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 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).

Episode 200 – The 200th Episode Matter (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)  

It’s our 200th episode of old time radio cops, private eyes, and crime-solvers, and we’re celebrating with one of the era’s best actors and characters – Bob Bailey as Johnny Dollar. “The man with the action-packed expense account” is on the job in an extra-large, king-sized nine-part mystery. We’ll hear America’s fabulous freelance insurance investigator in all nine installments of “The Phantom Chase Matter” (originally aired on CBS between October 15 and 26, 1956).

Episode 199 - Casey with Cranberry Sauce (Casey, Crime Photographer)  

In a special bonus episode, just in time for Thanksgiving, we’ll hear ace cameraman Casey, Crime Photographer in a Turkey Day mystery. Can Casey save a reformed safecracker from being coerced into heist and finish in time for dinner with his girl Friday Ann Williams? Find out with Staats Cotsworth as Casey, with Jan Miner as Ann, in “Holiday,” originally aired on CBS on November 25, 1948.

Episode 198 - Ace of Spades (Voyage of the Scarlet Queen & Sam Spade)  

Howard Duff made the role of Sam Spade his own, bringing the San Francisco shamus to radio life from 1946 until 1950. With a blend of wry humor and hard-boiled atmosphere, The Adventures of Sam Spade holds up as one of the all-time great radio detective shows, thanks in no small part to the man in the title role. In honor of his birthday, we'll hear Duff as Spade in "The Dry Martini Caper" (originally aired on CBS on August 1, 1948) and "The Sugar Kane Caper" (originally aired on CBS on October 3, 1948). We'll also hear him as Captain Philip Kearney in the audition program for the high seas adventure The Voyage of the Scarlet Queen.

Episode 197 - A Song in His Heart (Rogue's Gallery & Richard Diamond)  

We doff our cap to Dick Powell in this birthday celebration of the crooner who reinvented himself as a tough film noir leading man. First, he’s private investigator Richard Rogue in “Murder at Minden” from Rogue’s Gallery (originally aired on Mutual on January 3, 1946). Then, it’s a pair of mysteries starring Powell in his signature radio role as singing gumshoe Richard Diamond, Private Detective: “The Elaine Tanner Case” (originally aired on NBC on February 12, 1950) and “The Carnival Case” (originally aired on NBC on August 16, 1950).

Episode 196 - OSS On the Air (Cloak and Dagger)  

The thrilling and dangerous wartime exploits of the OSS – Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA – were dramatized on radio in Cloak and Dagger. Tales of adventures behind enemy lines in Europe and the Pacific came to life with stories of civilians, soldiers, and spies on daring missions – knowing in advance they may never return alive. We’ll hear “Seeds of Doubt,” the story of a spy hunt in occupied Paris, originally aired on NBC on September 15, 1950.

Episode 195 - Back in Black (Pursuit)  

London's criminals have nowhere to hide when Scotland Yard Inspector Peter Black begins his relentless Pursuit. The adventures of Black make for exciting listening as he hunts the evildoers who strike, then fade back into the shadows of their own dark world. Ted de Corsia stars as Black in "Pursuit On Lundy Island" (originally aired on CBS on February 7, 1950) and Ben Wright plays the inspector in "Pursuit and the Ladies of Farthing Street" (originally aired on CBS on September 18, 1951).

Episode 194 - Old Time Radio Halloween 2016 (Mercury Theatre On the Air)  

Just in time for trick-or-treating, we’re bound for Transylvania with Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre On the Air in a special bonus episode. Welles and his talented troupe of radio players present a chilling and atmospheric radio adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Welles plays both Arthur Seward and the titular count in a story that’s sure to get you in the Halloween spirit. Featuring supporting performances by Agnes Moorehead, George Coulouris, Ray Collins, and Martin Gabel, Dracula originally aired on CBS on July 11, 1938.

Episode 193 - Seven Percent Solutions (New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)  

The game is afoot with three old time radio mysteries starring the master detective of Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal character made his debut as a radio sleuth on October 20, 1932, and we’re celebrating his anniversary with radio adventures starring three different actors as Holmes. First, Basil Rathbone is Holmes, with Nigel Bruce as Watson, in “The Case of the Limping Ghost” (originally aired on Mutual on September 3, 1945). Next, John Stanley and Alfred Shirley are Holmes and Watson in “The Sussex Vampire” (originally aired on Mutual on December 14, 1947). Finally, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson star in “The Final Problem” (originally aired on NBC on April 17, 1955), featuring special guest star Orson Welles as Professor Moriarty.

Episode 192 – Shayne On You (Michael Shayne, Private Detective)  

Private detective Michael Shayne came to radio on October 16, 1944 and we’re celebrating the anniversary of “the reckless, red-headed Irishman” with two of his radio mysteries. Two of radio’s most talented stars – Wally Maher and Cathy Lewis – headline as Shayne and his loyal secretary Phyllis Knight. From 1944 until 1947, the pair starred in stories that blended crime-solving with witty banter. We’ll hear “The Murder Trial of Jack Holmes” (originally aired on Mutual on May 21, 1945) and “Dr. Grant’s Dilemma” (from August 13, 1945).

Episode 191 – Capers by Craig (Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator)  

William Gargan starred as Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator – “America’s number one detective” – from 1951 to 1955. The actor had a long resume of detective roles on the big and small screens, as well as on radio, but his best on-air work may have been as Craig, the New York-based confidential investigator. We’ll hear him in a pair of his radio mysteries: “Death of a Private Eye” (originally aired on NBC on January 2, 1952) and “Fog Over Murder” (originally aired on NBC on October 13, 1953).

Episode 190 - Friday's Man Friday (Dragnet)  

For the first two and half years of Dragnet, Sgt. Joe Friday was partnered with Ben Romero, an older mentor and family man voiced by radio veteran Barton Yarborough. With his friendly Texas drawl, Yarborough created a memorable character and a good counterpart to Friday’s terse, no-nonsense style. We’ll hear Yarborough in action as Ben Romero, alongside Jack Webb as Joe Friday, in “The Big Picture” (originally aired on NBC on December 7, 1950) and “The Big In-Laws” (originally aired on NBC on August 23, 1951).

Episode 189 - His, Hers, & the Hangman’s (Mr. and Mrs. North)  

Pam and Jerry North are the happy couple who can’t help but find trouble. Whether it’s a corpse or a caper, Mr. and Mrs. North will stumble onto the scene and thwart the plans of evildoers everywhere. We’ll hear a pair of adventures starring old time radio’s most popular husband and wife detective duos. First, Alice Frost is Pam and Joseph Curtin is Jerry in “The Contagious Confession” (originally aired on NBC on September 22, 1943). Then, the Norths are played by Barbara Britton and Richard Denning in “The Diamond Noose” (a broadcast from the Armed Forces Radio Service).

Episode 188 - Bye-bye, Black Bird (Lux Radio Theatre)  

John Huston’s classic cinematic adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon comes to radio in this production of The Lux Radio Theatre. Though none of the film’s stars appear to recreate their roles, a terrific Hollywood cast is assembled to bring the story to life. Laird Cregar is the Fat Man, Gail Patrick is Brigid O’Shaughnessy, and Edward G. Robinson is Sam Spade – with Cecil B. DeMille as master of ceremonies – in this episode originally aired on CBS on February 8, 1943.

Episode 187 - Edmond's Expenses (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)  

Edmond O’Brien puts the “action” in the “action-packed expense account” of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. The Academy Award-winning actor starred as the freelance insurance investigator from 1950 until 1952. O’Brien’s tough style – honed in film noir performances – brought a hard edge to Dollar, a character that had been decidedly lighter in the hands of Charles Russell. His run as Johnny Dollar has cemented Edmond O’Brien as a fan favorite of the many actors to play the gumshoe. We’ll hear O’Brien as Dollar in “The Caligio Diamond Matter” (originally aired on CBS on June 8, 1950) and “The Calgary Matter” (originally aired on CBS on July 13, 1950).

Episode 186 - Candy's Land (Candy Matson)  

Looking for mystery? Just dial YUkon 2-8209 and ask for Candy Matson. The gorgeous San Francisco private eye works out of her Telegraph Hill apartment and finds more than her share of trouble in the city of the Golden Gate. Natalie Masters stars as Candy in "The Cable Car Case" (originally aired on NBC on July 7, 1949) and "The Movie Company" originally aired on NBC on August 29, 1950).

Episode 185 - Mail Call (Box 13)  

Alan Ladd is Dan Holiday, the mystery writer who plays detective to get story material, in Box 13. The syndicated series found Holiday soliciting danger with an ad offering himself as an adventurer for hire – one who would “go anywhere, do anything.” Answering those letters addressed to Box 13 meant Holiday could be volunteering to put a target on his back or to solve an impossible crime. We’ll hear Ladd in “Much Too Lucky" and "The Perfect Crime."

Episode 184 - Gallery Tour (Rogue's Gallery)  

After Dick Powell bid farewell to the role of gumshoe Richard Rogue, Barry Sullivan stepped in to fill the detective’s shoes. The big screen star played the rakish private eye in a 1947 summer run of Rogue’s Gallery and acquitted himself quite well in the lead role. We’ll hear Sullivan as Rogue in “Phyllis Adrian is Missing,” originally aired on NBC on June 29, 1947.

Episode 183 - Honor Among Thieves (Boston Blackie)  

Master jewel thief turned ace detective, the infamous Boston Blackie is an “enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend.” Much to the chagrin of Inspector Faraday, Blackie puts his criminal mind to work for the good guys, nabbing crooks, cons, and thieves with the same sleight of hand and crafty calculations that served him on the wrong side of the law. We’ll hear Chester Morris recreate his big screen role of Blackie in “Black Market Blackie,” originally aired on NBC on July 21, 1944. Then, Richard Kollmar takes over in the syndicated episode “The Undersea Murder.”

Episode 182 - Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Academy Award)  

For our annual birthday salute to Alfred Hitchcock, we'll hear one of the master of suspense's classic films recreated for radio - Foreign Correspondent, the 1940 spy thriller starring Joel McCrea and Herbert Marshall. The film was dramatized for Academy Award, with Joseph Cotten stepping in for McCrea in an episode that originally aired on CBS on July 24, 1946.

Video player is in betaClose