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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
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.
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
John Lennon predicted that it would be "a small hit at least"
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 1964.
The very last panel in 1967 consisted of originals Pete Murray and
Susan Stranks, plus Lulu and Eric Sykes.
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