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The Beatles On Juke Box Jury

I had a recent request from my friend Cara, to share some of The Beatles on the UK BBC Television program Juke Box Jury. So here is an audio recording preceded by some background info about the show:

On December 7th 1963, the Beatles gave an afternoon concert at the Empire Theatre in their hometown of Liverpool which was filmed for BBC-TV. Following the concert, the Beatles rushed to the Odeon Cinema in Liverpool for a special taping of Juke Box Jury.

Juke Box Jury was a weekly program featuring a panel of four celebrities who were given the task of rating newly released records as ‘HIT’ or ‘MISS,’ based on their personal opinions of the recording’s potential to become a popular chart hit.

When the Beatles appeared as the four panelists for this edition of the show, they rated the latest releases by artists like Elvis Presley, Steve and Eydie, Bobby Vinton, Billy Fury, and the Swinging Blue Jeans. Most of the predictions the Beatles made on this episode of Juke Box Jury proved later to be correct, and only three of their predictions turned out to be incorrect.

The video of the Beatles’ appearance on Juke Box Jury seemingly no longer exists. Luckily, the audio from this television appearance has survived.

Their December 7th Juke Box Jury appearance and a 30 minute film of their concert earlier that afternoon at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre would both be telecast by BBC-TV later that same evening.

Juke Box Jury began as a program in America during the earliest days of television. The BBC version of the show debuted in 1959 and ran until 1967. The host of Juke Box Jury in Britain was David Jacobs.

This is the audio from the final 9 minutes of this Dec. 7th 1963 appearance when the Beatles rated:

1) “Do You Really Love Me Too” – Billy Fury: the record was compared unfavorably to a Cliff Richard record though John & Paul liked the song and said it would be a hit..they were right as it ended up going to number 15 in the UK. Note: The audio here begins after the song has played.

2) “There I’ve Said It Again” – Bobby Vinton: All 4 correctly voted this a miss for the UK. But in the U.S. it was a #1 a month later and ironically “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was the song that dethroned it on the Billboard singles chart. Note: All but a few seconds of the track has been clipped from the recording.

3) “Love Hit Me” – The Orchids: The Orchids are a trio of schoolgirls from Coventry and John criticizes the group as a clone of The Ronettes or The Crystals. Paul & George are a little more enthusiastic but they ultimately vote it as a miss. Then they get suddenly and humorously apologetic when they are told afterward that the Orchids are in the audience and are told by announcer David Jacobs to stand up. John then says he’ll change it to a hit and buy two!

4) “I Think Of You” – The Merseybeats: As they are running out of time, they cut the discussion and go straight for the vote. All vote this one a hit for these fellow Liverpudlians.

The theme song “Hit And Miss” closes the show.

The Beatles - Juke Box Jury (BBC TV)
The Beatles on Juke Box Jury on Dec. 7, 1963

The Beatles on Juke Box Jury on Dec. 7, 1963

An abbreviated transcription of this show is online here which is where much of the info on the program in this post came from.

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4 Comments

  • lennonista says:

    THANK YOU for indulging me, Mark! And thanks also for the transcription, which really helped. Okay, so it’s not Beatles music, but it’s really interesting to hear what they had to say about pop music at this point in their career… I’m sure they held back a bit, but they seemed pretty honest and insightful.

  • lennonista says:

    btw, in the transcript, it’s pretty cool that they all loved The Nitty Gritty, which is a great tune. But they also realized it wouldn’t be a hit in Britain.

    • Happy Nat says:

      I have to say they were really good at judging what would be a hit or miss. I would not be good at that so I tend to appreciate it. I see good in a lot of stuff that would never be a hit.

  • Mak Shau says:

    Fab AND Gear – thanks!

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