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60 The 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'.

Hit and Miss

Frankie Vaughan, Gloria de Haven, Pete Murray and June Thorburn     Susan Stranks    David Jacobs   John Barry

Pete Murray

Michael Fish on JBJ

The Beatles

Rock-Ola Tempo II
7th D


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'. The producer of this show was Neville Wortman whose show and career reminiscences can be read here.
On 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 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).

Marianne Faithfull appeared as a guest panellist on October 31st 1964.
The very last panel in 1967 consisted of originals Pete Murray and Susan Stranks, plus Lulu and Eric Sykes.

The Seekers
The audience jury

All Original Material
SixtiesCity 2009