler hat and goatee beard, he was one of the leading figures of the post-war British jazz scene. He scored considerable commercial recording success with the Paramount Jazz Band, especially with Stranger on the Shore which was in the British Charts for 50 weeks in 1962, was the first record by a British artist to hit No. 1 in the American Billboard charts, and was greatly admired by no less a figure than Duke Ellington. There are tributes all over today’s newspapers (e.g. here) that do better justice to Acker Bilk than I could, so I’ll just post one track as a special tribute. This track, Train Song, the B-side of The Harem, was recorded in the year of my birth and I have loved it since I was a kid.
Rest in peace, Acker Bilk (1929-2014)