Binaca Geetmala


Binaca Geetmala was a Radio show that ranked Bollywood Filmy songs. Top Ranked songs were aired on Radio every week. As the name suggests, the show was sponsored by Binaca, a toothpaste brand.

The show was first aired on Radio Ceylon on 9 December 1952 and continued there until 1988. After 1988 Geetmala moved to the Vividh Bharati All India Radio) in 1989 and continued there until 1994.


  1. Brief History
  2. Binaca Geetmala and Ameen Sayani
  3. Popularity Rating Method
  4. Annual Lists (1953-1993)
  5. Binaca Geetmala Silver Jubilee
  6. Binaca Geetmala-History & Aim
  7. Radio Ceylon
  8. Ranked #1 Songs

Binaca Geetmala – A brief History

Binaca Geetmala was the first Indian show on Radio that brought a countdown of Bollywood Film Songs. Geetmala ranked Hindi Songs based on various factors.

Geetmala started broadcasting the top-ranked songs on a weekly radio show. The show became immensely popular and is best known as Binaca Geetmala. It is considered the most popular radio show on Bollywood Film songs during its run.

The Geetmala also introduced an Annual year-end List of Bollywood Filmy Songs in 1953. The annual list of Binaca Geetmala continued till 1993.

Ameen Sayani presented the show from its initiation until the show ended. The show made the Radio such a popular source of entertainment that people used to match their watches with All India Radio to set their routine as per the programs played.

Binaca Geetmala and Ameen Sayani

Binaca Geetmala was very popular and so was its presenter Ameen Sayani. His mesmerizing voice kept the show warm and enchanting throughout its entire run.

The show has its listenership ranging from ten lakh to twenty lakh. The listenership range implies that how popular the show was in India.

Consequent to the popularity of the show the Radio Cyclone became more popular and became the key source of Indian Film Music for Indian and Indian subcontinent audiences.

Ameen Sayani accepted the show for a merely Rs. 25/- initially in the year 1952. Thereafter, he received an extra Rs. 100 for every annual list. Ameen Sayani has accepted that he has not a good command of the Hindi Language. However, he ran the show very successfully from 1952 until the show ends in 1994.

Binaca Geetmala-Popularity Ratings Method

Initially, the show did not rank filmy songs. The show simply played seven random latest songs. Thereafter, the makers decided to introduce the ranking of songs. Originally, the ranking was based on the voting made by listeners and the number of selling of records.

Thereafter, opinions from music record store owners were sought and taken into consideration. The store owners also started sending their list of popular songs based on records sold in their store for a particular song..

Annual List of Binaca Geetmala (1953 to 1993)

Binaca Geetmala was a weekly show. The show used to play several songs accordingly to their ranking, which was decided through various factors.

However, a year-ending list was also introduced in the year 1953. These songs were based on the points earned by a particular song throughout the year. Here is the annual year-ending list of top-ranked bollywood filmy songs from 1953 to 1993.

Annual List of Binaca Geetmala

Binaca Geetmala 1953Binaca Geetmala 1954
Binaca Geetmala 1955Binaca Geetmala 1956
Binaca Geetmala 1957Binaca Geetmala 1958
Binaca Geetmala 1959Binaca Geetmala 1960
Binaca Geetmala 1961Binaca Geetmala 1962
Binaca Geetmala 1963Binaca Geetmala 1964
Binaca Geetmala 1965Binaca Geetmala 1966
Binaca Geetmala 1967Binaca Geetmala 1968
Binaca Geetmala 1969Binaca Geetmala 1970
Binaca Geetmala 1971Binaca Geetmala 1972
Binaca Geetmala 1973Binaca Geetmala 1974
Binaca Geetmala 1975Binaca Geetmala 1976
Binaca Geetmala 1977Binaca Geetmala 1978
Binaca Geetmala 1979Binaca Geetmala 1980
Binaca Geetmala 1981Binaca Geetmala 1982
Binaca Geetmala 1983Binaca Geetmala 1984
Binaca Geetmala 1985Binaca Geetmala 1986
Binaca Geetmala 1987Binaca Geetmala 1988
Binaca Geetmala 1989Binaca Geetmala 1990
Binaca Geetmala 1991Binaca Geetmala 1992
Binaca Geetmala 1993
Year ending list of Binaca Geetmala from 1953 to 1993

Silver Jubilee of Binaca Geetmala

The show celebrated its silver jubilee on 12 December 1977. On this occasion, a social gathering was arranged in Bombay (now Mumbai). Since the show belongs to the music industry, many renowned Singers, Lyricists, and Music composers attended the function.

The silver jubilee of the show is important from the point of view that two sets of volume (song) records, containing top bollywood filmy songs from 1953 to 1977, were compiled and released. Volume 1 contained top bollywood songs from 1953 to 1964 and Volume 2 contained top bollywood filmy songs from 1965 to 1977. These records were also surrounded by the mesmerizing voice of Ameen Sayani who made commentary between the popular songs.

History of Show and the aim to start the Show

In General Election 1952, the Indian National Congress party emerged as the biggest winner and had a landslide victory. The charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) was assigned to Mr. Keskar.

Mr. Keskar was against the westernization of Indian filmy songs. He supported Indian classical songs. He planned that and thought that every Indian should listen only to Indian classical songs and Filmy songs should be banned completely.

The newly appointed I&B Minister Mr. Keskar finally decided that filmy songs would not air on All India Radio (AIR) as a precautionary measure to stop the disintegration and westernization of songs. He also proposed that Indian citizens should hear traditional music only.

In an article in The Hindu (19 July 1953), Keskar argued that the country’s appreciation for classical music had “fallen” and was “on the point of extinction”-particularly in north India.

The onus of making his countrymen “intimate with (classical music)”, therefore, was bestowed on AIR. “We must make (ourselves) familiar with our traditional music,” he declared.

Mr. Keskar wants to air only those songs that contain the sound of Sitar, Tanpura, and Flute instead of drum, guitar, and any other western music instrument.

Film Shree 420 had a song ”Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh” that contained an orchestra, a Western instrument. For this, the song and more other songs would not pass in the eyes of Mr. Keskar who served Information and Broadcasting ministry for the longest term from 1952 to 1962.

To ensure and promoting classing music he made it mandatory for all songs to be screened before they aired on All India Radio. To begin with, he mandated that all songs aired on AIR would be screened. He further imposed “a quota of 10 percent of all program time”.

Further, the minister ensured that even if a Filmy song is played the film name would not be announced along with the song because he considered announcing the film name as advertising.

This act of the minister joined the film industry together. They raised their voices against the minister and his policies. In the August 1952 edition, Filmfare Magazine stated the decision as “a calculated blow at the reputation of the Indian film industry, as much as one aimed at ousting film music from the market”.

Consequent to the decision taken by the minister of Information and Broadcasting film producers decided to withdraw the broadcasting licenses given to All India Radio (AIR). This resulted in a complete blackout of filmy songs on AIR for around three months. During this time only classical music was played on All India Radio.

Expansion of Radio Ceylon

During the era of the non-airing of filmy songs, Radio Ceylon saw the time as an opportunity. Radio Ceylon accordingly planned a show for ranking bollywood filmy songs resulted in the renowned show called Binaca Geetmala.

The show was completely dedicated to the Bollywood Filmy Songs and its presenter Ameen Sayani made it even more interesting. He made his stylist commentary and filmy details during the play of these songs and supports making the show more popular.

The show aired every Wednesday from 8 pm to 9 pm and the listener could listen to the songs by tuning to the Radio Ceylon. People were very passionate about the show and even used to note down the song rank every week.

In an interview with Aswin Punathambekar (professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) presenter of the Show Ameen Sayani shared the information about recording the show on tapes.

He stated that “every single day. And every week’s quota used to fly by Swiss Air, Air Ceylon, or Air India to Colombo. Sometimes, we did get into trouble, especially with Geet Mala, because with Geet Mala we were not supposed to record too much in advance. The popularity poll had to reflect a current mood (Geetmala) became an absolute rage. Just like how the streets would be empty when B. R. Chopra’s Mahabharat (1988) or Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan (1986) would be on television, the same thing happened to Geet Mala. Wednesdays came to be known as Geet Mala day.” This interview was held in the year 2010.

Geetmala not only become the most popular filmy song countdown show but also increased the popularity of Radio Ceylon. This made the government of India take back the decisions taken by Mr. Keskar earlier.

Consequently, Indian Radio channel Vividh Bharati became part of AIR that offered non-stop film music broadcasts. In the aforesaid Interview, Ameen Sayani stated that “Vividh Bharati had a tremendous blend of heritage and modernity, Parampara and Pragati, let’s say. And this soon became quite popular”.

Vividh Bharati gradually lent towards commercialization of songs and started accepting advertisements too by 1967. In the coming years, it became the key source of entertainment in India by the late 70s.

Binaca Geetmala and Ameen Sayani are complementary to each other, and part  Bollywood Product. Binaca Geetmala will always remain in the heart of Indian music lovers.

Here is the list of Top Songs from Annual List of Binaca Geetmala:-

List of Top Song Binaca Geetmala (1953 to 1993)

Top Songs 1950s
Top Songs 1960s
Top Songs 1970s
Top Songs 1980s
Top Songs 1990s

Binaca Geetmla Top Most Songs of 1950s

YearSongFilm NameSingerMusic ComposerLyricist
1953Ye Zindagi Usi Ki HaiAnarkaliLata MangeshkarC. RamchandraRajendra Krishan
1954Jayen To Jayen KahaanTaxi DriverTalat MahmoodS.D. BurmanSahir Ludhianv
1955Mera Joota Hai JapaniShree 420MukeshShankar-JaikishanShailendra
1956Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena YahaanC.I.D.Mohammed Rafi, Geeta DuttO. P. NayyarMajrooh Sultanpuri
1957Zara Saamne To Aao ChhaliyeJanam Janam Ke PhereLata Mangeshkar, Mohammed RafiS. N. TripathiBharat Vyas
1958Hai Apna Dil Toh AwaraSolva SaalHemant KumarS.D. BurmanMajrooh Sultanpuri
1959Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab KaChalti Ka Naam GaadiKishore Kumar, Asha BhosleS.D. BurmanMajrooh Sultanpuri
Top Bollywood Filmy Songs 1953 to 1959

Binaca Geetmla Top Songs of 1960s

YearSongFilm NameSingerMusic ComposerLyricist
1960Zindagi Bhar Nai Bhoolegi Wo Barsaat Ki RaatBarsaat Ki RaatMohammed RafiRoshanSahir Ludhianvi
1961Teri Pyaari Pyaari Soorat KoSasuralMohammed RafiShankar-JaikishanHasrat Jaipuri
1962Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh ParJungleeMohammed RafiShankar-JaikishanHasrat Jaipuri
1963Jo Waada Kiya Wo Nibhana PadegaTaj MahalMohammed Rafi, Lata MangeshkarRoshanSahir Ludhianvi
1964Bol Radha Bol Sangam Hoga Ke NahiSangamMukesh, VyjayanthimalaShankar-JaikishanShailendra
1965Jis Dil Mein Basa Tha Pyar TeraSaheliMukeshKalyanji AnandjiIndeevar
1966Baharon Phool Barsao Mera Mehboob Aaya HaiSurajMohammed RafiShankar-JaikishanHasrat Jaipuri
1967Saawan Ka Maheena Pawan Kare SorMilanMukesh, Lata MangeshkarLaxmikant–PyarelalAnand Bakshi
1968Dil Vil Pyar Vyar Main Kya Janoo RaShagirdLata MangeshkarLaxmikant–PyarelalMajrooh Sultanpuri
1969Kaise Rahoon Chup Ki Maine Pee Hi Kya HaiInteqamLata MangeshkarLaxmikant–PyarelalRajendra Krishna
Top Bollywood Filmy Songs 1960 to 1969

Binaca Geetmla Top Songs of 1970s

YearSongFilm NameSingerMusic ComposerLyricist
1970Bindiya Chamkegi Choodi KhankegiDo RaasteLata MangeshkarLaxmikant–PyarelalAnand Bakshi
1971Zindagi Ek Safar Hai SuhanaAndazKishore Kumar, Asha BhosleShankar-JaikishanHasrat Jaipuri
1972Dum Maaro Dum Mit Jaye GhamHare Raama Hare KrishnaAsha Bhosle, Usha IyerR. D. BurmanAnand Bakshi
1973Yaari Hai Imaan Mera Yaar Meri ZindagiZanjeerManna DeyKalyanji Anandji
Gulshan Bawra
1974Mera Jeewan Kora KaagazKora KagazKishore KumarKalyanji AnandjiM.G. Hashmat
1975Baaki Kuchh Bacha To Mehangai Maar GayiRoti Kapada Aur MakaanMukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Jaani Babu Qawwal, NarendraLaxmikant–PyarelalVerma Malik
1976Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil MeKabhi KabhieMukesh, Lata MangeshkarKhayyamSahir Ludhianvi
1977Husn Hazir Hai Mohabbat Ki SazaLaila MajnuLata MangeshkarMadan MohanSahir Ludhianvi
1978Ankhyon Ke Jharokhon SeAnkhiyon Ke Jharokhon SeHemlataRavindra JainRavindra Jain
1979O Sathi Re Tere Bina Bhi Kya JeenaMuqaddar Ka SikandarKishore KumarKalyanji AnandjiAnjaan
Top Bollywood Filmy Songs 1970 to 1979

Binaca Geetmla Top Songs of of 1980s

YearSongFilm NameSingerMusic ComposerLyricist
1980Dafli Wale Dafli BajaSargamLata MangeshkarLaxmikant–PyarelalAnand Bakshi
1981Mere Angane MeLaawarisAmitabh Bachchan, Alka YagnikKalyanji AnandjiAnjaan
1982Angrezi Mein Kehte HainKhud-DaarKishore Kumar, Lata MangeshkarRajesh RoshanMajrooh Sultanpuri
1983Shayad Meri ShaadiSoutenKishore Kumar, Lata MangeshkarUsha KhannaSaawan Kumar
1984Tu Mera Hero HaiHeroAnuradha Paudwal, Manhar UdhasLaxmikant–PyarelalAnand Bakshi
1985Sun Sahiba SunRam Teri Ganga MailiLata MangeshkarRavindra JainRavindra Jain
1986Yashoda Ka NandlalaSanjogLata MangeshkarLaxmikant–PyarelalAnjaan
1987Chitthi Aayi HaiNaamPankaj UdhasLaxmikant–PyarelalAnand Bakshi
1988Papa Kehte HainQayamat Se Qayamat TakUdit NarayanAnand-MilindMajrooh Sultanpuri
1989My Name Is LakhanRam LakhanMohammed AzizLaxmikant–PyarelalAnand Bakshi
Top Bollywood Filmy Songs 1980 to 1989

Binaca Geetmla Top Songs of 90s (till 1993)

YearSongFilm NameSingerMusic ComposerLyricist
1990Gori Hai KalaiyaanAaj Ka ArjunLata Mangeshkar, Shabbir KumarBappi LahiriAnjaan
1991Dekha Hai Pehli BaarSaajanAlka Yagnik, S P BalasubramanyamNadeem-ShravanSameer
1992Maine Pyar Tumhi Se
Phool Aur KaanteKumar Sanu, Anuradha PaudwalNadeem-ShravanSameer
1993Choli Ke Peechhe Kya HaiKhalnayakKishore Kumar, Lata MangeshkarLaxmikant-PyarelalAnand Bakshi
Top Bollywood Filmy Songs 1990 to 1993

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