In The News

Jazz musician Aker Bilk passes away

Jazz musician Aker Bilk passes away

THE jazz musician Aker Bilk has passed away at the age of 85.

The trad jazz clarinettist, famous for his goatee and bowler hat, will be best remembered for his recording Stranger On The Shore (see below) which was a hit in both UK and the US in 1962.

Born Bernard Stanley Bilk, he began using the name Acker (which is Somerset slang for friend) at the start of his musical career.

He had learned to play the clarinet while serving in the army and went on to form his first jazz band after finishing his army service.

His most successful period was during the 1950s and 1960s when trad jazz enjoyed a rivival.

Among his many other successful recordings were Ramlin' Rose (see blow) and Sweet Georgia Brown (see below).

While his style of music became less popular in later years, Acker Bilk continued to perform regularly at venues across the country.

In 2000, he was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent extensive treatment. He recovered and was able to return to playing concerts. His final performance was at the Brecon Festival last year.

News of his death came in a statement from his personal manager, Pamela Sutton. She revealed the musician had been ill for some time. Ms Sutton added: "He was my great friend and his music was legendary".

Acker Bilk is survived by his wife, Jean, and children Pete and Jenny.

See footage of Aker Bilk performing Stranger On The Shore .

Listen to Aker Bilk performing Ramblin’ Rose .

See footage of Aker Bilk performing Sweet Georgia Brown .

View previous In the News items Tributes are paid to American poet Galway Kinnell, Actress Marcia Strassman passes away, Campaign continues to boost organ donor register, Tributes have been paid to the singer Alvin Stardust, Renowned newspaper editor Ben Bradlee passes away, Former Australian PM Gough Whitlam passes away , Tributes are paid to actress Lynda Bellingham, Hundreds attend Memorial Service for Ian Paisley, Tributes are paid to actress Marian Seldes, Cancer remains top cause of death, Country singer George Hamilton IV passes away, Songwriter Bob Crewe passes away, Funeral takes place of Ian Paisley, Tributes are paid to Lord Attenborough, Albert Reynolds is given State Funeral, Tributes are paid to broadcaster Gerry Anderson, Tributes are paid to veteran actor JJ Murphy, Tribute are paid to former DJ Mike Smith, Funeral takes place of Churchwoman Lynda Patterson, Supermarket founder Karl Albrecht passes away, Actor James Garner passes away, Tributes are paid to Elaine Stritch, Tributes are paid to Presbyterian minister, Punk rocker Tommy Ramone passes away, Footballing legent Alfredo Di Stefano passes away, Tributes are paid to jazz musician Paul Horn, Tributes are paid to soul legend Bobby Womack, MBE for inspirational teenager Stephen Sutton, Actress and activist Ruby Dee passes away, Author Eric Hill passes away, Tributes are paid to Rik Mayall, Funeral takes place of Sir John Gorman, Former film star Mona Freeman passes away, Actress Ann B Davis passes away, Judges rule on remains of King Richard III, Smithfield legend Joe Kavanagh passes away, Singer Jerry Vale passes away, Comedian Eli Woods passes away, Shankill pays tribute to Hugh Smyth, Inspirational teenager Stephen Sutton passes away, Colourful funeral for brave Oscar Knox, Scientist Colin Pillinger passes away, Former boxing champion Jimmy Ellis passes away, Tributes are paid to Elena Baltacha, Paul Robeson Junior passes away, Tributes are paid to former footballer Sandy Jardine, Headstones are damaged at a Belfast cemetery, Tributes are paid to popular politician, Generous response in wake of marathon tragedy, Tributes are paid to actress Edna Dore, Private funeral is planned for Mickey Rooney, Country musician Arthur Smith passes away, Comedy writer Bob Larbey passes away, Surfing pioneer Hobie Alter passes away, Writer Sam McAughtry passes away, Internet sensation Peter Oakley passes away, Tributes are paid to actor James Rebhorn, Funeral takes place of James Ellis, Vandals damage graves in Newry, Voice actor Hal Douglas passes away, Belfast mourns passing of James Ellis, Actress Sheila MacRae passes away, Surgeon and author Sherwin Nuland passes away, Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia passes away or Tributes are paid to Maria von Trapp.

If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.