Acker Bilk, who personified the trad jazz revival of the 1950s and 60s, has died after a lengthy illness, at the age of 85.
The clarinettist's most famous track, Stranger on the Shore, was Britain's biggest selling single of 1962 and was also number one in the United States.
Born in Somerset, in south-west England, Bilk tried a number of different careers before borrowing a clarinet and copying recordings of famous jazz musicians while in the Army, the BBC reports.
He formed his first band in Bristol after his demobilisation.
Known for his goatee, bowler hat and fancy waistcoat, Bilk was awarded an MBE in 2001 for services to the music industry.
He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2000 but recovered and continued to play concerts, the last of which was at the Brecon Festival last year.
Bilk told the BBC in a 2012 interview that when he wrote his biggest hit Stranger on the Shore he didn't immediately realise it was special.
The instrumental made him the first artist to have a simultaneous chart-topping hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
His last concert was in August 2013. He leaves his wife Jean, daughter Jenny and son Pete.