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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
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
also liked 'Hippy Hippy Shake' by The Swinging Blue Jeans.
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
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.
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
the right are the public 'tie break' audience jury).