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Terms and Conditions. Style Book. Weather Forecast. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Tuesday 23 June Bilk, who has died aged 85, turned up on television pop shows, imperturbably at ease with his goatee, waistcoat and bowler hat amid the quiffed teen rockers, and bridged two worlds that were then still close enough to be crossed — the youngish audience for trad jazz, and the teenage fans living in a pop climate in which skiffle, swing and primitive rock still clearly had a common ancestry.
It sounded tender, generous, luxuriously relaxed, and it reached out to so many jazz and non-jazz listeners alike as to make Bilk the hottest commercial property of the British trad jazz movement. Born Bernard Bilk in Pensford, Somerset, he was encouraged by his parents, William and Lillian, to learn the piano as a child, but preferred football and boxing. He took up the clarinet while on national service with the Royal Engineers in Egypt.
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