‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek Hosted a Music Show for Teens in the 1960s

by Keeli Parkey
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Many years before he became famous as the host of “Jeopardy!,” Alex Trebek had one very different hosting gig.

This might come as a surprise to fans familiar with the host’s legendary persona. However, believe it or not, Trebek was once the host of a music show for teens. That’s right – a music show for teenagers. That had to be quite a different format from “Jeopardy!” where he worked with some very, very smart contestants.

According to an article on Facinate.com, Alex Trebek began hosting the show “Music Hop” in Canada during 1963. Think of “Music Hop” as the Canadian version of “American Bandstand,” which was popular in the United States around the same time. With Trebek in the role of host, “Music Hop” showcased the rock music and pop music of the time to teenagers in Canada.

You can watch a clip of Alex Trebek working on “Music Hop” below. In this clip, he interviews folk musician Gordon Lightfoot. The young Lightfoot is a well-respected singer and songwriter. The clip with a very young and dapper-looking Trebek asking Lightfoot how he feels about the success of folk music at the time. Trebek’s interviewing skills were evident in the 1963 clip. He obviously carried them with him to his work on “Jeopardy!” years later.

After ‘Music Hop’ Alex Trebek Hosted a Quiz Show – But Not ‘Jeopardy!’

According to IMDb, Alex Trebek only worked on “Music Hop” during 1963. Interestingly, his next hosting gig was a quiz show. But, it wasn’t “Jeopardy!”

This program was called “Reach for the Top,” according to Facinate.com. He hosted this show during 1966. It was a quiz competition between high school-aged youth. That had to be good practice for the young Trebek for hosting “Jeopardy!”, especially its teen tournaments.

Alex Trebek didn’t begin his tenure on “Jeopardy!” until 1987. He worked on that show until his death in 2020. Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020, at the age of 80. His cause of death was stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Even though he was very ill, Trebek kept doing what he loved – hosting “Jeopardy!” No doubt, fans of the show were thankful for every extra episode they had with the beloved host.

Earlier in February, Alex Trebek’s daughter Nicky reflected on the passing of her father three months previously. She shared her thoughts on social media.

“#february8 it’s been 3 months and rather than post something sad I #choosejoy. this always makes me laugh thinking about how many times he did that trying to get it right 😅#threemonths #missingyoualways #dad #milestonesandmemories,” Nicky posted on her Instagarm page on Feb. 8.

Of course, accompanying her thoughts was a photograph of her beloved father on the set of “Jeopardy!” The photo showed him proudly pointing at the show’s famous question display.

Outsider.com