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 229 - Sixty Minutes Man (Crime on the Waterfront)  

Long before he was an award-winning journalist, Mike Wallace was a radio announcer and actor. The longtime correspondent for 60 Minutes had a stint as a radio crime solver when he starred as Lt. Lou Kagel, a New York cop who investigated Crime on the Waterfront. Though the show didn’t materialize into a series, both audition recordings survive and give us the chance to hear the celebrated newsman in a dramatic detective role. We’ll hear the two audition recordings from February 24 and March 1, 1949.

Episode 228 – There’s No Place Like Holmes (New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)  

To moviegoers and radio listeners of the World War II years, Basil Rathbone and Sherlock Holmes were practically one in the same. Rathbone starred as the master detective of Baker Street in 14 films and in hundreds of episodes of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on radio. In honor of the star's June 13th birthday, we'll hear a trio of Holmes radio adventures starring Rathbone and Nigel Bruce (as our storyteller, Dr. Watson): "The Eyes of Mr. Leyton" (originally aired on Mutual on September 24, 1945); "Murder by Moonlight" (originally aired on Mutual on October 29, 1945); and "The Case of the Accidental Murderess" (originally aired on Mutual on November 26, 1945).

Episode 227 - One Mohr for the Road (Philip Marlowe & Nero Wolfe)  

From 1948 to 1951, Gerald Mohr turned in a star performance as Raymond Chandler's L.A. private eye Philip Marlowe and gave us one of the best detectives of the radio era. But there was more to Mohr than his celebrated turn as "crime's most deadly enemy." In honor of his birthday, we'll hear Gerald Mohr in two radio mysteries as Marlowe - "The Long Rope" (originally aired on CBS on February 5, 1949) and "The Strangle Hold" (originally aired on CBS on October 15, 1949). We'll also hear him as Archie Goodwin (opposite Sydney Greenstreet) in "The Case of the Killer Cards" from The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe (originally aired on NBC on January 12, 1951). And - as a bonus - we'll hear Mohr playing for laughs as French teacher Jacques Monet in an episode of Our Miss Brooks from October 9, 1949.

Episode 226 - Hoodwinked (Casebook of Gregory Hood)  

Join San Francisco importer and amateur detective Gregory Hood as he shares two adventures from his casebook. Gale Gordon and Elliott Lewis star as Hood, a brilliant gentleman detective whose cases intersect with his search for rare treasures from all around the world. Created by Anthony Boucher and Denis Green (radio writers for Sherlock Holmes), Hood is a worthy addition to the world of radio sleuths. We’ll hear “Death from the Red Capsule” (originally aired on Mutual on July 22, 1946) and “The Eloquent Corpse” (originally aired on Mutual on October 14, 1946).

Episode 225 – Dashiell’s Detectives (Suspense & Screen Guild Theatre)  

In honor of Dashiell Hammett’s birthday, we’re saluting the master of hard boiled mystery with radio adaptations of two of his stories. First, Suspense – “radio’s outstanding theater of thrills” – presents John Payne and Frank McHugh in the small-town murder mystery “Two Sharp Knives” (originally aired on CBS on June 7, 1945). Then, the big screen cast reunites for a radio recreation of The Maltese Falcon. Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet star in this version from The Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre (originally aired on CBS on September 20, 1943).

Episode 224 - Burr in the Saddle (Pat Novak, Johnny Dollar, & Fort Laramie)  

Before he achieved TV immortality as Perry Mason, Emmy Award-winner Raymond Burr could be heard on radio in a number of detective and crime dramas. In honor of what would have been the legendary actor’s 100th birthday, we’ll hear Burr in three of his old time radio performances. First, he’s Inspector Hellman, the bull-headed thorn in the side of Pat Novak For Hire. Burr co-stars with Jack Webb in “Marcia Halpern” (originally aired on ABC on February 27, 1949). Then, Burr goes bad in “The Henry J. Unger Matter” (originally aired on CBS on July 20, 1950), an adventure of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar starring Edmond O’Brien. Finally, we’ll head west to hear Burr as Lee Quince, captain of cavalry, in “Playing Indian” (originally aired on CBS on January 22, 1956).

Episode 223 - Pyramid Schemes (Rocky Jordan)  

You can always find mystery and adventure at the Café Tambourine, the Cairo nightclub run by American ex-pat and amateur detective Rocky Jordan. Jack Moyles stars as Jordan, a combination Sam Spade and Rick Blaine who’s trying to make an honest dollar in a den of thieves. Rocky investigates crimes and capers through the bazaars and back alleys of Cairo. We’ll hear “The Big Ditch” (originally aired on CBS on June 19, 1949) and “Cairo Vendetta” (originally aired on CBS on August 14, 1949).

Episode 222 - Ford Theater (Christopher London)  

Glenn Ford travels the world as freelance private eye Christopher London, a radio detective with the international beat of a secret agent. The character was created by Erle Stanley Gardner, the author who gave the world Perry Mason, and had it not been for Ford's success on the silver screen, we might have had a long run of globetrotting adventures to enjoy. We'll hear Ford as London in “The Terrible Price of Sugar" (originally aired on NBC on February 26, 1950) and “The System – A Code for Murder” (originally aired on NBC on May 29, 1950).

Episode 221 - The Wright Stuff (Sherlock Holmes & Pursuit)  

A master of dialects and accents, the British-born Ben Wright appeared all over the dial during the Golden Age of Radio and he could convincingly play characters from all around the world. He usually worked in supporting roles, but he had time in the spotlight as two old time radio detectives. We'll hear him as Sherlock Holmes in "The Singular Affair of the Ancient Egyptian Curse" (originally aired on ABC on March 10, 1947). Then on Pursuit, he's Inspector Peter Black in an Armed Forces Radio Service rebroadcast of "Pursuit at the Vicarage."

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).

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