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 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).

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).

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