AIR’s 80th birthday: Ameen Sayani narrates the story of Binaca Geetmala

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 08, 2016 10:03 IST
Veteran Radio presenter Ameen Sayani at his Recording Studio in Colaba in Mumbai. (Photo by Vijayanand Gupta/ Hindustan Times)

There was a time when All India Radio was more effective than a watch. People set their routine as per the programmes played. AIR celebrates its 80th birthday on Wednesday, and on this occasion, its most celebrated presenter, Ameen Sayani, has a story to share.

Radio club of Bombay began broadcasting programmes in June 1923. Stations based in Kolkata, Madras, Mysore and Delhi were set up. The Indian State Broadcasting Service was named All India Radio on June 8, 1936 which was renamed Akashvaani in 1956.

Binaca Geetmala, one of the most popular programmes of AIR, began in 1952. It was the first version of what later evolved as the countdown for songs based on their popularity. The countdown began in 1952 and was broadcast on Radio Ceylon till 1988. Later, it was shifted to Vividh Bharti channel of the AIR.

Read: AIR, the celestial voice that binds India together

In this rare audio clip uploaded on YouTube, Ameen narrates the story of how the programme came into being. He informs that he was chosen for the programme merely because he happened to be the junior most at Radio Ceylon.

Listen to Ameen Sayani here

Listen to Binaca Geetmala:

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