Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives)

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It’s time to deck the halls with three radio detectives in the “Down These Mean Streets” holiday special. First, Frank Sinatra is Rocky Fortune in “The Plot to Murder Santa Claus” (first aired on NBC on December 22, 1953). Then, Ranger Jayce Pearson (Joel McCrea) finds a “Christmas Present” on Tales of the Texas Rangers (first aired on NBC on December 24, 1950). Finally, Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb) is on the hunt for “The Big Little Jesus” in Dragnet (first aired on NBC on December 22, 1953).


For nearly two decades and in almost 1,700 episodes on radio, kindly old Mr. Keen searched for the missing and pursued the guilty. The grandfatherly gumshoe (played by Bennett Kilpack) and his assistant Mike Clancy (Jim Kelly) are on another adventure of mystery and murder in “The Case of the Absent Minded Professor,” first aired on CBS on March 15, 1945.

Direct download: Episode_91_-_Lost_and_Found_Mr_Keen_Tracer_of_Lost_Persons.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM

Sydney Greenstreet settles into the armchair of Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout's gargantuan gourmet and irascible (but brilliant) detective. Wolfe will tackle a case only when his bank account demands it, and even then he farms out the fact-finding to his leg man, Archie Goodwin. Greenstreet stars in two radio mysteries: "The Case of the Impolite Corpse," with Larry Dobkin as Goodwin (originally aired on NBC on December 8, 1950); and "The Case of the Party for Death," featuring Harry Bartell as Archie (originally aired on NBC on February 16, 1951).

Direct download: Episode_90_-_Wolfe_Pack_New_Adventures_of_Nero_Wolfe.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM

Howard Duff was one of radio's brightest stars until the blacklist and "Red scare" paranoia derailed his career. Today, he's fondly remembered as the definitive voice of Sam Spade with the perfect blend of tough guy delivery and wry humor. We'll hear Duff as Spade in "The Death Bed Caper," originally aired on CBS on June 20, 1948. Then, he stars as Mike McCoy, a private eye cut from the Spade cloth in the 1951 audition program for The McCoy.

Direct download: Episode_89_-_Howard_the_Duff_Sam_Spade__The_McCoy.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM

Just in time for the turkey, we've got Thanksgiving-themed adventures of two old time radio detectives. First, Jeff Regan stars as Jeff Regan, Investigator in "The Pilgrim's Progress," first aired on CBS on November 20, 1948. Then, Bob Bailey headlines "Cause for Thanksgiving" from Let George Do It, originally aired on CBS on November 20, 1950.


In 1958, CBS launched a radio version of its hit western television series Have Gun - Will Travel. The radio program was one of the last great dramas of the Golden Age of Radio. John Dehner assumed the role of Paladin, the West Point-educated hired gun, a gunman for hire who would take on dangerous jobs for the right price. This blend of western adventure and private eye mystery was just as engaging as its television brother. We'll hear Paladin in "Strange Vendetta," originally aired on CBS on November 23, 1958.

Direct download: Episode_87_-_A_Knight_Without_Armor_Have_Gun_-_Will_Travel.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM

Damon Runyon remains one of America’s unique storytellers. His tales of 1920s New York have a language and style all their own, and his colorful characters include gangsters, gamblers, and average guys down on their luck. Runyon’s distinct voice came to radio in The Damon Runyon Theater, a series produced by Alan Ladd. We’ll hear John Brown star in “What, No Butler?” from the syndicated series.

Direct download: Episode_86_-_Lullabies_of_Broadway_Damon_Runyon_Theater.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM

Dick Powell transformed his career with his dynamic performance as Philip Marlowe and he left his days as a baby-faced crooner behind. To celebrate his birthday, we’ll hear Powell in two of his performances as hard-boiled but glib gumshoes. First he stars as Richard Rogue in “Lady with a Gun” from Rogue’s Gallery, originally aired on NBC on June 30, 1946. Then, Powell plays Richard Diamond, Private Detective in “The Martha Campbell Kidnap Case,” originally aired on NBC on July 26, 1950.


As mystery writer Barton Drake describes it, Mystery is My Hobby. The novelist is tops at dreaming up murder plots, and he’s not bad at solving real life crimes, either. Along with Inspector Danton of the police, Drake uses his “book smarts” to catch killers. Glenn Langan stars as Drake in this series that originally aired on Mutual before it was repackaged for syndication. We’ll hear the syndicated episode “The John Crain Murder.”

Direct download: Episode_84_-_Murder_He_Wrote_Mystery_is_My_Hobby.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 4:00 AM

Turn down the lights and enjoy a bonus episode just in time for Halloween. Two chilling stories from Suspense, “radio’s outstanding theater of thrills,” should help to get you in the trick-or-treating spirit. First, Orson Welles’ cross-country trip is hindered by “The Hitchhiker,” originally aired on CBS on September 2, 1942. Then, Ray Bradbury’s eerie story comes to radio life in “Zero Hour,” originally aired on April 5, 1955.