Acker Bilk is 80

As I began writing this, Acker Bilk was playing on iTunes.

Years ago I used to think Acker Bilk was dreadfully old. He wasn’t, of course. He was just a little older than the pop stars I admired. He is 80 today, and I admire him more than I do many of those pop stars.

That weird name which used to confuse me turns out to be a nickname. And I was never one for jazz, but after hearing one of his albums at someone’s house, I went out and bought it. Then I bought some more. And more. Acker Bilk on clarinet is very soothing and reliable, when you’re in need. I’m often in need.

The year before last I carted the family off to the Bridgewater Hall to hear him play. It was all under the pretence that the younger generation needed to learn about him, but it was really so that the witch could hear Acker Bilk play live. He was wonderful… I have just checked his tour dates for this year, but he’s not coming this way. Arggh.

Happy 80th, Acker!

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4 responses to “Acker Bilk is 80

  1. I first Acker Bilk’s song “Stranger on the Shore” when I turned 21 and went into a Bar and heard it playing over the sound system. I used that song for my wedding dance with my wife and have never forgotten the tune.
    Happy Birthday!

  2. Wow, I didn’t know about Culture Witch until Bookwitch blogged about her! I know Acker. Or rather, I should say, I knew him when I was a kid, because my step-dad, Frank Parr, was his manager. I don’t know how GOOD a manager he was – it seemed to involve an awful lot of hanging around the 100 Club drinking whiskey – but I can actually say that I have been to at least one, and probably more, Acker Bilk gigs. Happy 80th, Acker! And good job, Culture Witch; another blog to follow. Will I get any work done?

  3. No.

    (You can’t have been paying attention, Fiona. Have you been off writing books and things?)

  4. How hopelessly neglectful of me. Will try harder.

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