Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives

Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives


An old-time radio podcast, bringing you detective adventures from the Golden Age of Radio. Each week, tune in for an adventure of Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Johnny Dollar, The Saint, and many more.


Episode 220 - Diamond is Forever (Richard Diamond, Private Detective)  

For one hundred dollars a day plus expenses, Richard Diamond will tackle any case. By the time it’s over, he’ll have used his fists, his gun, his wits, and his pipes as he croons a tune to his girlfriend. Dick Powell stars as the singing detective in one of radio’s best mystery shows. We’ll hear him in a pair of episodes – “The Betty Moran Case” (originally aired on NBC on May 29, 1949) and “The Cathy Victor Case” (originally aired on January 15, 1950).

Episode 219 – The Five Nights a Week Matter (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)  

Back in 1956, audiences had to wait a day in between installments of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and an entire week to hear how the insurance investigator would close the case. Today, we’ll hear a complete five-part mystery starring Bob Bailey as “the man with the action-packed expense account.” As Dollar, Bailey travels the world in “The Star of Capetown Matter,” originally aired on CBS between July 16 and July 20, 1956.

Episode 218 - Big Bad Wolfe (New Adventures of Nero Wolfe)  

You need a big man to solve big crimes, and few detectives come bigger than Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe. The gargantuan gourmet and orchid aficionado will crack the case as long as he doesn’t have to leave his house. For the legwork and rough and tumble elements of the job, he turns to his able assistant Archie Goodwin. Sydney Greenstreet stars as Wolfe in a pair of radio mysteries: “The Case of the Careless Cleaner” (originally aired on NBC on November 17, 1950) and “The Case of the Malevolent Medic” (originally aired on NBC on February 23, 1951).

Episode 217 – Thank God It’s Friday (Dragnet)  

The stories you're about to hear are true as Jack Webb stars as Sgt. Joe Friday in Dragnet. Not only did he star in the series, Webb created, produced, and set the tone for the grandfather of all police procedural dramas. Friday teams up with Sgt. Ben Romero (Barton Yarborough) and Officer Frank Smith (Ben Alexander) in three cases dramatized from the files of the Los Angeles Police Department: "The Big Crazy" (originally aired on NBC on August 30, 1951); "The Big Little Mother" (originally aired on NBC on October 6, 1953); and "The Big Office" (originally aired on NBC on August 31, 1954).

Episode 216 - Eyewitness Accounts (The Line-Up)  

Head back to a great American city and the suspects who stand in The Line-Up. Bill Johnstone is Lt. Ben Guthrie in one of radio’s best police dramas, with Wally Maher as Sgt. Matt Grebb and Jack Moyles as Sgt. Pete Carger. Each episode opens with the titular line-up, where each week listeners meet “the innocent, the vagrant, the thief, the murderer,” We’ll hear “The Case of Frankie and Joyce” (originally aired on CBS on January 4, 1951) and “The Modern Sounds Case” (originally aired on CBS on November 19, 1952).

Episode 215 - Public Enemies (Green Hornet)  

Ride with newspaper publisher Britt Reid as he dons a mask to fight crime as The Green Hornet. Wanted by the police as criminals, Reid and his trusted valet Kato wage a war against racketeers and corruption. The radio adventure series spawned movie serials, a TV series, and films and it’s slated for another big screen reboot. Robert Hall stars as the Hornet in “George Haven’s Secret” (originally aired on ABC on January 22, 1946) and “A Question of Time” (originally aired on ABC on March 2, 1946).

Episode 214 - Bird on the Wing (The Falcon)  

Private eye Michael Waring – better known as The Falcon – solved crimes for over a decade on radio. A hard-boiled hero, Waring was “always ready with a hand for oppressed men and an eye for oppressed women.” The Falcon made his way to radio after success in print and a popular series of B-movies. We’ll hear two of the Falcon’s adventures: James Meighan stars in “Murder is a Family Affair” (originally aired on Mutual on November 27, 1945); and Les Tremayne is Waring in “Murder is a Knock-Out” (originally aired on network on February 20, 1949).

Episode 213 - Abracadabra (Chandu the Magician)  

Frank Chandler learned mystical secrets in India and returned to the west as Chandu the Magician to put his newfound powers to work fighting evil. One of radio’s most popular serial adventure characters, Chandu first came to the air in 1932 and returned for a revival in the late 1940s. Aided by his niece and nephew, as well as a cast of mysterious characters, Chandu was a magical menace to evildoers everywhere. We’ll hear Tom Collins as Chandu in “The Temple at Karnak,” originally aired on Mutual on March 17, 1949.

Episode 212 – Murder on the Marquee (Broadway is My Beat)  

Head back to Broadway – “the gaudiest, the most violent, the lonesomest mile in the world” – with Detective Danny Clover. Larry Thor stars as the policeman with the soul of a poet in Broadway is My Beat. From flophouses to mansions, from back alleys to the bright lights of the Great White Way, Clover investigates murder in the city that never sleeps. We’ll hear three of his mysteries: “The Robe Sash Strangler Murders” (originally aired on CBS on November 3, 1950); “The Tradewinds Murders” (originally aired on CBS on June 16, 1951); and “The Frankie Crowne Arson Murders” (originally aired on CBS on October 13, 1951).

Episode 211 - Strange Things (Results, Incorporated)  

Big screen stars Lloyd Nolan and Claire Trevor indulge in some comedic crime-solving in Results, Incorporated. Private eyes Johnny Strange and Terry Travers will take on assignments from babysitting to hunting for ghosts in a haunted house. Undaunted, they trade quips as they follow the clues and close their cases. We’ll hear “The Last of the Bloody Gillettes,” originally aired on Mutual on December 16, 1944.

Episode 210 - Valentine's Day (Let George Do It)  

Got a problem that’s too tough to handle on your own? Why not Let George Do It? Before he was “the man with the action-packed expense account,” Bob Bailey was George Valentine, the private eye who advertised that “danger is my stock in trade.” Aided by his girl Friday Claire Brooks, George found no shortage of people eager to enlist his aid in cases ranging from missing people to murder. We’ll hear “The Impatient Redhead” (originally aired on Mutual on September 6, 1948) and “Double Death” (originally aired on Mutual on October 17, 1949).

Episode 209 - Scott Free (Under Arrest)  

Criminals beware – Captain Jim Scott won’t stop until you’re Under Arrest. TV mainstay Joe DeSantis stars as Scott in this police procedural that began as a summer replacement in 1946 but ended its radio run eight years later. We’ll hear Captain Scott solve “The Sam Carver Case” (originally aired on Mutual on February 6, 1949).

Episode 208 - Night Moves (Night Beat)  

Reporter Randy Stone makes a nightly trek through the streets of the Windy City in search of stories for his column. This week, we’ll join him as he covers the Night Beat. Frank Lovejoy stars as Stone, not a professional detective but a man who nevertheless ends up entangled with cops and crooks as he works to meet his deadlines. We’ll hear “The Night Watchman” (originally aired on NBC on May 15, 1950) and “The Doctor’s Secret” (originally aired on NBC on August 21, 1950).

Episode 207 - Mysteries by Marlowe (Adventures of Philip Marlowe)  

“Crime is a sucker’s road,” Philip Marlowe intoned at the beginning his radio program, “and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison or the grave.” It was a two-fisted introduction to one of radio’s best detective shows. Gerald Mohr stars as Raymond Chandler’s private eye, solving crimes from high society to skid row in Los Angeles, in a pair of radio mysteries. We’ll hear “The Pigeon’s Blood” (originally aired on CBS on June 11, 1949) and “The Angry Eagle” (originally aired on April 18, 1950).

Episode 206 – Ace Up His Sleeve (Cases of Mr. Ace)  

George Raft made the leap from big screen gangster to radio gumshoe in The Cases of Mr. Ace. Each week, Eddie Ace paid a visit to psychologist Dr. Gayle to recount his latest adventure – adventures the good doctor used as material for her book on criminal psychology. Raft does a good job as a character on the right side of the tracks in this short-lived syndicated series. We’ll hear him in “A Man Called Judas,” a mystery with a stolen coin and stand-ins for Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet!

Episode 205 - Point of View (Lux Radio Theatre)  

Robert Montgomery reprises his screen role of Philip Marlowe from his innovative adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s Lady in the Lake. The movie put the audience in Marlowe’s shoes, with the camera acting as the detective’s eyes, but the story plays better on radio; without the occasionally distracting camera gimmick, listeners can dive into the story as Marlowe hunts for a missing wife. Montgomery is joined by his screen co-stars Audrey Totter and Tom Tully in this Lux Radio Theatre adaptation from CBS on February 9, 1948.

Episode 204 – Holly and Homicide (The Falcon, Nick Carter, The Saint, & Sherlock Holmes)  

Crime doesn’t take a rest during the holidays. Fortunately, radio’s best gumshoes are working on Christmas to keep the airwaves safe. In the annual “Down These Mean Streets” holiday special, we’ll hear four gumshoes and super sleuths in Christmas capers. First, Les Damon is private eye Mike Waring, aka The Falcon, in “The Case of the Unwelcome Christmas Present” (originally aired on NBC on December 24, 1950). Next, it’s “that most famous of all manhunters” – Nick Carter, Master Detective. Lon Clark is Nick in “Nick Carter’s Christmas Adventure” (originally aired on Mutual on December 25, 1943). Then, we have a Saint – not Nicholas, but Simon Templar. Vincent Price stars in “title” (originally aired on NBC on December 24, 1950). Finally, we head to London with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in “The Night Before Christmas” from The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (originally aired on Mutual on December 24, 1945).

Episode 203 - Hungry Like the Wolfe (New Adventures of Nero Wolfe)  

Private detective Nero Wolfe loves to eat, tend to his orchids, drink beer – almost anything except take on a case. But – usually at the urging of his assistant Archie Goodwin – the mountain of a man solves the most baffling cases all without leaving his home. Sydney Greenstreet stars as Wolfe with Herb Ellis as Archie in “The Case of the Dear Dead Lady” (originally aired on NBC on date) and Harry Bartell as Goodwin in “The Case of the Final Page” (originally aired on NBC on March 23, 1951).

Episode 202 - Party Time (I Was a Communist for the FBI)  

Dana Andrews is undercover for Uncle Sam in I Was a Communist for the FBI. The big screen star plays Matt Cvetic, the real-life infiltrator who reported Communist activities to the bureau in this fictionalized version of his exploits. On radio, Cvetic puts his life on the line to thwart the diabolical plans of American communists. We’ll hear the syndicated episodes “Tight Wire” and “No Second Chance.”

Episode 201 – Cowboys, Cops, and Robbers (Tales of the Texas Rangers)  

Ranger Jayce Pearson keeps the Lone Star State safe in Tales of the Texas Rangers. Joel McCrea plays Pearson in this series of true crime stories dramatized from the case files of the legendary lawmen. Whether in a police car or on his trusty horse Charcoal, Ranger Pearson tracks down the worst offenders in Texas. We’ll hear “Dead or Alive” (originally aired on NBC on September 9, 1950) and “Room 114” (originally aired on NBC on December 3, 1950).

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