Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives)

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Presenting the best detectives from the Golden Age of Radio. Each week, we'll bring you an episode starring one of Old Time Radio's greatest detectives and the story behind the show. Join us for adventures of Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Johnny Dollar, and many more.

Mean Streets Podcasts


    • Nov 28, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 10m AVG DURATION
    • 529 EPISODES

    Listeners of Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives) that love the show mention: johnny dollar, great intro music, otr podcasts, detective stories, ll enjoy, old time radio, well curated, wolfe, background information, grandparents, introductions, streets, radio shows, selections, thrilling, intros, i've enjoyed, programs, easy listening, actors.



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    Latest episodes from Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives)

    Episode 464 – Dear John (The Judge, Frontier Gentleman, Have Gun - Will Travel, & The Whistler)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2021 116:03

    We're saluting John Dehner - the Disney animator and award-winning radio news editor who became one of the radio era's best actors and a great big and small screen character actor from the 50s to the 80s. He found his biggest radio fame in a pair of westerns - Frontier Gentleman and Have Gun - Will Travel - but he was heard all over the dial in everything from Escape to Family Theatre. We'll hear him in the audition recording for The Judge, where he plays a retired judge and unofficial police consultant (recorded March 13, 1952). Then, he's English reporter J.B. Kendall in "Kendall for the Defense" from Frontier Gentleman (originally aired on CBS on April 13, 1958) and the man called Paladin in "The Wager" from Have Gun - Will Travel (originally aired on CBS on July 26, 1959). Finally, Dehner plays an embezzler who may turn to murder in "Rebound" from The Whistler (originally aired on CBS on June 11, 1950).

    Episode 463 – Gentlemen Gumshoes (The Saint, Bulldog Drummond, & Rex Saunders)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2021 91:11

    Not all radio crimesolvers relied on their fists and .45s. Some solved crimes with charm and their wits, and we'll hear adventures of three of those gentlemen sleuths. First up is Vincent Price as The Saint in "The Case of the Unhappy Homicide" (originally aired on Mutual on November 6, 1949). Then, Ned Wever stars in "Murder in the Ring" from Bulldog Drummond (originally aired on Mutual on October 14, 1946). Finally, it's "Diamonds Can Be Done to Death" from The Private Files of Rex Saunders starring Rex Harrison (originally aired on NBC on May 16, 1951).

    Episode 462 – Private Dick (Miss Pinkerton, Rogue's Gallery, Richard Diamond, & Johnny Dollar)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 129:56


    It's a birthday party for Dick Powell, but instead of cake we've got four old time radio mysteries starring the singing star turned film noir leading man and radio gumshoe. First, he co-stars with his then-wife Joan Blondell in the comedy-mystery Miss Pinkerton, Inc. (originally aired on CBS on July 12, 1941). Next, Powell is private eye Richard Rogue in Rogue's Gallery. We'll hear "Suspicious Will aka Anson Leeds is Dead" (originally aired on Mutual on January 17, 1946). Then, as Richard Diamond, Private Detective, he solves "The Cover-up Murders aka The Eight O'Clock Killer" (originally aired on CBS on June 7, 1953). Finally, Powell plays "the man with the action-packed expense account" in the 1948 audition recording for Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.


    Episode 461 – Crime by Cornell (Suspense & Lux Radio Theatre)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2021 93:46


    Cornell Woolrich's stories of crime inspired dozens of films and radio programs, including Rear Window and nearly three dozen episodes of Suspense. We'll hear a pair of his stories recreated for radio, including an offering from "radio's outstanding theater of thrills." Howard da Silva is a cop and a pre-Dragnet Jack Webb is a criminal in "You Take Ballistics" (originally aired on CBS on March 7, 1947). Then, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis, and Brian Aherne star in "Phantom Lady," a production from The Lux Radio Theatre (originally aired on CBS on March 27, 1944).


    Episode 460 – Gumshoes and Goblins (Night Beat, Barrie Craig, & Philip Marlowe)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2021 97:21


    Even old time radio detectives faced the supernatural (or seemingly supernatural) once in a while. Today, to celebrate Halloween, we'll hear adventures of three sleuths as they face off against ghosts, curses, and other things that go bump in the night. First, Frank Lovejoy is reporter Randy Stone in "The Black Cat" from Night Beat (originally aired on NBC on November 3, 1950). Then, William Gargan stars as Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator in "Ghost of a Chance" (originally aired on NBC on December 19, 1951). Finally, we'll hear Gerald Mohr in "The Iron Coffin" from The Adventures of Philip Marlowe (originally aired on CBS on July 12, 1950).


    BONUS‌ ‌-‌ ‌Halloween‌ ‌Hoopla‌!

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 234:10


    Turn down the lights and grab your candy - it's time for the Down These Mean Streets Halloween Special! Join me for a king-sized trick-or-treating trip through the golden age of radio for some comedies and chillers designed to get you in the Halloween spirit. Enjoy Bob Hope recreating his role in The Ghost Breakers as presented on The Screen Directors' Playhouse (originally aired on NBC on April 3, 1949). Then, it's a pair of terrifying tales from Edgar Allan Poe - "The Tell-Tale Heart" from NBC Presents Short Story (1951) and "The Black Cat" from Peter Lorre's Mystery in the Air (originally aired on NBC on September 18, 1947). We'll hear a trio of Halloween comedies from The Jack Benny Program (originally aired on CBS on October 31, 1948), My Favorite Husband (originally aired on CBS on October 28, 1949) and Our Miss Brooks (originally aired on CBS on October 30, 1949). Escape presents an adaptation of The Birds that aired a decade before Hitchcock brought the story to the big screen (originally aired on CBS on July 10, 1954). Finally, Ernest Chappell stars in a wry chiller from Wyllis Cooper in "Don't Tell Me About Halloween" from Quiet Please (originally aired on Mutual on October 27, 1947).


    Episode 459 - Baker Street Quartet (Sherlock Holmes)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 124:34


    Sherlock Holmes started his career as a radio detective on October 20, 1930, and to mark the occasion we'll hear the brilliant sleuth in four old time radio mysteries. Basil Rathbone stars as Holmes (with Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson) in "The Strange Case of the Murder in Wax" (originally aired on Mutual on January 7, 1946). Then, Tom Conway steps in as Sherlock in Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Devil's Foot" (originally aired on ABC on January 13, 1947). John Stanley and Alfred Shirley are Holmes and Watson in the original mystery "The Case of the Bleeding Chandelier" (originally aired on Mutual on June 13, 1948). Finally, John Gielgud is Holmes and Ralph Richardson is Watson in "The Second Stain" (a BBC production broadcast on NBC on January 30, 1955).


    BONUS - See (and Hear) Some "New" Old Time Radio!

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 1:51

    Hey,  radio fans! It's Jack with a quick message. I've written a Halloween old time radio spoof show, and it's being livestreamed this Saturday, October 23rd at 7:00 pm eastern. We'll have detectives, a spoof of the Lux Radio Theatre, spooky tales from a sinister storyteller, and Orson Welles trying to make up for the War of the Worlds. If you like the podcasts, I think you'll really dig the show. For tickets and information, visit https://www.ashlandtheatre.org/event/terror-on-the-tracks

    Episode 458 – Under the Cold, Glaring Lights (The Line-Up)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2021 95:40

    Lt. Ben Guthrie led a squad of dedicated detectives on The Line-Up, one of radio's best police procedurals. We'll hear three episodes from the series, beginning with the show's audition program (recorded on May 27, 1950). We'll follow it with "The Check Killer Case" (originally aired on CBS on March 6, 1951) and The Mirthless Moonshiner's Methyl Murders" (originally aired on CBS on March 18, 1952).

    Episode 457 – Last Laughs (Deductions Deluxe, Amazing Mr. Smith, and Results, Incorporated)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 10, 2021 96:46

    Radio sleuthing wasn't always a serious business. Some detectives successfully mixed in comedy with their crimesolving, and we'll hear three examples this week. First, Adolphe Menjou and Verree Teasdale as a husband and wife duo in Deductions Deluxe, an audition recording that aired on Forecast (originally aired on CBS on July 28, 1941). Then, Allyn Joslyn stars as The Amazing Mr. Smith in "The Story of the Hooting Owl" (audition recorded on November 5, 1946). Finally, Lloyd Nolan and Claire Trevor are the operatives of the agency Results, Incorporated. They're on the hunt for a missing mummy in this episode (originally aired on Mutual on December 30, 1944).

    Episode 456 – Secret Agent Substitutes (Man Called X)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 3, 2021 99:38

    When a medical emergency sidelined Herbert Marshall in May 1951, three of his friends and fellow actors stepped in to record three episodes of Marshall's radio espionage drama The Man Called X. Ken Thurston, the titular agent played by Marshall, was "on sick leave," but the forces of evil were fought by three top-notch talents in his absence. We'll hear Van Heflin in "A Man, a Girl, a Plot" (originally aired on NBC May 25, 1951); John Lund in "Stalin Plus Seven" (originally aired on NBC on June 1, 1951); and Joseph Cotten in "The Casbah" (originally aired on NBC on July 6, 1951). 

    Episode 455 - Private Eye Party (Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, & Richard Diamond)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2021 96:49


    Three of radio's best gumshoes are on the case. First, Gerald Mohr stars as Philip Marlowe in "The Panama Hat" (originally aired on CBS on October 10, 1948). Then, Howard Duff is Sam Spade in "The Overjord Caper" (originally aired on CBS on June 5, 1949). Finally, we'll hear Dick Powell in "The Misplaced Laundry Case" from Richard Diamond, Private Detective (originally aired on NBC on September 6, 1950).


    BONUS - The Dark Knight's Day Returns (Adventures of Superman)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2021 176:16

    In a belated celebration of Batman Day, we're heading to Metropolis for an old time radio adventure of Superman featuring Batman and Robin! The Dynamic Duo is on hand to help the Man of Steel when Lois Lane is framed for murder in "Dr. Bly's Confidence Gang" (originally aired on Mutual between September 4 and September 21, 1945).

    Episode 454 – Mr. Edmond (Johnny Dollar, Night Beat, & The Fourth Estate)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2021 102:10


    Oscar-winner Edmond O'Brien headlines three old time radio mysteries, including a pair of audition recordings as investigative reporters. First, he's "the man with the action-packed expense account" in "The David Rocky Matter" (originally aired on CBS on January 20, 1951). Then, he plays reporter Hank Mitchell in the audition for Night Beat - recorded before Frank Lovejoy won the renamed role of Randy Stone (recorded May 19, 1949). Finally, O'Brien stars as a real Los Angeles reporter who helps to bring down a counterfeiting ring in the audition for The Fourth Estate (recorded June 26, 1946).


    Episode 453 – This Ladd for Hire (Box 13 & Lux Radio Theatre)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2021 95:04

    Alan Ladd broke out on screen with his performance as a professional killer in This Gun for Hire. He'd go on to find success on screen in noir dramas and westerns and on radio as mystery writer turned amateur sleuth Dan Holiday in Box 13. We'll hear a Lux Radio Theatre recreation of This Gun for Hire (originally aired on CBS on January 25, 1943). Plus, Dan Holiday takes a sea voyage with a killer in "One of These Four" from Box 13.

    Episode 452 – Girls' Club (Murder Clinic, Policewoman, & Holiday Wilde)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2021 82:47

    We're celebrating some of the women detectives of the radio era, including stories inspired by the life and work of a trailblazing woman detective in the New York Police Department. First, Murder Clinic presents an adventure of Madame Rosika Story, the brave, brilliant, and beautiful psychologist and private eye created by Hulbert Footner. We'll hear "The Scrap of Lace" (originally aired on Mutual on September 22, 1942). Then, Policewoman dramatizes the life of Mary Sullivan, the first woman homicide detective in the NYPD. We'll hear "The Case of the Scheming Bridegroom" (originally aired on ABC on June 29, 1947). Finally, Gloria Blondell stars as Holiday Wilde in the audition show for the adventures of a young woman on an international search for her missing father. From 1947, we'll hear "Mr. Fortune and The Court Of Shanghai."

    Episode 451 – From A to Ziv (Boston Blackie, Philo Vance, I Was a Communist for the FBI, & Bold Venture)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2021 120:26


    Frederick Ziv was one of the biggest producers of syndicated radio and TV shows in the 1940s and 50s. His programs boasted big name stars, established properties, and great production values, and his companies raked in millions of dollars each year from sales of shows directly to small sponsors and local markets. We'll hear four of his old time radio mystery shows: "The Harry Walker Killing," starring Richard Kollmar as Boston Blackie; Jackson Beck as Philo Vance in "The Poetic Murder Case;" I Was a Communist for the FBI, starring Dana Andrews in "No Second Chance;" and Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in "The Blue Moon," a tale of tropical adventure from Bold Venture.


    Episode 450 – Who Were Those Masked People Anyway? (Green Hornet, Blue Beetle, & Lady in Blue)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2021 88:17


    Not all old time radio crimefighters carried badges - or even private eye licenses. Some wore masks in their crusade against evil, and this week we'll hear three of those heroes who waged their wars on crime in disguise. First, The Green Hornet tracks down a gang of swindlers in "Classified Ad" (originally aired on ABC on March 30, 1946). Then, Frank Lovejoy stars as The Blue Beetle in the comic book hero's syndicated adventure "Blasting the Dynamite Ring." Finally, we meet the beautiful Lady in Blue, a wealthy socialite who dons a costume to fight crime in her customized car. Hmm...that sounds familiar. We'll hear the two surviving episodes of her syndicated series.


    Episode 449 – Action Jackson (Jeff Regan, Rocky Jordan, & Let George Do It)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2021 101:22


    Before he was writing episodes of Perry Mason, Columbo, and Murder, She Wrote, Emmy-nominee Jackson Gillis got his start in radio. Gillis penned mysteries for several old time radio sleuths, and we'll hear three of them. First, Jack Webb stars in "The Lady With Too Much Hair" from Jeff Regan, Investigator (originally aired on CBS on November 6, 1948). Then, it's adventure in Egypt with Rocky Jordan in "Passport for Vivi" (originally aired on CBS on March 20, 1949). Finally, we'll hear "Run Until Dead" from Let George Do It (originally aired on Mutual on November 14, 1949).


    Episode 448 – Johnny On the Spot (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2021 74:19


    The ninth season of "Down These Mean Streets" kicks off with Bob Bailey as Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar "the man with the action-packed expense account" in a five-part old time radio mystery. Johnny enters the world of spiritualists and seances in "The Matter of the Medium, Well Done" (originally aired on CBS between May 14 and May 18, 1956).


    Episode 447 – Your Police Force in Action (Dragnet)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2021 102:11


    Dragnet was an immensely popular radio, and later TV, series that entertained millions of Americans each week for over a decade. It was also strictly overseen by LAPD Chief William H. Parker, who made sure the show painted his department in the best light and glossed over its abuses of power. In the wake of calls for police reform and the systemic racism in law enforcement, it can be tough to separate the procedural storytelling elements from its role as propaganda, but we'll try as we listen to three episodes: "The Big Evans" (originally aired on NBC on March 6, 1952); "The Big Bobo" (originally aired on NBC on July 19, 1955); and "The Big Ruling" (originally aired on NBC on September 6, 1955).


    Episode 446 – William's Whodunnits (I Deal in Crime, Murder Will Out, & Barrie Craig)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2021 97:19

    William Gargan couldn't cut it as a private detective in real life, but he was terrific at playing a gumshoe on screen and on radio. We'll hear him in three old time radio mysteries. First, he's ex-sailor turned private eye Ross Dolan in I Deal in Crime in "The William A. Davis Case" (originally aired on ABC on April 5, 1946). Then, he's homicide Inspector Burke in the hybrid murder mystery-quiz show Murder Will Out. Four members of the studio audience try to solve "The Case of the Swindled Songwriters" (originally aired on ABC on May 7, 1946).  Finally, Gargan stars as Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator in "The Deadly Fight" (originally aired on NBC on January 23, 1952).

    Episode 445 – Summer Movies (Suspense & Screen Guild Theatre)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2021 98:01


    Make some popcorn for a double feature with two classic film noir dramas recreated for radio. First, Robert Ryan, Robert Mitchum, and Robert Young reprise their roles from Crossfire - a murder mystery that shines a spotlight on the horror of anti-Semitism recreated for Suspense (originally aired on CBS on April 10, 1948). Then, John Garfield and Lana Turner recreate their smoldering chemistry in James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, adapted for The Screen Guild Theatre (originally aired on CBS on June 16, 1947).


    Episode 444 – Noses for News (Casey, Crime Photographer, Big Town, Night Beat, & Hollywood Sound Stage)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2021 129:35


    We're saluting the old time radio heroes of the fourth estate - reporters, editors, and photographers who solved the crimes they covered. We'll hear Staats Cotsworth as Casey, Crime Photographer in "Death in Lover's Lane" (originally aired on CBS on August 7, 1947). Then, the staff of the Illustrated Press hunts for a killer in "Death by Plan" from Big Town (originally aired on NBC on November 9, 1948). Frank Lovejoy is Randy Stone in Night Beat and "Wanna Buy a Story?" (originally aired on NBC on September 18, 1950). Finally, Dana Andrews stars in a radio adaptation of Call Northside 777 - the true story of a reporter fighting to clear a wrongfully convicted man - from Hollywood Sound Stage (originally aired on CBS on December 27, 1951).


    Episode 443 – God Save the Queen (Ellery Queen)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2021 99:42


    Six armchair detectives accept the challenge of master of mystery Ellery Queen to solve a baffling mystery before he reveals the solution. Carleton Young and Sydney Smith star as the brilliant amateur sleuth in three old time radio mysteries that present challenges in deduction to the guests in the studio and to you listening at home! We'll hear "The Adventure of the Singing Rat" (originally aired on NBC on January 9, 1943); "The Adventure of the World Series Crime" (originally aired on NBC on September 30, 1943); and "The Scarecrow and the Snowman" (originally aired on NBC on January 20, 1944).


    Episode 442 – Fresh Basil (Sherlock Holmes & Screen Guild Theatre)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2021 94:40

    It's back to Baker Street for a belated birthday salute to Basil Rathbone, one of the great Sherlock Holmes stars of the big screen and the airwaves. We'll hear him, alongside Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson - in "The Notorious Canary Trainer" (originally aired on Mutual on April 23, 1945) and "The Case of the Out of Date Murder" (originally aired on Mutual on September 17, 1945). Then, he reunites with Bruce and joins Joan Fontaine in a Screen Guild Theatre production of Suspicion (originally aired on CBS on January 4, 1943).

    Episode 441 – No One Else Could Love You Mohr (Philip Marlowe & The Whistler)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2021 97:06


    Gerald Mohr's voice blasted like a .45 automatic when he starred as Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe in one of radio's best hard-boiled detective dramas. But the actor could also be heard as the glib gumshoe Archie Goodwin and an amorous French teacher on Our Miss Brooks. We'll hear Mohr in a pair of Marlowe mysteries: "The Heart of Gold" (originally aired on CBS on October 24, 1948) and "The White Carnation" (originally aired on CBS on September 22, 1950). Plus, he's a murderer hiding out in his hometown in "Warm Reception" from The Whistler (originally aired on CBS on November 19, 1950).


    Episode 440 – A Shot of Bailey (Let George Do It & Johnny Dollar)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2021 127:31


    We're throwing an early birthday party for the great Bob Bailey, a radio legend who starred in a pair of long-running detective dramas. We'll hear him as George Valentine in "The Four-Sided Triangle" (originally aired on Mutual on March 21, 1949) and "Out of Mind" (originally aired on Mutual on May 2, 1949) from Let George Do It. Then, he's Johnny Dollar - "the man with the action-packed expense account" - in "The Markham Matter" (originally aired on CBS on November 18, 1956) and "The Confederate Coinage Matter" (originally aired on CBS on July 28, 1957).


    Episode 439 - The Price is Right (The Saint & Philip Morris Playhouse)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2021 96:05

    We're celebrating Vincent Price's birthday with three of his radio performances - shows that feature him as both sinner and Saint. First, he stars as Simon Templar in "Marvin Hickerson, Private Eye" (originally aired on NBC on December 3, 1950) and "Next of Kin" (originally aired on CBS on February 18, 1951). Then, he's a murderer haunted by his conscience in "Leona's Room" from The Philip Morris Playhouse (originally aired on CBS on February 25, 1949).

    Episode 438 – Here’s to Hammett (Sam Spade & Suspense)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2021 92:36

    When Dashiell Hammett put pen to paper, he forever changed the genre of detective fiction. He created characters and stories that popularized the hard-boiled school, and those tales still entertain readers today. Hammett's works were adapted for successful films, television shows, and radio dramas. In this birthday salute to the author, we'll hear a pair of radio mysteries starring his master private detective Sam Spade: "The Quarter-Eagle Caper" starring Howard Duff (AFRS rebroadcast from November 28, 1948) and "The Shot in the Dark Caper" with Steve Dunne (originally aired on NBC on February 23, 1951). Plus, we'll hear a Suspense adaptation of Hammett's short story "Two Sharp Knives" (originally aired on CBS on December 22, 1942).

    BONUS - Death, Jokes, and Taxes (Fibber McGee and Molly & Abbott and Costello)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2021 63:11

    Tax Day has come and gone, and hopefully your interactions with the IRS were as smooth and painless as possible. This week, we'll hear some old time radio stars contend with the tax man. First, Fibber McGee gets a jump start on his accounting (originally aired on NBC on January 11, 1944). Then, Lou Costello has to come up with some quick cash to pay his tax bill (originally aired on NBC on March 14, 1946).

    Episode 437 - Whistle a Happy Tune (The Whistler)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2021 128:59


    On May 16, 1942, listeners heard the first strange story told by The Whistler. The sinister narrator presented tales of men and women plotting and committing murder, only to see their plans undone in a final curtain twist. Bill Forman voices the Whistler in three shows that will keep you guessing: "Boomerang" (originally aired on CBS on March 11, 1946); "The Brass Ring" (originally aired on CBS on September 16, 1946); and "Return with the Spray" (originally aired on CBS on April 23, 1950). Plus, we'll hear Jack Benny present "The Fiddler," his parody of the series (originally aired on NBC on October 20, 1946).


    BONUS - At Home with the Harris Family (Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2021 67:05


    We're spending time with Phil, Alice, Elliott, Julius, and the kids in a pair of shows from one of radio's best sitcoms. First, a new start time for the show causes trouble between Phil and his musicians (originally aired on NBC on September 30, 1951). Then, the kids are pressing Phil for a pool (originally aired on NBC on May 17, 1953).


    Episode 436 – First Lady of Baker Street (New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2021 101:37


    Without Edith Meiser, Sherlock Holmes might never have found enduring success and popularity in the United States. It was Meiser, a writer and Broadway actress, who persuaded a network and a sponsor that Holmes could be a viable radio property and she singlehandedly wrote his radio adventures for years. Along with faithful adaptations of classic stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, Meiser created her own original mysteries. In honor of her birthday, we'll hear three of those original Holmes adventures: "The Case of the Avenging Blade" (originally aired on Mutual on February 1, 1948); "The Adventure of the Sinister Crate of Cabbages" (originally aired on Mutual on May 2, 1948); and "The Complicated Poisoning at Eel Pie Island" (originally aired on Mutual on June 6, 1948).


    BONUS - Another Side of Orson (Jack Benny Program)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2021 125:59

    When Jack Benny came down with pneumonia in the spring of 1943 and he had to miss a month of shows, an unlikely guest host stepped in to fill his shoes. For four episodes, Orson Welles poked fun at himself and joined in the jokes with Benny's gang - Mary, Phil, Dennis, Don, and Rochester - and showed off his comedy chops on one of the funniest shows of the era. We'll hear all four of those broadcasts from The Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes Program (originally aired on NBC on March 14, March 21, March 28, and April 4, 1943).

    Episode 435 – Medium Welles (Campbell Playhouse & Lives of Harry Lime)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2021 95:29

    In the first part of a birthday salute to the great Orson Welles, we'll hear him co-star with My Friend Irma leading lady Marie Wilson in a screwball comedy-murder mystery from The Campbell Playhouse. They star as husband and wife private eyes in "There's Always a Woman" (originally aired on CBS on December 17, 1939). Then, Welles recreates his big screen role of Harry Lime in the continuing adventures of the international rogue of The Third Man. We'll hear "The Professor Regrets," a syndicated episode of The Lives of Harry Lime.

    BONUS - An Apple for the Teacher (Our Miss Brooks)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2021 68:15

    The brilliant comedienne Eve Arden brought wit and charm to the role of Connie Brooks, Madison High School's favorite English teacher. She stood at the center of one of radio's best casts, and her performance makes Our Miss Brooks one of the best sitcoms of the era. In honor of her birthday, we'll hear a pair of episodes - first, there's a cafeteria boycott in the works at Madison (originally aired on CBS on March 13, 1949). Then, Miss Brooks joins her students in a summer job (originally aired on CBS on June 19, 1949).

    Episode 434 – Diamond on the Soles of Her Shoes (Richard Diamond, Private Detective)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2021 97:32


    On April 24, 1949, radio fans met Dick Powell as Richard Diamond, Private Detective. The only radio gumshoe who wrapped up his case of the week with a song, Diamond was one of the best sleuths to come out of the radio era thanks to scripts from Blake Edwards and the smooth, polished performance of Powell - an actor who could play both comedy and crime drama. We'll hear three episodes of the series: "The John Blackwell Case" (originally aired on NBC on December 17, 1949); "The Martin White Case" (originally aired on NBC on January 22, 1950); and "The Woman-Hating Killer" (originally aired on NBC on April 12, 1950).


    BONUS - Oscar Night (Lux Radio Theatre)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2021 67:43


    With the Academy Awards ceremony right around the corner, we'll hear a classic Hollywood comedy recreated for radio. My Man Godfrey picked up six Oscar nominations along with critical acclaim and box office success in 1936. When The Lux Radio Theatre dramatized the film (originally aired on CBS on May 9, 1938), stars William Powell, Carole Lombard, Gail Patrick, and Mischa Auer were joined by David Niven for the story of a bum who becomes a butler overnight and starts a new life with a wealthy family.


    Episode 433 – Matrimonial Mayhem (Thin Man, Mr. and Mrs. North, & Adventures of the Abbotts)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2021 99:44

    We're joining three pairs of husband and wife sleuthing teams as they mix date nights with dead bodies. First, Nick and Nora Charles solve "The Case of the Suspicious Hangover" on The Adventures of the Thin Man (AFRS rebroadcast from October 6, 1944). Then, Pam and Jerry receive an "Invitation to Murder" on Mr. and Mrs. North (AFRS rebroadcast from February 27, 1946). Finally, insurance investigator Pat and wife Jean investigate the mystery behind "The Rickshaw-Red Lipstick" (AFRS rebroadcast from January 30, 1955).

    BONUS - By Hook (Burns and Allen & My Friend Irma)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2021 67:58

    Hans Conried gave us one of the all-time great Disney villains as Captain Hook, and he was a memorable menace as Snidely Whiplash. But the greatest showcase for his versatility was radio, where he could play a cavalcade of characters with unique accents and personalities. We'll hear him as Dr. Miller, the long-suffering psychiatrist of Gracie Allen on Maxwell House Coffee Time (originally aired on NBC on December 11, 1947). Then, as Professor Kroptkin on My Friend Irma, he enlists Irma and Jane's help to find him a temporary bride to finalize an adoption (originally aired on CBS on January 13, 1952).

    Episode 432 – Out of This World (Dimension X & Dangerous Assignment)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2021 99:39


    One of radio's best anthologies of adult science fiction, Dimension X presented adaptations of stories from Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and more. We'll hear two tales from the series - each starring a private detective who gets more than he bargained for when he takes on an unusual case. First, it's a hunt for Martians on Earth in Donald Wollheim's "The Embassy' (originally aired on NBC on June 3, 1950). Then, in "Untitled Story" (originally aired on NBC on August 23, 1951), a gumshoe investigates a formula for eternal life. Finally, we'll hear Brian Donlevy as Steve Mitchell in Dangerous Assignment on a mission to investigate flying saucers and disappearing planes (originally aired on NBC on April 17, 1950).


    BONUS - Shades of Brown (My Friend Irma & Life of Riley)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2021 68:10


    One of radio's most versatile and in-demand performers, John Brown could be heard in regular roles almost every night of the week through the 40s and 50s. He was Ozzie Nelson's next door neighbor, Dennis Day's boss, and Broadway - narrator of The Damon Runyon Theatre. We'll hear him as Al, the ne'er do well boyfriend of My Friend Irma (originally aired on CBS on May 16, 1947). Then, Brown is Digger O'Dell - "the friendly undertaker" - in The Life of Riley (originally aired on NBC on December 30, 1949).


    Episode 431 – Three Jacks (Pat Novak, Jeff Regan, & Pete Kelly’s Blues)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2021 100:21


    He's best known for Dragnet and Joe Friday, but there was a lot more to Jack Webb's radio career than the groundbreaking police procedural. We'll hear him in three old time radio mysteries as a trio of down on their luck detectives. First, he's Pat Novak for Hire in "Dixie Gillian" (originally aired on ABC on November 24, 1946). Then, Webb stars in "The Man Who Liked the Mountains" from Jeff Regan, Investigator (originally aired on CBS on August 7, 1948). Finally, it's a tale of jazz and crime in "Gus Trudeau" from Pete Kelly's Blues (originally aired on NBC on July 4, 1951).


    BONUS - Hey, Paula (Life of Riley)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2021 67:11

    Over a long radio career, Paula Winslowe effortlessly moved between dramas, thrillers, mysteries, and comedies. But her signature role came in one of the era's best domestic sitcoms as Peg opposite William Bendix in The Life of Riley. As the Riley family's level-headed matriarch, Winslowe gave radio one of its best female characters and created a funny and loving couple with her co-star. We'll hear a pair of episodes - first, Peg's ex-boyfriend sells Riley a life insurance policy (originally aired on NBC on March 16, 1946). Then, Peg tells son Junior the story of her first date with Riley (originally aired on NBC on November 17, 1950).

    Episode 430 – Treasury Map (Treasury Agent & T-Man)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 28, 2021 99:49

    For much of its history, the US Treasury Department was extensively involved in law enforcement. The Coast Guard, the Bureau of Prohibition, the Secret Service - all were under the umbrella of the Treasury at one point. The exploits of its agents - men and women who battled counterfeiters and other crooks - inspired films, comic books, and radio shows. We'll hear Raymond Edward Johnson and Ralph Bell in "The Case of the Faithful Wife" from Treasury Agent (originally aired on ABC on August 11, 1947). Then, Dennis O'Keefe stars as a two-fisted agent in a pair of episodes from T-Man: "The Case of the Bleeding Gold" (audition recorded on April 29, 1950) and "The Case of the Big Mexican Dope" (originally aired on CBS on July 29, 1950).

    BONUS - Still Smiling One Year Later (Jack Benny & Our Miss Brooks)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2021 67:53


    We mark the first anniversary of our bonus comedy episodes with the shows that kicked off the series. First, Jack Benny and his gang try and solve a murder with an all-star cast of suspects (including Gene Kelly, Rosalind Russell, and Frank Sinatra) in The Jack Benny Program (originally aired on CBS on January 8, 1950). Then, Eve Arden stars as Our Miss Brooks. She's placed in charge of Madison High School's new student banking system (originally aired on CBS on January 30, 1949).


    Episode 429 – Let’s Be Frank (Here Comes McBride, Escape, & Night Beat)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 21, 2021 99:08


    Before his big screen turns in The Hitchhiker and In a Lonely Place, Frank Lovejoy made a name for himself on radio. His best known role was reporter and amateur sleuth Randy Stone in Night Beat, but before that he could be heard on everything from The Shadow to Suspense in supporting and starring roles. We'll hear him as a tough insurance investigator in Here Comes McBride (originally aired on NBC on May 19, 1949). Then, Lovejoy is a private eye guarding a fabulous emerald in "Figure a Dame" from Escape (originally aired on CBS on December 20, 1949). Finally, he stars in "The Girl from Kansas" from Night Beat (originally aired on NBC on June 5, 1950).


    BONUS - Nutty and Disorderly (Martin and Lewis)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 17, 2021 66:41

    It's a birthday salute to Jerry Lewis with a pair of shows from his radio comedy series with partner Dean Martin. The cool crooner and the goofball with the squeaky voice were a hit on the air, on stage, and on the big screen in the late 40s and early 50s, and we'll hear them welcome some big stars to their microphones. First, Dinah Shore stops by (originally aired on NBC on October 5, 1951), and then Marlene Dietrich visits (originally aired on NBC on March 21, 1952).

    Episode 428 – Legal Eagles (Defense Attorney, Amazing Mr. Tutt, & Academy Award)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2021 99:04

    We're headed to court for three old time radio mysteries starring crusading counselors at law. First, Mercedes McCambridge finds clues and cross-examines to find the truth in "Client Grady Daniels" from Defense Attorney (originally aired on ABC on August 24, 1951). Then, wily New England lawyer Ephraim Tutt springs from the pages of the Saturday Evening Post in The Amazing Mr. Tutt. Will Wright stars as the attorney in "Advice for a Young Lawyer" (originally aired on CBS on July 5, 1948). Finally, Henry Fonda reprises his role of Honest Abe in a radio recreation of Young Mr. Lincoln from Academy Award (originally aired on CBS on July 10, 1946).

    BONUS - Stan, Stan, He’s Our Man (Stan Freberg Show)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2021 65:56

    We're back with Stan Freberg and company for more from The Stan Freberg Show, The unique blend of satire and shenanigans was one of the last original comedies of the radio era, and though it was short-lived we can enjoy the entire run today. We'll hear the western psychiatric adventures of "The Lone Analyst" (originally aired on CBS on August 25, 1957) and a saga of the ordeals of ice cream men (originally aired on CBS on September 1, 1957).

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