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It came from England, but to me it was one of those All-American (Canadian) songs of vacation time in the early 1960’s – often trips to Canada.

“Stranger on the Shore” was written clarinetist Acker Bilk for his then young daughter. He first named the tune “Jenny” after her, but was later changed when used as a theme song of a BBC TV program by that name.

On May 26, 1962, “Stranger on the Shore” became the first British recording to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It went on to be Billboard’s #1 single of 1962, and it spent seven weeks atop the “Easy Listening” chart, which later became known as the Adult Contemporary chart.

Interestingly, a few years later (1969), the crew of Apollo 10 took “Stranger on the Shore” on their mission to the moon. Gene Cernan, a member of the crew, included the tune on a cassette tape used in the command module of the Apollo spacecraft.

My memories are more earthly – summers on the road and at destinations such as Niagara Falls, Toronto and Gloucester, Mass.

Over 50 years later, it withstands the test of time.

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