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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Beatles Interview Series: 1963 - Beatles Appearance on Juke Box Jury

As part two of our series, The Beatles Interview Series, we would like to share something a bit different.  In 1963, The Beatles appeared on the UK television show, Juke Box Jury, where panelists voted whether the latest songs were going to be a "hit" or a "miss."  According to Jay Spangler of The Beatles Ultimate Experience, "The video of the Beatles' appearance on Juke Box Jury seemingly no longer exists. Luckily, the audio from this television appearance has survived" and it is from this audio, that this "interview" was transcribed.  There was a rumor late in 2013 that there was a lot of lost footage from the 1960s found at a Nigerian television station and that this episode of Juke Box Jury might have been among the recovered footage, but no word since then.  Here's to wishful thinking!




Song heard: Kiss Me Quick - Elvis Presley
PAUL: "The only thing I don't like about Elvis now is the songs. You know, I love his voice. I used to love all the records like 'Blue Suede Shoes' and 'Heartbreak Hotel,' lovely. But I don't like the songs now. And Kiss Me Quick, it sounds like Blackpool on a sunny day."
(laughter, followed by applause)
RINGO: "I didn't like it at all, no."
GEORGE: "I must admit I didn't like it very much. Not at all. It's an old track. And I think, seeing as they're releasing old stuff, if they release something like 'My Baby Left Me' it'd be number one. Because Elvis is definitely still popular, it's just the song's a load of rubbish. I mean, Elvis is great. He's fine. But it's not for me."
JOHN: "Well, I think it'll be a hit because it's Elvis, like people said. But I don't think it'll be very great. (comically) I like those hats, though, with 'Kiss Me Quick' on it!"
(laughter)
(Beatles vote by holding up cards. Consensus: HIT)




Song heard: Hippy Hippy Shake - The Swinging Bluejeans
RINGO: "I liked it. I thought it was good. But it's not as good as the original by Chan Romero. It still swings, and it should sell. I hope it does, anyway."
GEORGE: "I think it could possibly be a hit, because I know for a fact that The Hippy Shake's a very popular song around here. We used to do it ourselves."
(John laughs comically, the crowd of fans cheer)
GEORGE: "I know a lot of the groups around here do this song, and they're expecting somebody to come up with a new version of it. I think it could possibly be a hit. I like the way the Bluejeans did it, but I still prefer Chan Romero's version."
JOHN: "Yeah, I think it'll be a hit because they sort of re-made it for the last one, and it's better. Especially without that banjo. I like Bill Harry's version as well. I think it'll be a small hit, at least."
(laughter)
PAUL: "I think it'll be a hit too, because I don't think it matters much about the Chan Romero record being greater, 'cuz I don't think many people will remember the fact that he did it, and he wrote it as well. You know, I don't think people will remember. They'll just think of it as a new song."
(Beatles vote by holding up cards. Consensus: HIT)





Song heard: Did You Have A Happy Birthday - Paul Anka
GEORGE: "Well, I had a happy birthday, yeah."
(laughter)
GEORGE: "But I mean, If I'd have heard the record first, I maybe would have cut that out."
(laughter)
GEORGE: "You know, I definitely don't like it. It's not for me. (jokingly) And I didn't get the flowers either that he sent me."
(laughter)
JOHN: (jokingly, at the top of his voice) "I LIKE IT !!!"
(laughter)
JOHN: "I don't like these sort of sob songs, and it sounds as though he's on tremelo, technically. You know, it sounds a bit wobbley. Anyway, I don't like it."
PAUL: "Well, I don't like it either, because of that little crack in his voice. He sounds, you know, off his head."
(laughter)
PAUL: "Instead of 'Happy Birthday' it's (comically) 'Woo woo woo!'"
(laughter)
PAUL: "It's a bit off, and I don't like it."
RINGO: "Uhh, I didn't like it at all. It's such a big drag, man, the way it sounded, you know."
(Beatles vote by holding up cards. Consensus: MISS)




Song heard: The Nitty Gritty - Shirley Ellis
JOHN: "Uhh yeah. I like it. I thought it was somebody else. I've never heard of Shirley Ellis. I like all those kind of things. I'll buy it. But I believe it won't be a hit."
DAVID JACOBS: "Who did you think it was?"
JOHN: "At first I thought it was Mary Wells. I liked that."
PAUL: "The same as he said. In fact, I will say exactly the same 'cuz I agree with him. I love these kind of records but I don't think this one will be a hit, 'cuz I dunno... It doesn't say anything."
RINGO: "You know, we all like this sort of thing. I'd buy it, but I don't think it'll be a hit."
GEORGE: "Well, it definitely won't be a hit, in England anyway. It probably will be, or probably is already in the States. But I don't think it'll be a hit. The public haven't got 'round to that sort of stuff yet. When they do, I mean, that would be..."
DAVID JACOBS: "So, you mean you think that our teenagers are behind the Americans in their tastes?"
GEORGE: "Yeah I mean, just lately they've been going for some more way-out stuff, and Rhythm and Blues, and THIS sort of thing we've always liked. We've liked it for years. And it still hasn't caught on in England."
PAUL: "Well it's just that people who buy the records, their taste doesn't match the teenagers generally. Lots of teenagers love this kind of music but don't buy it, because they don't buy records."
(Beatles vote by holding up cards. Consensus: MISS)





Song heard: I Can't Stop Talking About You - Steve And Eydie
PAUL: "Uhh, yeah. I don't think it's a good'n. It's alright. That kind of thing is catchy. It may be catchy, but I just don't think it's good, generally."
RINGO: "I like it, you know. I think she carries them, actually."
(laughter)
GEORGE: "I think it's equally as good as (sings) 'da de-de-de-de de-de da-deee.' It's great, I like it, the sort of relaxed style of both. Yeah, I like it and I think it's a hit."
JOHN: "I don't like it as much as their last one. I don't even like it... I usually like everything Goffin and King write, but not this one. It's too sweet, you know. de-da-de, you know. A bit Christmassy, maybe. I don't like it, though. It'll be a vague hit."
DAVID JACOBS: "A vague one."
JOHN: "A vague hit."
(Beatles vote by holding up cards. Consensus: HIT)




Song heard: Do You Really Love Me Too - Billy Fury
DAVID JACOBS: "Do you really love me too, Ringo?"
RINGO: "Not you."
(laughter)
RINGO: "I didn't like it, you know. I've never bought one of his records, but he's very popular, so it's just uhh... no."
GEORGE: "Not bad, but it was okay, but I wouldn't buy it. And I thought the guitar is just exactly the same as Cliff's. In fact, it's only about a note difference."
JOHN: "He just said the bit about the beginning, didn't he, being like Cliff's one. The tune's not bad. It's quite pleasant. It's one of those you gotta hear again... uhh, tomorrow."
(laughter)
PAUL: "I quite like it, and the same things John said jokingly. The only thing I thought, as well as the guitar bit being like the Cliff Richard bit, the tune is just a little bit like (sings) 'Well I feed the cows and I milks the sheep and I...'"
(laughter, followed by applause)
PAUL: "But I still think it'll be a hit."
(Beatles vote by holding up cards. Consensus: HIT)



Song heard: There I've Said It Again - Bobby Vinton
GEORGE: "Umm, it's quite nice, but I mean, I don't think the record buying public buys this sort of stuff, I mean, the majority -- which will make it a miss. But you know, it's quite alright. I wouldn't buy it me-self."
JOHN: "Uhh, well, I dunno. What is Bobby Vinton doing? He's bringing the oldies back. He might do it, but people always cover them over here. But especially anything old. You know, everybody does it all at once. And he missed it with the last one here. (loudly, comically) I THINK HE'S GONNA MISS IT WITH THIS ONE TOO!!"
(laughter)
PAUL: "Umm, yeah. I think the thing about bringing back old songs and doing them these days, teenagers don't really want old songs brought back. I'm sure they'd like to have songs that they can call their own instead of bringing back their mum and dad's songs."
DAVID JACOBS: "Well now, just a minute. What about Frank Ifield and all that lot?"
PAUL: "Yeah, okay."
GEORGE: "What about Mule Train?"
(laughter)
PAUL: "Yeah well, you're probably right. But I'm sure that if you could get songs these days as GOOD as the old ones, only new songs, that would be ten times better."
JOHN: "Frank Ifield... that's just practically the same as the old."
DAVID JACOBS: "I might tell you that I'm terrified of disagreeing with you chaps, you know, in front of all these people. However, let's see what Ringo says. Ringo."
RINGO: "I liked it, you know. It's nice and smooth. And if you're sort of staying in one night, put it on."
(laughter)
RINGO: "But yeah, right. It won't sell."
DAVID JACOBS: "Thank you, Don Juan Starr."
(Beatles vote by holding up cards. Consensus: MISS)



Song heard: Love Hit Me - The Orchids
DAVID JACOBS: "Three Coventry school gils called the Orchids on 'Love Hit Me.' John Lennon."
JOHN: "Well you know, it's just a big cop, or pinch. It sounds... If it had come out before the Crystals and the Ronettes it would've been great. They've even got that, what is it... castanets?"
RINGO: "Tambourine."
JOHN: (loudly, giggling) Tambourine, is THAT what it's called!!"
(laughter)
JOHN: "It's quite nice, but it's sort of the British version, you know, which... although the song's original, I think. But it sounds... doesn't sound right."
PAUL: "It's okay. It sounds great for an English record, though, you know. Because about a year ago, if someone had brought this out and said 'Listen to this record,' I don't think you would've believed that it was an English one. It's marvelous, the sound things. And I think it's great. I like it."
RINGO: "It's good, you know. I wouldn't buy it. It may sell a few but not that many."
(Beatles laugh)
GEORGE: "I thought it was quite nice. I liked the idea of the British records sort of being on the way to boom-chicka-boom-chicka, all this. I like the American stuff like the Crystals, I mean, even though it is a pinch, you know. I'd rather they pinch the Crystals than carry on doing the stuff they've been doing."
(Beatles vote by holding up cards. Consensus: MISS)
DAVID JACOBS: "They say that it will be a miss, which in fact is most unfortunate, because we do have sitting in the audience three young ladies called The Orchids. Stand up, young ladies. There they are"
(crowd applauds)
GEORGE: (jokingly) "Sorry! Didn't mean it!!"
JOHN: (switching his card) "I'll change it to hit!"
(laughter)
JOHN: "I'll buy it! I'll buy two!"
DAVID JACOBS: (laughs)
JOHN: (comically) "I didn't know you were here!"
DAVID JACOBS: (laughing) "John thinks it's a lousy trick but we'll get on to the next record."




Song heard: I Think Of You - The Merseybeats
(As time was running out in the program, the Beatles did not share their comments on this song, but simply held a quick vote. Consensus: HIT)
DAVID JACOBS: "This is where I say that unfortunately we have to take our leave of you. So, on behalf of the Jury, that's John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison. Don't forget to join the Beatles later at 8:10 on BBC television tonight. And join us at the usual time next week for another session of Juke Box Jury. Goodnight."



Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from audio copy of the television appearance

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