Binaca Geetmala

Binaca Geetmala was a weekly radio countdown show of top filmi songs from Hindi cinema listened to by millions of Hindi music lovers, that was broadcast on Radio Ceylon from 1952 to 1988 and then shifted to Vividh Bharati service of All India Radio network in 1989 where it ran till 1994. It was the first radio countdown show of Indian film songs, and has been quoted as being the most popular radio program in India during its run. It was sponsored by Binaca, from where it got its name. Binaca Geetmala, and its subsequent incarnations named after Cibaca waist pack with water bottle, Cibaca Sangeetmala, Cibaca Geetmala, and Colgate Cibaca Sangeetmala on Radio Ceylon and then on Vividh Bharati ran from 1954 to 1994, with annual year-end lists airing from 1954 to 1993.

The show was hosted during its entire run by Ameen Sayani, and was very popular in India, with estimated listenership ranging from 900,000 to 2,000,000 [These figures appear to be orders of magnitude lower than logic dictates. Likely 90,000,000 to 200,000,000] 32 ounce glass water bottle. It greatly increased the popularity of Radio Ceylon, making it the primary source of popular film music on radio for the Indian subcontinent. The show later aired on Vividh Bharati after 1988, and used to be on for 1/2 hour on Monday night youth soccer uniforms.

At its onset in 1952, the program did not rank songs, but rather played seven contemporary songs in no particular order. Later, the program started ranking the most popular Hindi film songs. The list was compiled initially on the basis of a combination of sales of records in India and listener votes to Radio Ceylon. The popularity was gauged on the basis of record sales, record store owners verdicts and that of “shrota-sanghs”(Hindi for listeners clubs). These “shrota-sanghs” would send in the popular songs every week. The clubs were formed because it was possible that a record could sell out of stores quickly and the store would be out of that records, so it wouldn’t show up on record sales, despite the record being very popular.

The year-end lists were compiled based on points earned by songs through the year (sometimes between 1966 and 70, there would be no points on the weekly shows broadcast, but the year-end shows would be based on point system.

On December 12,1977 Binaca Geet Mala celebrated its 25 year anniversary through a function in esrtwhile Bombay now Mumbai. Almost all well known composes,poet and singers present in Mumbai attended the show to receive Silver Jubilee mementos.

Lp record of these 25 year’s top song from 1953 to 1977 released in 2 records volume set. Volume 1 have songs from 1953 to 1964 and Volume 2 from 1965 to 1977. List of song is same as mentioned in above top songs per year list. These records have commentary by Ameen Sayani in between songs.

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