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No History of Indian Popular music of the yesteryears can be complete without mentioning Binaca Geet Mala. Binaca Geet Mala was a hugely popular weekly radio countdown show of top filmi songs from Indian cinema listened to by millions of Hindi music lovers, that was broadcast on Radio Ceylon from 1952 to 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 the most popular radio program before Satellite television took over in India. Binaca Geetmala, and its subsequent incarnations Cibaca Sangeetmala, Cibaca Geetmala, and Colgate Cibaca Sangeetmala on Vividh Bharati ran from 1952 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. 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.

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 "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 & 70, there would be no points on the weekly shows broadcast, but the year-end shows would be based on point system).

The first countdown show's topper in 1954 was Talat Mahmood’s 'Jayen to jayen kahan' from the film Taxi Driver. Top songs from 1954 to 1960:

1954: Jayen to Jayen Kahan
1955: Mera Joota Hai Japani
1956: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
1957: Zara Samne to Aao
1958: Hai Apna Dil Jo Awara
1959: Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab ka
1960: Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat

Ameen Sayani With Jazzy Joe

Jazzy Joe with Ameen Sayani














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