TV Shows We Used To Watch – BBC Juke Box Jury 1959-67
Image by brizzle born and bred
Classic 1950s and 60s pop music show in which a panel votes hit or miss on the new releases they are played. David Jacobs presents, with Nina and Frederick, Jill Ireland and David McCallum on the panel.
The show – in which assorted celebrities rated new single releases a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’ – began on US Television in 1948 starring Hollywood DJ Peter Potter.
One of the highlights of the show’s history was when The Beatles appeared on December 7th 1963. They rated songs by artists including Billy Fury, Elvis Presley and The Swinging Blue Jeans – all of which became hits.
On the night, seven of the Beatles’ predictions were right and three were wrong.
The show’s format was very simple: a panel of four guests would listen to a batch of the latest pop singles and judge them a hit or a miss.
The fact that the programme was performance-free meant that during a song the camera would pan around the studio audience, linger on the celebrity panel or cut back to the show’s host, originally the DJ David Jacobs, to no great purpose.
Despite this lack of visual interest, the show proved extremely popular, with a weekly audience peaking at around 12 million, while an appearance by the Rolling Stones as the panellists attracted 10,000 requests for tickets for the programme’s recording.
The most famous guests to appear on the show were The Beatles, who generated such pandemonium that the audience drowned out much of what they said.
It was axed towards the end of 1967 after falling ratings, but revived on two occasions, the first time with Noel Edmonds as presenter (in 1979), and the second time with
Jools Holland (from 1989 to 1990). The theme music for the show was called
"Hit and Miss" and was performed by "The John Barry Seven".
The following clip is a section from a programme in 1960.
Nina and Frederik were a Danish popular singing duo of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Their repertoire consisted of a blend of folk music, calypsos and standards. The duo consisted of Frederik, Baron van Pallandt and his wife at the time Nina van Pallandt.
Nina and Frederik began singing together at the age of four, but since Frederik’s father was the Dutch ambassador to Denmark, his family moved away and the children lost contact with each other. However in 1957 he re-established contact with Nina at her parents home and one evening played his guitar for her. To his surprise Nina began singing to it, and it was at that moment that they decided to sing together. Originally they sang only for their friends, and occasionally at house parties. This led to them being asked to perform at charity shows and soon they were in demand professionally. On 1 July 1957, the duo made their professional show business debut in Copenhagen’s top night club, Mon Coeur. Within a matter of months they had become great favourites throughout Europe. They married in September 1960 and in 1961 had their own series on British Television, Nina and Frederik at home.
Their earliest known single was "Jamaica Farewell"/"Come Back Liza", both Calypso songs, issued in 1959 on Pye International 7N 25021, but showing a 1957 ‘recording first published’ date.
Their album, Nina and Frederik, charted at number 9 on the UK Albums Chart in February 1960. Their follow-up collection, also entitled Nina and Frederik, but featuring completely different songs, peaked at number 11 in the UK chart in May 1961.
In 1963 they spent three weeks performing at the Savoy Hotel, and in December of the same year they gave a concert at the Royal Festival Hall, and made guest appearances on the panel of Juke Box Jury.
Jill Ireland and David McCallum
David Keith McCallum, Jr. (born 19 September 1933) is a Scottish actor and musician. He is best known for his roles as Illya Kuryakin, a Russian-born secret agent, in the 1960s television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as interdimensional operative Steel in Sapphire & Steel, and Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the series NCIS.
He was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1957 to 1967. They had three sons: Paul, Jason – an adopted son who died from an accidental drug overdose in 1989 – and Valentine. He introduced Ireland to Charles Bronson when both were filming The Great Escape. A few years later, she left McCallum and married Bronson.
He has been married to Katherine Carpenter since 1967. They have a son, Peter, and a daughter, Sophie. David and Katherine McCallum are active with charitable organizations that support the United States Marine Corps: Katherine’s father was a Marine who served in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and her brother lost his life in the Vietnam War.
David and Katherine McCallum live in New York.
Jill Dorothy Ireland (April 24, 1936 – May 18, 1990) was an English actress, best known for her many films with her second husband, Charles Bronson.
Ireland was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984. After her diagnosis, Ireland wrote two books chronicling her battle with the disease (at the time of her death, she was writing a third book) and became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. In 1988, she testified before Congress about medical costs and was awarded the Medal of Courage from then-President Ronald Reagan.
On May 18, 1990, Ireland died of breast cancer at her home in Malibu, California.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Jill Ireland has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6751 Hollywood Boulevard.
In 1991, Jill Clayburgh portrayed Ireland in the made-for-television movie Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story, which told of her later years, including her fight with cancer.
David Lewis Jacobs CBE (born 19 May 1926) is a British actor and broadcaster who rose to prominence as presenter of the peak-time BBC Television show Juke Box Jury and of the BBC Radio 4 political forum, Any Questions?
Jacobs was born in London and educated at Strand School. He served in the Royal Navy from 1944 to 1947, and first broadcast on Navy Mixture in 1944. He became an announcer with the British Forces Broadcasting Service and was chief announcer on Radio SEAC in Ceylon (1945-47). He was later assistant-station director.
A BBC staff announcer in the early 1950s, his voice eerily intoned the title for many of the 53 episodes of the popular space adventure series Journey Into Space. He also played no fewer than 22 acting parts in the course of the series.
He also broadcast on Radio Luxembourg.
Jacobs became best known as presenter of Juke Box Jury on BBC television between 1959 and 1967. He was one of the four original presenters of Top of the Pops when it started in 1964. He had earlier, between 1957 and 1961, established the chart show format of the Light Programme’s Pick of the Pops, to which he briefly returned in 1962.
Between 1957 and 1966 Jacobs was the presenter of A Song for Europe and did the UK commentary at several Eurovision Song Contests. He hosted the popular panel game What’s My Line? when it was revived on BBC2 from 1973 to 1974. In 1973 he hosted a short-lived version of the American game show The Who, What, or Where Game.
From December 1967 until July 1983 Jacobs chaired the influential Radio 4 live topical debate programme Any Questions? One episode notoriously descended into chaos when some of the audience heckled Enoch Powell: they were evicted, and a stone was thrown through the stained-glass window of the church from which the programme was being broadcast. Jacobs later for a time presented a similar series called Questions for TVS.
Jacobs appeared as himself in the 1974 film Stardust, compèring a 1960s award ceremony. He also appeared as himself in an episode of the BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, where he played the presenter of a fictional home improvement show.