Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives)

“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).

Direct download: Episode_207_-_Mysteries_by_Marlowe_Adventures_of_Philip_Marlowe.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

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!

Direct download: Episode_206_-_Ace_Up_His_Sleeve_Cases_of_Mr_Ace.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

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.

Direct download: Episode_205_-_Point_of_View_Lux_Radio_Theatre.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

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).


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).

Direct download: Episode_203_-_Hungry_Like_the_Wolfe_New_Adventures_of_Nero_Wolfe.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

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.”

Direct download: Episode_202_-_Party_Time_I_Was_a_Communist_for_the_FBI.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

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).


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).


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.


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.