Show cover of 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 513 - On the Road Again (Rocky Fortune, Suspense, & Casey, Crime Photographer)
As the long Thanksgiving weekend draws to a close and as folks finish their trips back home, we'll hear three old time radio mysteries set in the car and on the highway. First, Frank Sinatra is behind the wheel of a truck full of nitroglycerin in Rocky Fortune (originally aired on NBC on January 26, 1954). Then, Fibber McGee and Molly leave Wistful Vista for a visit to Suspense where they run afoul of a "Backseat Driver" (originally aired on CBS on February 3, 1949). Finally, we'll hear Casey, Crime Photographer investigate the case of a beautiful and deadly hitch-hiking thief in "Road Angel" (originally aired on CBS on January 13, 1954).
89:03 11/27/2022
BONUS - Black Friday with Joe Friday (Dragnet)
Whether you're shopping for deals or savoring some Turkey Day leftovers, Jack Webb is here to keep you company in this bonus episode. We'll celebrate Black Friday with Joe Friday in four Dragnet radio episodes: "The Big Grandma" (originally aired on NBC on October 15, 1950); "The Big Bungalow" (originally aired on NBC on November 15, 1951); "The Big Informant" (originally aired on NBC on March 22, 1953); and "The Big Bob" (originally aired on NBC on September 1, 1953).
121:32 11/25/2022
Episode 512 - Menaces from the Magic Kingdom (Philip Marlowe, The Whistler, & Johnny Dollar)
The classic Disney animated films of the 50s and 60s featured some of the great stars of the golden age of radio. Some of the best villains in those pictures were voiced by veterans of Escape, Suspense, Sam Spade, and more. We'll hear a trio of radio mysteries featuring a quartet of Disney actors. First, Hans Conried - Captain Hook of Peter Pan - and Betty Lou Gerson - Cruella de Vil of One Hundred and One Dalmatians - co-star in "The Unfair Lady" from The Adventures of Philip Marlowe (originally aired on CBS on June 4, 1949). Next, Martha Wentworth - Mad Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone - may be a murderess in "Weak Sister" from The Whistler (originally aired on CBS on October 14, 1946). Finally, Eleanor Audley - who memorably played both the Evil Stepmother in Cinderella and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty - needs Johnny Dollar's help in "The Doting Dowager Matter" (originally aired on CBS on January 25, 1959).
88:04 11/20/2022
Episode 511 - Ms. Helen Mack, Mack, Mack (Richard Diamond & The Saint)
Note: Intros should be back by next week! Helen Mack began her career as a child actress in the 1920s and she went on to make appearances in Son of Kong and His Girl Friday. But in the 1940s, she transitioned into a new phase of her career as a producer and director of radio shows. She was behind the scenes of comedies like Meet Corliss Archer and A Date with Judy and she helmed dozens of episodes of Richard Diamond and The Saint - two shows marked by a wry sense of humor mixed in with the mysteries. We'll celebrate Ms. Mack's birthday with some of her work in the world of radio detectives. Dick Powell stars as Richard Diamond in "The Marilyn Connors Case" (originally aired on ABC on January 12, 1951) and "The Man with the Scar" (originally aired on ABC on January 26, 1951). And in between those shows, we'll hear Vincent Price as Simon Templar in "The Bride Who Lost Her Groom" from The Saint (originally aired on NBC on February 11, 1951). Next week: Old time radio mysteries starring the voices of some classic Disney villains!
91:32 11/13/2022
Episode 510 - Nights at the Museum (Nick Carter, Philo Vance, & Barrie Craig)
**Note: No intro today - not sure if I caught something new or if it's the same thing wearing out its welcome, but hopefully back to normal next week! The contents of museums can solve mysteries of the past, but the halls of artifacts and treasures can also provide great backdrops for whodunits today. We'll hear three radio private eyes on cases that take them through the corridors of museums, beginning with Lon Clark as Nick Carter in "The Museum Tragedy" (originally aired on Mutual on May 27, 1945). Then, Jackson Beck is Philo Vance in the syndicated mystery "The Idol Murder Case." And finally, William Gargan stars in "Murder in Wax" from Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator (originally aired on NBC on November 21, 1951).
89:21 11/06/2022
Episode 509 - Eerie Expense Accounts (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)
Note: No intro this week; I'm hoping that I'll be over my cold in time for next week's show! With Halloween right around the corner, we're catching up with some of the creepier cases investigated by "America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator." Bob Bailey stars as Johnny Dollar in the five-part mystery "The Tears of Night Matter" (originally aired on CBS between May 21 and May 25, 1956) - where Johnny comes to the aid of a wealthy widow convinced that an ancestral curse has doomed her. Then, we'll hear him in "The Ghost to Ghost Matter" (AFRS rebroadcast from May 18, 1958) where he's got an entire haunted town on his hands. Next week: Three old time radio museum mysteries!
94:38 10/30/2022
BONUS - Bride of Halloween Hoopla!
Put out your Jack-o-lantern, grab the candy bowl, and enjoy the Down These Mean Streets Halloween Special! It's a full-sized candy bar of a show with eight old time radio shows - a mix of frights and delights - to get you in the spirit of the season. First, Paul Frees stars in an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" from Escape (originally aired on CBS on October 22, 1947) and Basil Rathbone drops by The Jack Benny Program for Halloween hijinks (originally aired on NBC on November 2, 1941). A killer stalks the streets of London in "The Hands of Mr. Ottermole," a spine-tingling tale from The Mollé Mystery Theatre (originally aired on NBC on June 21, 1946) and Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of a witch in "The Laughing Lemur of Hightower Heath" (originally aired on Mutual on October 26, 1947). William Bendix visits a haunted house on The Life of Riley (originally aired on ABC on October 29, 1944) and we'll hear an unusual werewolf story on The Stan Freberg Show (originally aired on CBS on October 6, 1957). Finally, we're back in Poe country as The Weird Circle presents "The Cask of Amontillado" and Bud and Lou drop by Bela Lugosi's monstrous mansion on The Abbott and Costello Show (originally aired on ABC on May 5, 1948).
237:06 10/26/2022
Episode 508 - The Fabulous Holmes Boys (Sherlock Holmes)
An older and smarter brother, Mycroft Holmes was the only member of Sherlock's family we ever met in Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories. He appeared in just two stories, but he's been featured in original Holmes adventures in print and on screen for decades. We'll hear Mycroft in the original adventure "The Great Gandolfo" starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce (originally aired on Mutual on October 22, 1945). Then, we'll hear a pair of episodes from a long-running BBC Holmes series starring Carleton Hobbs and Norman Shelley as Holmes and Watson. Both of Mycroft's original appearances are adapted for radio in "The Greek Interpreter" (originally aired on April 5, 1960) and "The Bruce-Partington Plans" (originally aired on August 28, 1964). Click here to read "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter." Click here to read "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans."
94:00 10/23/2022
Episode 507 - Throw the Book at Them (Boston Blackie, Philip Marlowe, & Let George Do It)
Read along with our heroes this week in three old time radio mysteries where books play a key role in the crimes and their solutions. First, Boston Blackie tries to figure out why readers of a best-selling novel keep winding up dead. Richard Kollmar stars in this syndicated episode known as "Three Wind Blows West Murders." Then, Philip Marlowe believes a murder victim's scrapbook contains the motive for her death and the identity of her killer in "The Big Book" (originally aired on CBS on September 29, 1950). Finally, George Valentine helps a bookstore owner whose shop keeps getting robbed in "The Bookworm Turns" from Let George Do It (originally aired on Mutual on December 11, 1950).
94:21 10/16/2022
Episode 506 - British Invasion (Man Called X, Rex Saunders, & Whitehall 1212)
Anglophiles rejoice! All of this week's old time radio mysteries star performers from across the pond. Herbert Marshall is secret agent Ken Thurston in an exciting adventure of The Man Called X. Thurston is on the hunt for a missing atomic scientist in this episode that originally aired on NBC on November 3, 1950. Then, Rex Harrison is a debonair gumshoe in "When They Track Down the Human Game" from The Private Files of Rex Saunders (originally aired on NBC on August 1, 1951). Finally, an all-British cast dramatizes a case from the Scotland Yard files in "The Case of the Fatal Bath" from Whitehall 1212 (originally aired on NBC on April 13, 1952).
94:16 10/09/2022
Episode 505 - Gumshoes on the Gridiron (Night Beat, Broadway is My Beat, & Rocky Fortune)
Suit up and take the field with old time radio detectives in three football mysteries. First, Randy Stone comes to the aid of an old college football hero who's fallen on hard times (and into debt with gamblers) in Night Beat (originally aired on NBC on June 12, 1950). Then, in Broadway is My Beat, Detective Danny Clover probes the murder of a booster killed after a date with a star college quarterback (AFRS rebroadcast from November 22, 1952). Finally, Frank Sinatra gets pulled into a plan to fix football games in Rocky Fortune (originally aired on NBC on December 2, 1954).
88:15 10/02/2022
Episode 504 - Swinging Sixties (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)
Sixty years ago this month, the Golden Age of Radio signed off as CBS aired the final episodes of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar on September 30, 1962. Both shows hung on as TV overtook radio in the late 50s and continued to produce new episodes even as more people across the country were turning on their television sets instead of their radios for dramatic programs. We'll hear Mandel Kramer as "the man with the action-packed expense account" in four of the detective's final radio adventures: "The Skimpy Matter" (originally aired on July 22, 1962); "The Case of Trouble Matter" (originally aired on CBS on August 5, 1962); "The Oldest Gag Matter" (originally aired on CBS on August 12, 1962); and "The No Matter Matter" (originally aired on CBS on September 16, 1962). Click here to listen to Episode 244 - The Final Matters Matter with the final two episodes of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, including the last episode aired on September 30, 1962.
107:45 09/25/2022
BONUS - Five Favorites: Philip Marlowe
In this bonus show, I've picked my five favorite installments of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, the CBS series that brought Raymond Chandler's private eye to intense radio life with the voice of Gerald Mohr. We'll hear "The Grim Hunters" (originally aired on CBS on March 12, 1949); "The August Lion" (originally aired on CBS on August 6, 1949); "The Glass Donkey" (originally aired on CBS on July 28, 1950); and "The Soft Spot" (originally aired on CBS on September 1, 1950). We'll also hear William Conrad's one and only performance as Philip Marlowe when he pinch-hit for Mohr in "The Anniversary Gift" (originally aired on CBS on April 11, 1950).
158:18 09/23/2022
Episode 503 - I Hear the Train A-Comin’ (Leonidas Witherall, Tales of the Texas Rangers, & Suspense)
All aboard! We're pulling out of the station for three old time radio mysteries set on or around trains. First, as amateur sleuth and Shakespeare doppleganger Leonidas Witherall, Walter Hampden finds a corpse switcheroo on a train to Chicago (originally aired on Mutual on October 8, 1944). Then, Ranger Jayce Pearson investigates a deliberate train derailment. Joel McCrea stars in "Last Stop" from Tales of the Texas Rangers (originally aired on NBC on August 10, 1952). And finally, we board a commuter train but may be riding alongside "The Man Who Murders People" from Suspense (originally aired on CBS on November 13, 1960).
91:40 09/18/2022
BONUS - To the Batcave (Adventures of Superman)
Happy Batman Day! Celebrate the Caped Crusader and listen to a complete radio adventure of Superman with Batman fighting alongside the Man of Steel. We'll hear the world's finest heroes, along with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White in "The Story of the Century" (originally aired on Mutual between April 1st and April 15th, 1946).
162:16 09/17/2022
Episode 502 - School Days (Sam Spade, Johnny Dollar, & The Saint)
Class is in session in these three old time radio mysteries set in and around schools. First, Howard Duff stars as Sam Spade in "The Queen Bee Caper" (originally aired on CBS on July 10, 1949). Then, Edmond O'Brien is "the man with the action-packed expense account" in "The Story of the Big Red Schoolhouse" from Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (originally aired on CBS on April 4, 1950). And finally, Vincent Price is The Saint in "Miss Godby's School for Girls" (originally aired on NBC on November 5, 1950).
94:29 09/04/2022
Episode 501 - Federal Agent Express (FBI in Peace and War, This is Your FBI, & I Was a Communist for the FBI)
Old time radio's G-men are on the case in three shows starring FBI agents. First, we'll hear "The Crack-Up" from The FBI in Peace and War (originally aired on CBS on September 14, 1950). Then, Stacy Harris stars as Agent Taylor in "The Unhappy Hijacker" from This is Your FBI (originally aired on ABC on July 18, 1947). Finally, Matt Cvetic tries to keep his cover from being blown in I Was a Communist for the FBI. Dana Andrews stars as Cvetic in the syndicated episode "Kangaroo Court."
95:44 08/29/2022
BONUS - Superman Summer: Lighthouse Point Smugglers
There's no rest for the weary! Even on vacation, Superman and his friends can't help finding a new adventure. For the final installment in our bonus series, we'll listen as Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen battle smugglers and hunt for a legendary treasure in these episodes that originally aired between July 22 and August 2, 1940.
71:48 08/27/2022
Episode 500 - What Evil Lurks
It's the 500th episode of Down These Mean Streets! To celebrate 500 shows of old time radio mystery, crimesolvers, and crooks, I'm going back to the show that introduced me to the wonderful world of radio drama. We'll hear eight episodes that prove that "the weed of crime bears bitter fruit." Who knows who's starring in these shows? Ha ha ha ha ha ha...
248:45 08/21/2022
BONUS - Superman Summer: Happyland Amusement Park
It's the grand opening of Happyland Amusement Park, owned and operated by Lois Lane's friend. But when Lois and Clark Kent arrive to cover the opening, they discover Happyland is under threat from the dastardly owner of a rival carnival who will resort to anything - including murder and sabotage - to run Happyland out of business. It's up to Superman to take flight and save the day before Happyland's thrill rides end in disaster in these episodes that originally aired between July 8 and July 19, 1940.
70:39 08/20/2022
Episode 499 - Full-Court Press (Mr. District Attorney, Defense Attorney, & The Falcon)
See you in court for these three old time radio mysteries set in and around the courthouse. First, Mr. District Attorney suspects a fix in "The Case of the Intimidated Jury" (originally aired on NBC on August 23, 1944). Then, Mercedes McCambridge represents a college basketball player accused of murder in Defense Attorney (originally aired on ABC on July 17, 1952). Finally, Les Damon stars as The Falcon in "The Case of the Rich Racketeer," where a gangster is acquitted in court only to wind up murdered (originally aired on NBC on November 5, 1950).
90:48 08/16/2022
BONUS - Superman Summer: Hans Holbein’s Doll Factory
Someone's smuggling explosives in porcelain dolls, and it's up to Superman to stop these terrible toymen and their evil schemes! The Man of Steel returns in this story that originally aired between June 24 and July 5, 1940.
71:53 08/12/2022
Episode 498 - Writer’s Block (Mystery is My Hobby, Box 13, & Night Beat)
Each of these old time radio detectives earned their livings as writers. They only dabbled in crimesolving on the side because it was their hobby or because real-life mysteries provided inspiration for their work. We'll hear Glenn Langan as mystery writer and police consultant Barton Drake in "The Coin Collector Mystery," a syndicated episode from Mystery is My Hobby.  Then, Alan Ladd is Dan Holiday - newspaperman turned novelist and amateur adventurer - in "Hare and Hounds" from Box 13. And we'll close with Frank Lovejoy as Chicago reporter Randy Stone in "The Girl in the Park" from Night Beat (originally aired on NBC on February 27, 1950).
87:46 08/07/2022
BONUS - Superman Summer: Horace Morton’s Weather Predictions
Lois Lane returns! Her uncle is a meterology professor with an uncanny ability to predict the weather. Lois and Clark travel to interview him and discover a gang of robbers, a murdered assistant, and a plan to destroy a mountain. It all adds up to an exciting new adventure for the Man of Steel in these episodes that originally aired between June 9 and June 21, 1940.
73:57 08/05/2022
Episode 497 - Batter Up (Ellery Queen, Bulldog Drummond, & Boston Blackie)
Take me out to the ballgame for these three radio mysteries set in and around the ballpark. First, Ellery Queen's plans for a relaxing Sunday afternoon are thwarted when a movie star drops dead in "The Adventure of the Foul Tip" (AFRS rebroadcast; originally aired on NBC on June 13, 1944). Then, Bulldog Drummond tries to save a team after a pitcher dies on the mound in "Death on the Diamond" (originally aired on Mutual on September 17, 1945). Finally, Richard Kollmar investigates the shooting of a player killed sliding into second base in a syndicated adventure of Boston Blackie.
87:46 07/31/2022
BONUS - Superman Summer: The Search for Alonzo Craig
A lost race, an immortal witch doctor, and a polar bear? All in a day's work for Superman! In this week's bonus show, Clark Kent travels to the Arctic to find a missing explorer and the last Daily Planet reporter sent to locate him. We'll hear the full adventure, originally aired between May 27 and June 7, 1940.
73:26 07/30/2022
Episode 496 - Mysteries on the Midway (The Saint, Richard Diamond, & Suspense)
Step right up for three old time radio mysteries set at the carnival. In between the games, rides, and shows, we'll find mayhem and murder on the midway. First, Vincent Price discovers the "buried alive woman" may be in serious trouble in "The Carnival Murder" from The Saint (originally aired on NBC on February 4, 1951). Then, as Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Dick Powell is hired to protect a carnival star from a killer in "The Carnival" (originally aired on ABC on March 30, 1951). Finally, DeForest Kelley is a talent agent fascinated by a ventriloquist with a secret in "Flesh Peddler" from Suspense (originally aired on CBS on August 4, 1957).
96:21 07/24/2022
BONUS - Superman Summer: Battle in Buffalo Hills
Who's trying to kill a celebrated photographer, and how is he connected to a governor, a gangster, and a ceremony at the frontier monument at Buffalo Hills? It's an adventure that begins in the Daily Planet newsroom and ends with an explosion on the side of a mountain and a last minute rescue. Superman flies into action in this exciting serial that originally aired between May 13 and May 24, 1940.
76:59 07/23/2022
Episode 495 - For Better or Worse (Mr. and Mrs. North, The Abbotts, & Murder by Experts)
Three crimesolving couples take the stage this week, beginning with Pam and Jerry North who find a new mystery as soon as they get home from vacation. Joseph Curtin and Alice Frost star in "Wheel of Chance" from Mr. and Mrs. North (originally aired on CBS on June 9, 1953). Next, the Abbotts discover a new mystery on a voyage to London. Les Damon and Claudia Morgan play Pat and Jean in "The Dead-White Lifeboat," an Armed Forces Radio Service rebroadcast of The Adventures of the Abbotts. And finally, ex-cop turned private eye Johnny Duke and his wife Susan (aka "Duchess") have a case drop into their laps in the back of a taxi in "Two Can Die as Cheaply as One" - a story from the anthology series Murder by Experts (originally aired on Mutual on April 17, 1950).
98:04 07/17/2022
BONUS - Superman Summer: Disaster at Bridger Field
Why are so many planes crashing at Bridger Field? It's a story for Clark Kent and a new adventure for the Man of Steel in this week's bonus Superman show! Kent and Jimmy Olsen are on the scene to investigate the series of disasters in these episodes that originally aired between April 29 and May 10, 1940.
67:59 07/15/2022