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Acker Bilk is Bernard Stanley Bilk of Somerset, England ("Acker" is a term for "friend"). He took up the clarinet in the UK Royal Army. In 1958, he formed the Paramount Jazz Band. This is an instrumental song featuring Bilk's clarinet.
Bilk wrote this in a taxicab. (thanks, Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for all above)
Originally named "Jenny" (after his daughter) on his LP Sentimental Journey, the song's name was changed when Bilk played it as the theme song for a new children's TV show, Stranger On The Shore. The show, which aired on the BBC, the was about a French "Au Pair" girl living in England - she was the Stranger On The Shore. The closing credits were over film of her standing on the beach looking out to sea, towards France. (thanks, Anne Wade - Glasgow, Scotland)
6 months after this hit #1 in England, it went to #1 in the US, where Billboard named it the #1 single for the year 1962. It topped the charts there for 7 weeks.
This was the first song by a British artist to top the US charts.
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