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Acker Bilk

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Acker Bilk (b. 1929) is an English clarinettist specialising in trad jazz and popular music.

Born on 28th January 1929 in Pensford, Somerset, christened Bernard Stanley Bilk, he has been one of the world’s best known clarinettists since the late 1950s. His trademark goatee, bowler hat, and striped waistcoat are almost as recognisable as his breathy, vibrato-rich, middle-register clarinet style. Although playing mainly jazz in Dixieland and trad styles, he became famous for his 1961 hit “Stranger On the Shore”, with which he became mainly associated in the public mind.

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