A Closer look at Acker Bilk’s ‘Marching Union’ Record

Acker Bilk, the legendary jazz musician passed away last weekend. In tribute, the Modern Records Centre will take a look at the ‘Marching Union’ single that it holds in its archives…

record

For this song, Acker Bilk adapts “Marching Through Georgia” into a trade union anthem by singing new lyrics over the original tune:

back of record cover

The record comes inside a recruitment booklet, called ‘Blowing Our Trumpet’ produced by the National Union of Boots and Shoes Operatives in the 1960s, which was aimed at young people.

acker bilk 1

The booklet gives a brief bio of Acker Bilk:

‘Jazzman MR. ACKER BILK whose Edwardian costume, bowler hat and archaic, traditional-style music have made him the undisputed idol of Britain’s teenage trad fans, was born in 1929 in the village of Pensford, Somerset. A prodigious cider drinker, he had tried his hand at a sawmill and a smithy’s (besides a stint with the army in Egypt) before his successful Paramount Jazz band in 1958. He has no less than three jazz records into the pop Top Twenty: Summer Set White Cliffs of Dover and Buona Sera’.Acker Bilk 2

The pages of the booklet promote the Union. Here are some select pages from a digitised copy of the booklet:

acker bilk 2
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acker bilk 3
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acker bilk 4
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acker bilk 6
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‘For shorter hours and higher pay

let’s sing our workin’ song

MARCHING ALONG WITH THE UNION!’

We’d love to hear your memories on Acker Bilk – leave them in the comments!  

You are welcome to come into the centre to view this booklet.

Reference code: 597/100

 #warwickMRC

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