Bernard Stanley Bilk, 28 January 1929, Pensford, Somerset, England. A self-taught clarinettist, Bilk made his first public appearance in 1947 while on National Service in Egypt. On his return to the UK, he played as a semi-professional around the Bristol area, before gaining his big break with the Ken Colyer band in 1954. Four years later, under the name Mr Acker Bilk, he enjoyed his first UK Top 10 hit with Summer Set. Backed by the Paramount Jazz Band, and promoted by his Bilk Marketing Board, he was at the forefront of the British traditional jazz boom of the early 60s. With their distinctive uniform of bowler hats and striped waistcoats, Bilk and company enjoyed a number of jazzy UK hits in the 60s, including White Cliffs Of Dover, Buona Sera, Thats My Home, Stars And Stripes Forever, Frankie And Johnny, Gotta See Baby Tonight, and A Taste Of...
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