The Book of Bilk
Last updated: 17.12.19
Printed: 1963 Author: Peter and Patrick Gwynn-Jones Leslie
Publisher: The Jazz Book Club ISBN:  
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41 Characters in Search of an Acker
Amazon Review:
This is a must for Acker Bilk fans. Those people familiar with Acker's early LPs will have noted that the sleeve notes are written in mock Regency style: (example "the Incandescet Brilliance of the Genius of Mr Acker Bilk burst like a Display of St Catherine's Fire on a Traditional Music World...."). Very clever and amusing, these notes were written by Acker's publicist at the time, Peter Leslie, who also thought up the bowler hat that was to become Acker's trademark and the band's striped waistcoats. Peter is the author of The Book Of Bilk. It was published in 1961, (so search around for a cheap copy, as I did), and is written in the same mock Regency style. Subtitled "41 Characters In Search of an Acker", it purports to contain single-page biographies of 41 of Acker's "ancestors." There's John Osbilk (the Ackery Young Man), Buffalo Bilk, Johann Sebastian Bilk, Ack The Ripper, which all makes for a highly amusing read. But the book's true genius is that they persuaded Acker to dress up as each of these characters, so each "biography" is accompanied by the appropriate photograph - Acker in buckskins as Buffalo Bilk; in doublet and hose as Ackerangelo; as an 18th dandy to become Beau Bilk etc. This book escaped me in the 60s, but I'm pleased to have a copy now.