first, and probably most enduring, of all pop panel shows
was devised by Peter Potter and hosted by DJ David Jacobs
(right) with his Rock-Ola Tempo II Jukebox and the famous
bell and hooter for 'Hit' or 'Miss'. It featured a celebrity
panel rendering their judgements on the latest pop releases,
often in ignorance of the fact that the artist they were commenting
on was sitting behind a screen listening to them. Nine discs
were selected each week, six or seven of which were used with
a couple held 'in reserve' in case the show under-run.
It started life on 1st June 1959 and ran until 27th December
1967. Originally scheduled on Mondays, its instant popularity
soon earned it a Saturday evening slot. The theme music most
associated with the show is the catchy 'Hit
and Miss', which was penned and performed by John Barry
and a hit in its own right, but this was not the original
theme. The first six episodes were blessed with the much less
well-known 'Juke Box Fury'
by Ozzie Warlock and The Wizards!
The primary panel consisted of Pete Murray, Alma Cogan and
Gary Miller with Susan Stranks giving a 'teenager's view'
on the musical offerings ( before becoming one of the original
presenters of 'Magpie' in July 1968 ). Katie Boyle was also
a regular panelist. In the case of a split decision, a separate
panel made up of members of the audience voted as a 'tie-breaker'.
were guests of all kinds on the panel, not only from the
world of music, but also from sport and the theatre which
led to some peculiar combinations appearing on the show
such as the occasion when Roy Orbison found himself seated
next to Thora Hird. On Saturday 7th December 1963, the
panel was made up of the four Beatles, pulling in 21million
viewers! The show came from the Empire Theatre in Liverpool
and formed a 2-part show.The JBJ segment was shown at
6.05p.m. and the live concert that followed was broadcast
at 8.10p.m. under the separate title 'IT'S THE BEATLES'.
The producer of this show was Neville Wortman whose show
and career reminiscences can be read
the show, The Beatles gave judgment on new releases by
stars including Elvis Presley, The Swinging Blue Jeans
anda group called The Chants. About Elvis's 'Kiss Me Quick'
Paul McCartney ventured "I love his voice and I love all
the records like Blue Suede Shoes, but I don't like the
songs now. Kiss Me Quick - it sounds like Blackpool on
a sunny day."
George Harrison's verdict was "Elvis is great, but the
songs are not for me." However, being Elvis, they voted
the song a 'Hit' and it went on to reach number 14 in
also liked 'Hippy Hippy Shake' by The Swinging Blue Jeans.
George Harrison: "I think it could possibly be a hit -
I know for a fact it's a popular song round here - we
used to do it ourselves".
John Lennon predicted that it would be "a small hit at
was more confident about 'I Could Write A Book' by The
Chance - "It's right good that one, it's the bestest gear
- that's the sound boys". The record failed to enter the
charts. This particular show was hosted by Nicholas Parsons
and was broadcast two days after the band achieved their
third UK chart-topper with 'I Want to Hold Your Hand'.
The 30-minute show was but one of so many not recorded
at the time by the BBC. However, a recording does exist,
although not of broadcast quality. In fact, sadly, only
two complete recordings of the show from the early Sixties
are believed to exist.
On January 25th 1964 Phil Spector was a 'jury' member
and on the 4th July 1964 the panel, unusually, consisted
of five members - The Rolling Stones.
The Seekers also participated as jury members - (see picture
the right are the public 'tie break' audience jury).
Faithfull appeared as a guest panellist on October 31st
The very last panel in 1967 consisted of originals Pete
Murray and Susan Stranks, plus Lulu and Eric Sykes.