AMEEN’S “FLAGSHIP” PROGRAMME, HIS FIRST BIG STEP IN RADIO SHOW PRODUCTION AND PRESENTATION :
The initial half-hour "Geetmala" began as an experimental weekly jackpot show based on a random selection of songs. It dropped into Ameen’s lap only because other leading broadcasters declined it. For all of Rs. 25 a week, he was required to select the songs, produce, script and compere the programme, and also process the mail.
The mail-response competition required every letter to be checked, and hardly 40-50 letters were expected. The first episode brought 9,000 ! Within a year, that number touched 60,000 per week. The show, and the station, both began ruling the Asian airwaves - but Ameen was fast becoming a nervous wreck managing the mail response with a mini-group of volunteers! Fortunately, the competition was shelved in 1954, and was replaced by a 1-hour countdown hit-parade.
IN 1977, GEETMALA CELEBRATED ITS SILVER JUBILEE WITH A GRAND STAR-STUDDED STAGE SHOW. Almost all the great playback singers, music composers and lyricists of that era attended, and were treated to a visual hit-parade of twenty-five super-hit songs.
The commentary (by Ameen) of the two special Geetmala Jubilee LP discs also contained the fascinating story of the birth and growth of the radio hit-parade. And the cover of Volume II featured photographs of many of the luminaries who had attended the Jubilee function – including filmstars and veterans such as Dev Anand, Sunil Dutt, B.R. Chopra, Ramanand Sagar, Shriram Bohra, D.N. Madhok and P.L. Santoshi.
Sayani ran the programme to record-smashing success for nearly 45 years, earning a place among the world's top broadcasters.
Shown above is the Silver Jubilee LP cover of the first volume
|In 2000 GEETMALA was awarded the Advertising Club’s Golden Abby Award for being adjudged the most outstanding Radio Campaign of the Century.|
GEETMALA’s 42nd BIRTHDAY CELEBERATED ON TV!In 1994, the sponsors of GEETMALA asked Ameen to present a series of special “retrospect” shows on television to mark its 42nd anniversary. 31 half-hour episodes were telecast on Doordarshan’s metro channels in Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, etc. The series was co-produced by Rajil Sayani. Ayesha Sayani (a celebrated short-film maker) directed some of the episodes.