Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Binaca Geet Mala: Early Years

Ameen Sayani recalls, among other fascinating details, Binaca Geet Mala's early years on Radio Ceylon. Article here.

"For all of Rs. 25, I was required to select the songs, produce, script and compere the programme, and also sort the mail. The programme involved a competition and we expected 40-50 letters. The first episode brought 9,000. Within a year, that number touched 60,000. We had to shelve the competition and introduce a countdown show."


  • I remember listening to the Binaca countdown right when I hit my teens and was glued to the radio all the time especially during summer vacation. We had this ancient Philips Radio which despite its antiquity had crystal clear sound. Ameen Sayani was wonderfully witty. He even hosted some new year shows on the radio I think.

    By Blogger Durga, at 8/21/2006 10:02 AM  

  • nameste
    congrats for such a nostalgic blog!!!
    after long time i have read something on Binaca Geetmala,blogging jindabaad!!!
    i have similar experiences as durga and i am sure there would be many others sharing Binaca passion!
    i remember later in fading out time it had changed to Cibaca Geetmala and magic was not the same and slowly it faded out.
    it will be great if its revived,it has strong and bright BRAND memory and history.
    i have linked you in my blogywood.
    discovered you through michael.

    By Blogger sanjay jha, at 8/25/2006 10:26 PM  

  • Sanjay - yes, the show did change many times over the years and it is easily a defining show in Indian broadcasting history. But I doubt if it will be revived. For one, FM radio seems to have become a fixture of urban life in India now, and some of the shows and RJs on stations like Radiocity are becoming very popular and might well be ones we will look back on fondly. Besides, given the way film music circulates today across radio, tv, the Web, and cell phones, I doubt a show like BGM can figure out a good business model that sets its apart from other shows out there.

    By Blogger Aswin, at 8/27/2006 9:45 PM  

  • ashwin i agree with you.
    but f.m is still away from the villages,and BGM always had greater reach,you are right,we have moved on,but if A.I.R takes any such colourful initiative,it will be wonderful,anyways.
    we should not forget the past and look for the bright future.
    still i liked your post on BGM.
    thanks for visiting.
    have you seen any of my film?
    and it will be very encouraging if you link my simple blog to such a wonderful blog of yours!!!

    By Blogger sanjay jha, at 8/27/2006 11:32 PM  

  • TV killed the radio star!
    I am right there with Durga and Sanjay...And we never could tune to the Ceylone station, and my dad used to give me a hard time for wasting my time on radio shows when I was supposed to be preparing for Engg. entrance tests.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/29/2006 9:54 PM  

  • Anonymous = Harsha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/29/2006 9:55 PM  

  • harsha - i'm not sure about TV killing the radio star. Its pretty clear that babus and their terrible policies killed the radio star, and continue to stifle the medium (licensing issues over community radio, for e.g.).

    By Blogger Aswin, at 8/30/2006 6:23 AM  

  • O Binaca Geetmala, thousands of Jawans at border lications enjoyed you like heaven on earth on Wednesdays 7-8 PM, Once I missed you while advancing at Sialkot Sector in Pakistan. Ex-Hav/AEC E I ABRAHAM

    By Blogger ITTYCHERIA, at 6/12/2007 9:35 PM  

  • can somebody please tell me i binaca geetmala's CDs are available...? If yes, where?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/28/2007 11:51 AM  

  • Most of Binaca Geetmala songs (from 1970 to 1980) are available on


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/28/2008 8:36 PM  

  • fantastic to know about this
    site about binaca
    i have grownup along with it as
    i was born in 1953
    sundeep pahwa

    By Anonymous sundeep pahwa, at 1/10/2009 5:13 AM  

  • sangeet smriti is hosting a prog
    geetmala ki paheli paydan par
    at kamani audi delhi on 07 07 09
    6.30pm with ameensayani being
    present for members contact
    011 98115555o 70 9268145402
    or logon to
    sundeep pahwa

    By Blogger Sundeep, at 6/23/2009 5:26 AM  

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