Pop and Music Television Shows
of the Sixties


JUKE BOX JURY ( BBC 1 ) 1959 - 1967       


Pete Murray

7th Decem

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The first, and probably most enduring, of all pop panel shows was devised by Peter Potter and hosted by DJ David Jacobs 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. 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, Gary Miller and the gorgeous Susan Stranks ( pictured above ), 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'.

Frankie Vaughan, Gloria de Haven, Pete Murray and June Thorburn

There 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'
On the show, The Beatles gave judgment on new releases by stars including Elvis Presley, The Swinging Blue Jeans anda group called The Chance. 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 the charts.

They 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 least".
He 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 below,left.
On the right are the public 'tie break' audience jury).