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THE MUSIC

The music for Let's Make A Deal was written by Sheldon Allman.  

Ivan Ditmars scored the songs each day for himself and the three other musicians.  Because the music was live, Ivan was able to time it perfectly to fit under Jay Stewart's announcements.  He played the piano and organ while conducting the group which usually consisted of a drummer, a guitarist, and on nighttime, a harpist.  On some nighttime shows, Ivan arranged the music for Organ, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Harp, 1st Trumpet, 2nd Trumpet, Tenor Sax, 1st Trombone, and 2nd Trombone.  The Closing Theme for the larger band was arranged by Sammy Nestico.  The Let's Make A Deal  theme song played by Ivan and his small combo is available on a CD put out by Varèse Sarabande entitled "The Best of TV Quiz and Game Show Themes."  

Ivan's live music was a wonderful addition to the show throughout the years we were at the NBC Studios in Burbank and the ABC Studios in Hollywood.  When the show moved to Las Vegas in 1976, it was mutually decided that we would switch to pre-recorded music and Ivan went into well-deserved retirement.

A List of Ivan’s Shows

(from The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows 

by David Schwartz, Steve Ryan, Fred Wostbrock)

Musical Director for the following game shows:

1951-1953 Live Like a Millionaire
1952-1953 Double or Nothing
1956-1961 It Could be You (a Ralph Edwards Production, produced by Stefan Hatos)
1962-1964 Your First Impression (where Hatos and Hall met)
1963-1976 Let's Make a Deal (a Hatos-Hall production)
1966 Chain Letter (a Hatos-Hall production)

 

The Internet Movie Database shows that Ivan composed the music for the following:

1953 Bank on the Stars TV Series
1958 The Big Game TV Series
1965 Roger Ramjet TV Series
1981 All the Marbles in the part of the Organist

and in 1981 appeared as the Organist in the film All the Marbles aka The California Girls.

 

Also, look for Ivan's credit in the "Requiem for Methuselah" episode of the original Star Trek television series.  He composed the "Brahms" music played by Spock.

Our beloved Ivan Ditmars passed away in 1997.  After making his home in Burbank for many years, he had retired to the lovely California town of Encinitas with his wife Harriet.  He was a warm, funny, delightful man.

 

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