Speaking of Radio

Chuck Schaden's Conversations with the Stars Who Made it Golden


Ivan Ditmars

Recorded May 17th, 1991 - 15 min

Composer, musical director and organist on hundreds of radio broadcasts in the golden era and beyond.  He was age 84 when we spent a little time with him at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, California shortly before a meeting of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters.  He was born April 12, 1907 and he died on September 10, 1997 at age 90.

Escape - 7/4/48 - A tooth for Paul Revere

Did you enjoy the interview? Listen to the music of Ivan Ditmars on Escape from July 4th, 1948.


  1. Rowby Goren says... comment left on September 13, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Enjoyed this interview. I like old time radio and Ivan Ditmars name keeps coming up in the credits. It’s great that someone took the time to get him to talk about those radio days. I couldn’t find Mr. Ditmars in Wikipedia, which is unfortunate, since he (literally) played such an important part in old time radio.


  2. Ivan Ditmars says... comment left on June 28, 2012 at 12:09 am

    This was my Grandfather and a great man. This is such a treat for me being 31 and losing him at such a young age, and hearing his work at a young age, was not able to appreciate it. I sit here in chills. I miss him very much.

  3. Anne Rochet says... comment left on May 29, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I enjoyed this interview very much. Thank you for making it available. I first came across Ivan Ditmars’ piano skills on a Decca studio recording by Judy Garland of “I Got Rhythm” made in association with the movie “Girl Crazy” in November 1943. I believe he plays much of the interlude between choruses as a 4-hand piano duet with Calvin Jackson. It is a marvelous but all-too-short segment that is very “Gershwinesque.” If anyone has more information about his involvement in this particular recording, I’d be very grateful to receive it.

  4. Tom Hall says... comment left on February 26, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    I just listened to an episode of The Adventures of Frank Race, featuring Paul Dubov and Tony Barrett. The opening and closing theme was so evocative that when I heard Ivan Ditmars’ name (composer and organist) I searched out this interview for further information. Thanks so much for posting an enjoyable chat with this accomplished musician from radio’s golden age.

  5. Jena says... comment left on October 31, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I hear this man on the Sons of the Pioneers old 1940s and 50s radio shows on piano and vibraphone and he is so great! I didn’t think he’d mention them so it was great to hear that almost at the end! Cannot believe he is also responsible for the ‘original Brahms’ on Star Trek! What a long line of connection through show business he was.

  6. Ernest W Davis says... comment left on September 16, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I enjoyed the interview immensely I’m an avid listener of old time radio I didn’t know much about the organist until I listen to the interview I’m also a Pianist so I find it very interesting and I hope this stays alive for many years to come