Hit or Miss? ~ Juke Box Jury is 50 Years Old


…or would have been had it not gone the way of all great pop progs ~ axed by TV execs who, of course, know better. A bit before my time, I’m not certain whether it was any good or not. I guess it depended upon who was on the panel or the quality of the discs reviewed. What I suspect was that good pop or rock ‘n’ roll was in such short supply on both the telly and radio that it would have made avid viewing for anyone currently considering a SAGA holiday.

Hosted by David Jacobs with a theme tune by the John Barry Seven and broadcast for the first time on June 1st 1959, the format was simple: Brand new releases are played and four celebs give their opinion as to whether it’ll sell or shrivel.

The original show ceased in 1967, when I suppose the newly formed Radio 1 was now considered the breaking ground for new releases. It has, however, twice been resurrected, with Noel Edmonds in the late 70s and Jools Holland in the late 80s, falling flat on its face on both occasions.

The problem with the revivals was that it was aimed at an early evening family audience rather than to people who like decent music. Pluggers would ask favours of old mates to get the lame new single aired of some old hasbeen. Both panel and audience alike would listen on aghast. Which was, granted, part of the fun, but we’d have rather had decent music. That’s why John Peel was so indispensible.

Best remembered as a relic from another age, like a Butlins holiday, when people wore clothes that weren’t covered in writing. If you were a teenager in the 60s then I suppose its in your TV Heaven, just as Peter Cook’s Revolver, The Tube, White Room, Mike Mansfield’s Supersonic and Mr Roy’s Get it Together are in mine.


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