Party Song from the 60’s

The Jet Liners

Sung by Uma Pocha, the tune travelled to Sri Lanka and beyond, serving as a reminder that it’s impossible to predict how sounds travel. In this case, Radio Ceylon played a big part.

In the 1960’s, Ceylon, as the country was then called, was very familiar with latest Hindi film hits. The Indian government had banished film music from All India Radio only a few years after Independence, so Radio Ceylon, left with several powerful transmitters set up by the British for wartime broadcasts during WWII, saw an opportunity to draw in advertising revenue. In 1952, for instance, it started the Binaca Geetmala countdown of Hindi film hits, a show that it continued to broadcast until 1994. Bombay Meri Hai, which was broadcast frequently on Radio Ceylon’s pop programmes, had a great advantage. The dholak-propelled rhythm is remarkably similar to the beat that enlivens the baila songs that Sri Lankans love, so it wasn’t surprising that they adopted Bombay Meri Hai with such a passion.

Write up credit

Sinhalese version by Milton Silva

Shared by Sam

6 thoughts on “Party Song from the 60’s”

  1. Hearing this lovely song after a long time. Reminds me of our young days when we enjoyed and danced to these baila songs.


  2. Thanks Sam for the post and Praxy for the comment.Yes,old songs do remind one of events,places and people.There was a time when Mignone Rutnam and Jetliners were the top band in town.If my memory serves me well, they did play at our Block Nite too.!


  3. Thanks Sam.A popular song from Bombay to Colombo and an equally interesting story to go with it.Watching the Sinhala version, I wondered why there were so many Christian churches and emblems while RanRan was playing in the video only to note that the video was composed in Goa.Goa, no doubt is Catholic country a remnant of the Portuguese occupation there.Interesting, that the old photograph has autographs of famous visiting Jazz musicians from USA.I wonder whether they have a modified jazz version of Bombay mere hai to boot, after their Indian visit.


  4. Thanks Sam, Eddie and Praxy for your comments. Brought back many memories. Yes, I think they sang at Block Night or Colours Night. I was a Relief Announcer at Radio Ceylon during medical school days. It was famous also for its English songs in India and world wide and many Indian girls came to Radio Ceylon to see the announcer, Greg Rozvosky. A British MP heard Elvis Presley in a farm in Russia- that was a Radio Ceylon broadcast with its powerful transmission!

    Incidentally, the picture of the Jetliners above is from their Reunion Concert, a few years ago, and I was there !!


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