The Old Grey Whistle Test was an influential BBC television music show that ran from September 1971 until 1987. Hosted by DJ Bob Harris (nicknamed "Whispering Bob Harris" due to his quiet voice and "laid back" style), the program hosted many seminal rock acts of the era, including the first British TV performance of Bob Marley and the Wailers. The show's focus on "serious" rock music rather than chart hits was emphasised by the lack of showbiz glitter; bands would often perform their songs in front of plain wooden boards (actually the backs of set walls from other programmes).
According to Harris, the program derived its name from "a Tin Pan Alley phrase from years ago. When they got the first pressing of a record they would play it to people they called the "old greys". The ones they could remember and could whistle having heard it just once or twice had passed the old grey whistle test".
Although many felt that the OGWT had run its course by the time it went off the air, it laid the template for many successive "serious" British music programs such as The Tube, Later with Jools Holland, etc.