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…
For this song, Acker Bilk adapts “Marching Through Georgia” into a trade union anthem by singing new lyrics over the original tune:
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.
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’.
The pages of the booklet promote the Union. Here are some select pages from a digitised copy of the booklet:
‘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