Stranger on the Shore

Stranger on the Shore

Infobox Single
Name =Stranger on the Shore


Cover size =
Caption =cover art to the single
Artist =Mr. Acker Bilk and the Leon Young String Chorale
from Album =
A-side =
B-side ="Take My Lips"
Released =October 1961
Format =7" 45rpm
Recorded =
Genre = Jazz
Length =
Label =Columbia/EMI DB4750 (UK)
Atco 45-6217 (US)
Writer =Acker Bilk
Producer =
Certification =
Chart position =* #1 (US Billboard)
Last single =
This single ="Stranger on the Shore"
(1961)
Next single =
Misc =
"Stranger on the Shore" is a piece for clarinet written by Acker Bilk for his young daughter and originally named "Jenny" after her. It was subsequently used as the theme tune of a BBC TV drama serial for young people that was also called "Stranger on the Shore". [ [http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/sots.htm Stranger On The Shore | A Television Heaven Review ] ]

The track, performed by Bilk (as "Mr. Acker Bilk") with backing by the Leon Young String Chorale, was released as a single on Columbia Records DB 4750 in October 1961, with the label of the single openly proclaiming "Theme from the BBC TV. Series". The B-side was "Take My Lips". The single became a phenomenal success, topping the "NME" singles chart and spending nearly a year on the "Record Retailer" Top 50. It is the UK's biggest-selling instrumental single of all time, and appears fifty-eighth in the official UK list of best-selling singles issued in 2002.

On May 26, 1962, "Stranger on the Shore" became the first British recording to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 where it was issued by Atlantic Records on the Atco label, but it was quickly followed, on December 22, by The Tornados' "Telstar", another instrumental. After "Telstar", the next British performers to top the U.S. charts were The Beatles, with their first Capitol Records single "I Want to Hold Your Hand". "Stranger on the Shore" was "Billboard"'s #1 single of 1962, and it spent seven weeks atop the "Easy Listening" chart, which would later become known as the Adult Contemporary chart.

In May of 1969, the crew of Apollo 10 took a tape cassette of music that included "Stranger on the Shore" on their mission to the moon. Gene Cernan, who was a member of the crew, included the tune on the cassette tape used in the command module of the Apollo spacecraft.

The composition has been covered by many other artists, most prominently a vocal version by Andy Williams, a group vocal version by The Drifters, and a soprano sax smooth jazz adaptation by Kenny G. It was also sampled (with a writer's credit for Bilk) on "A Melody From a Past Life Keeps Pulling Me Back" by The KLF on their album "Chill Out", and on the track "Music For Libraries" by Way Out West.

The song was also featured in the soundtrack to "Mr. Holland's Opus", as well as in the 2001 movie "The Majestic".

References


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