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Clarinets Acker Bilk retires after june 12th show in exeter

mick

Member
Messages
90
Locality
queensbury West Yorkshire
Just heard that Acker has decided to stop public performing after the 12th of june show, just as I was hoping to get him to do a gig here .
fortunately I have lots of his music and I suppose its better to retire whilst your at the top
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
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21,471
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Just north of Munich
Flipping heck, I didn't realise he was still performing. Saw him once around 80/81, he was performing at a works do, wasn't to my taste then, but he was superb.
 

Jonesy

Old Fart At Play
Messages
737
Locality
Birmingham, UK
I didn't know he was still performing.
He'll change his mind after the gig, too young to retire.
( Ken Dodd is touring this autumn and he'll be 87 in November. )
 

zelda

On the border
Messages
542
Locality
British Columbia interior, Canada
I didn't know he was still alive. I got my first guitar at Christmas in 1963. One of the first songs I learned to play was Stranger on the Shore in C. Still a great tune.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
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1,876
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Costa Blanca Spain
I saw him in the bogs in the 100 club, probably it was in the 70's and I remember he didn't look at all well then. If only he had gone straight home and got into bed.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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11,996
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London
I saw him in the bogs in the 100 club, probably it was in the 70's and I remember he didn't look at all well then. If only he had gone straight home and got into bed.
On the other hand, if you are famous and you walk into the gents, you are terrified that everyone might turn at you saying "look: Acker Bilk!"
 

Jonesy

Old Fart At Play
Messages
737
Locality
Birmingham, UK
On the other hand, if you are famous and you walk into the gents, you are terrified that everyone might turn at you saying "look: Acker Bilk!"

That's why he never wears his best shoes for a gig.


Stranger On The Shore is one of the very few tunes I can play without looking at the sheet music.

I remember the TV series that it was the theme tune for, about a French girl (orphan?) living with relatives in England.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,876
Locality
Costa Blanca Spain
My son did get his banjo signed by the whole band and Acker himself, but that did not happen there, or then. Did you know that where he comes from Acker is a mate, a pal?
 

kernewegor

Bon vivant, raconteur and twit
Messages
1,709
Locality
cocks hill perranporth KERNOW
Yep, knew that.

He performed in Pensford, his home village, when I was in my teens and trad jazz was pretty popular for a while even with pop music fans. It was the village fete and billed as "Acker's At Home Day".

Three of us went - a drummer and another clarinettist - and camped in the field below the viaduct.

We had a great time, the band played their socks off fuelled up on Scotch beforehand, according to drummer Ron McKay who we talked with afterwards.

He hadn't wanted to get stocious because he had his eye on some girl but I think she had drifted off so he drank beer with us instead. The fifth conversationalist in our group was the village policeman Graham Dawe, who we had to help find his bicycle pump which had fallen off in the dark, while he told us his life story.

I like real places, real communities, real people, real food, real stuff to drink, and real music.

OK, I moved on from trad, but still listen to early jazz and blues as well as Rollins, Parker, Monk and so on (and some people - like Mingus - have all eras of the music in their bag, anyway) and Acker Bilk always was a very good clarinettist in my book... great tone, great phrasing, swings like mad... what he does, he does well, and he earned his living by it.
 

ArgoPete

Member
Messages
31
Locality
Lilydale, Tasmania, Australia
And I thought that I was one of the few left that would remember Graham Bell, Lonny Donnegan, Terry Lightfoot, Kenny Ball et al belting it out in the paddocks around Birmingham. Then they built the M1 and we could get down to London in two and a half hours on a Midland Red bus cruising at 100mph until some lady politician who couldn't even ride a bike slapped a speed limit on it. You could get to Ronnie Scotts and see a young chap called Georgie Fame playing the piano in those days. Yes we hitch hiked home at 5am on a Sunday morning much to the amazement of the occasional beat copper in London suburbs - policemen actually walked in those days PC49
 

ArgoPete

Member
Messages
31
Locality
Lilydale, Tasmania, Australia
No Money :-( I tripled my wages by giving up as a clerk articled to a chartered accountant and becoming an accounts clerk at ten pounds a week. Purchase groceries Friday lunch time (works bus to grocers), shillings in the meter and pay rent Friday night. Then hit the high life :) Gordon Bennett! we did a lot of walking.
 

Reed Warbler

Senior Member
Messages
616
Locality
Marciac, France
I was depping with a trad band last Sunday who played Stranger on the Shore. It reminded me of seeing Acker in Bournemouth, probably 1962. He knew how to put a show together, plenty of features, wit, variations of mood and tempo plus a great tone. Chris Barber is another dinosaur that avoided extinction, still playing with an 11 piece band. These guys are heroes who inspired thousands of musicians to play jazz. If Acker is finally hanging up his bowler I wish him a long and happy retirement.
 

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