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, 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.
Ameen Sayani and Radio Ceylon
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.
Popularity ratings methodology
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.
Lists of top songs per year
|1953||Ye Zindagi Usi ki Hai||Anarkali (film)||C. Ramachandra||Rajendra Kishen||Lata Mangeshkar|
|1954||Jayen To Jayen Kahan||Taxi Driver||Sachin Dev Burman||Sahir Ludhianvi||Lata Mangeshkar/Talat Mahmood|
|1955||Mera Joota Hai Japani||Shri 420||Shankar Jaikishan||Shailendra||Mukesh|
|1956||Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yaha||CID||O. P. Nayyar||Majrooh Sultanpuri||Mohd. Rafi, Geeta Dutt|
|1957||Zara Saamne Toh Aao Chhaliye||Janam Janam Ke Phere||S. N. Tripathi||Bharat Vyas||Mohd. Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar|
|1958||Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara||Solva Saal||S. D. Burman||Majrooh Sultanpuri||Hemant Kumar|
|1959||Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka||Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi||S D Burman||Majrooh Sultanpuri||Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle|
|1960||Zindagi Bhar Nai Bhoolegi Wo Barsaat Ki Raat||Barsaat Ki Raat||Roshan||Sahir Ludhianvi||Mohd. Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar|
|1961||Teri Pyaari Pyaari Surat Ko||Sasural||Shankar Jaikishan||Hasrat Jaipuri||Mohd. Rafi|
|1962||Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh Par||Junglee||Shankar Jaikishan||Hasrat Jaipuri||Mohd. Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar|
|1963||Jo Wada Kiya Woh Nibhana||Taj Mahal||Roshan||Sahir Ludhianvi||Mohd. Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar|
|1964||Mere Man ki Ganga aur tere man ki Jamuna ka||Sangam||Shankar Jaikishan||Shailendra||Mukesh, Vyjayanthimala|
|1965||Jis dil mein basa tha pyaar tera||Saheli||Kalyanji Anandji||Indeevar||Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar|
|1966||Baharon phool barsao mera mehboob aaya hai||Suraj||Shankar Jaikishan||Hasrat Jaipuri||Mohd. Rafi|
|1967||Saawan ka mahina pawan kare sor||Milan||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi||Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar|
|1968||Dil wil pyar vyar main kya jaanu re||Shagird||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Majrooh Sultanpuri||Lata Mangeshkar|
|1969||Kaise rahoon chup ki meine pee hi kya hai||Inteqam||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Rajendra Krishna||Lata Mangeshkar|
|1970||Bindiya chamkegi choodi khankegi||Do Raaste||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi||Lata Mangeshkar|
|1971||Zindagi ek safar hai suhana||Andaaz||Shankar Jaikishan||Hasrat Jaipuri||Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle|
|1972||Dum Maro Dum||Hare Raama Hare Krishna||R. D. Burman||Anand Bakshi||Asha Bhosle, Usha Iyer|
|1973||Yaari hai imaan mera yaar meri zindagi||Zanjeer||Kalyanji Anandji||Gulshan Bawra||Manna Dey|
|1974||Mera jeewan koraa kaagaz koraa hi rah gaya||Kora Kagaz||Kalyanji Anandji||M. G. Hashmat||Kishore Kumar|
|1975||Baaki kuchh bacha to mahangaai maar gayee||Roti Kapada Aur Makaan||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Varma Malik||Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Jaani Babu Qawwal, Narendra|
|1976||Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aataa hai||Kabhi Kabhi||Khayyam||Sahir Ludhianvi||Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh|
|1977||Husn haazir hai mohabbat ki sazaa paane ko||Lailaa Majnu||Madan Mohan||Sahir Ludhianvi||Lata Mangeshkar|
|1978||Ankhiyon ke jharokhon se, mainen dekha jo||Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se||Ravindra Jain||Ravindra Jain||Hemlata|
|1979||Khaike Paan Banaras Wala||Don||Kalyanji Anandji||Anjaan||Kishore Kumar|
|1980||Dafli Wale Dafli Baja||Sargam||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi||Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi|
|1981||Mere Angane Mein||Laawaris||Kalyanji Anandji||Anjaan||Amitabh Bachchan, Alka Yagnik|
|1982||Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain||Khuddar||Rajesh Roshan||Majrooh Sultanpuri||Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar|
|1983||Shayad Meri Shaadi||Souten||Usha Khanna||Saawan Kumar||Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar|
|1984||Tu Mera Hero Hai||Hero||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi||Anuradha Paudwal, Manhar Udhas|
|1985||Sun Sahiba Sun||Ram Teri Ganga Maili||Ravindra Jain||Ravindra Jain||Lata Mangeshkar|
|1986||Yashoda Ka Nandlala||Sanjog||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anjaan||Lata Mangeshkar|
|1987||Chitthi Aayi Hai||Naam||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi||Pankaj Udhas|
|1988||Papa Kehte Hain||Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak||Anand-Milind||Majrooh Sultanpuri||Udit Narayan|
|1989||My Name Is Lakhan||Ram Lakhan||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi||Mohd. Aziz|
|1990||Gori Hai Kalaiyaan||Aaj Ka Arjun||Bappi Lahiri||Anjaan||Lata Mangeshkar, Shabbir Kumar|
|1991||Dekha Hai Pehli Baar||Saajan||Nadeem-Shravan||Sameer||Alka Yagnik, S P Balasubramaniam|
|1992||Maine Pyar Tumhi Se||Phool Aur Kaante||Nadeem-Shravan||Sameer||Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwal|
|1993||Choli Ke Peechhe||Khalnayak||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi||Alka Yagnik, Ila Arun|
|1994||Didi Tera Dewar Deewana||Hum Aapke Hain Kaun||Raam-Laxman||Dev Kohli,Ravinder Rawal||Lata Mangeshkar|
|1995||Tujhe Dekha To Ye Jana Sanam||Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge||Jatin-Lalit||Anand Bakshi||Lata Mangeshkar,Kumar Sanu|
- Back on air with Geetmala. Bella Jaisinghani. The Financial Express (India), Sunday, 11 March 2001. Transcript available online at , accessed online on 29 July 2006
- "Comeback for radio countdown show". The Music Magazine. October 2000. Retrieved 2006-07-29.
- Mitra, Ananda (1993). Television and popular culture in India: a study of the Mahabharat. Sage Publications. p. 83. ISBN 0803991347.
- "It's all in the name". The Hindu. 8 September 2002. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Sambandan, V.S. (2006-01-01). "When Ceylon ruled the airwaves". The Hindu. Retrieved 2006-07-29.
- "Radio speak with Ameen Sayani". exchange4media.com Radio Channel. Retrieved 2006-07-29.
- Reliving the Geetmala lore. S.K. Screen, Friday, 22 September 2000, transcript available online at , accessed online on 29 July 2006