Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives)

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The radio success of Mr. and Mrs. North convinced CBS to bring the adventures of the crime-solving couple to television. Richard Denning and Barbara Britton starred as Jerry and Pam and moved to take over the radio roles after a year on the small screen. Denning and Britton continued the program’s trademark balance of crime with light comedy simultaneously over radio and on television. We’ll hear the Norths in “The Comic,” an Armed Forces Radio Service rebroadcast of an episode originally aired on CBS on July 7, 1953.

Direct download: Episode_104_-_Norths_by_Northwest_Mr_and_Mrs_North.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 4:00 AM

Hercule Poirot, the diminutive, eccentric, and brilliant Belgian detective, has thrilled mystery fans since his first appearances in the novels of Agatha Christie. In 1945, he came to American radio in a series that boasted an introduction by Christie herself. Harold Huber starred as the mustachioed master of deduction in Agatha Christie’s Poirot, and he was perfect as the fastidious investigator. We’ll hear him in “The Case of the Careless Victim,” originally aired on Mutual on February 22, 1945.

Direct download: Episode_103_-_Little_Grey_Cells_Agatha_Christies_Poirot.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 4:00 AM

We raise a glass to Mickey Spillane, the hard-boiled wordsmith born March 9, 1918. Spillane introduced the world to Mike Hammer, one of fiction’s toughest gumshoes, in 1947, and detective fiction was never the same. The unique blend of sex and violence, powered by Spillane’s terse prose, enthralled readers and led to adaptations on television, the big screen, and on radio. We’ll hear Larry Haines as Mike Hammer in That Hammer Guy in “There’s Something About a Dame” (first aired on Mutual on March 31, 1953) and “What You Don’t Know About Dames” (first aired on Mutual on April 28, 1953).

Direct download: Episode_102_-_Slipped_a_Mickey_That_Hammer_Guy.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM

Craig Rice’s crafty criminal lawyer John J. Malone, a wisecracking counsellor at law, sprang from the pages of mystery novels to radio in The Amazing Mr. Malone. Malone takes tough cases in Chicago, where he does his own leg work to clear his wrongfully accused clients. He’s more of a Paul Drake than a Perry Mason in the way he tackles his cases. We’ll hear George Petrie star as Malone in “Hard Work Never Killed Anyone,” originally aired on NBC on June 1, 1951.

Direct download: Episode_101_-_Amazing_Esquire_Amazing_Mr_Malone.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM

“Down These Mean Streets” marks its one hundredth episode with a king-sized, extra-large podcast starring four old time radio detectives. First, Alan Ladd is Dan Holiday in “Find Me, Find Death” from Box 13. Then, Dick Powell croons his way through a crime as Richard Diamond, Private Detective in “Lady in Distress” (originally aired on ABC on February 23, 1951). Howard Duff bats third as Sam Spade in “The Hot Hundred Grand Caper” (originally aired on CBS on September 19, 1948). Finally, Gerald Mohr is Philip Marlowe in “The Soft Spot” (originally aired on September 1, 1950). All that, plus find out who won our one hundredth episode contest!


For fourteen films and hundreds of radio episodes, Nigel Bruce brought the most famous sidekick in detective fiction to life. As Dr. John H. Watson, Bruce gave an avuncular charm and character to Sherlock Holmes’ friend and biographer. We’ll hear him co-starring with Basil Rathbone in “The Amateur Mendicant Society” (originally aired on Mutual on April 2, 1945); and with Tom Conway in “The Singular Affair of the Dying Schoolboys” (originally aired on ABC on November 9, 1946).


Charles Russell stars as Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar in one of the earliest adventures of "America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator." Russell, a 20th Century Fox contract player, portrayed Dollar in the show's first year on the air and introduced listeners to a glib, tough gumshoe who was a genius at closing cases and padding his expense account. We'll hear him in "The Robert Perry Case," originally aired on CBS on March 4, 1949.


Sixty-five years ago this week, radio listeners met Randy Stone, the intrepid Chicago reporter of Night Beat. Every night, Randy (played by Frank Lovejoy) wanders the streets of the Windy City in search of stories for his column, and he finds dangerous and desperate people and gets involved in their trials and tribulations. We'll hear "Zero," the show's premiere episode (originally aired on NBC on February 6, 1950); and "Tong War" (originally aired on NBC on April 17, 1950).

Direct download: Episode_97_-_Night_Time_is_the_Right_Time_Night_Beat.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM

By day, Britt Reid is the crusading publisher of the Daily Sentinel newspaper. By night, he dons a mask and continues his battle against crime and corruption as The Green Hornet. Aided by his valet Kato, Reid wages a war against graft, even as the police think he's just as dangerous as the underworld he battles. The Green Hornet was one of radio's most popular masked crime-fighters, and his exploits came to the big and small screens. We'll hear Al Hodge as the Hornet in "The Corpse That Wasn't There," originally aired on the Blue Network on March 7, 1943.

Direct download: Episode_96_-_Biggest_of_All_Game_Green_Hornet.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM

Big screen villain Dan Duryea takes a heroic turn as Lt. Lou Dana, The Man from Homicide. Dana is a hard-boiled cop who shoots straight and throws a mean punch. His outlook on his job is summed up with his mantra: "I don't like killers." This short-lived series blends the two-fisted pulp persona of a private eye with the dogged cops of police procedurals. We'll hear Duryea as Dana in "The Franklin Kelso Case," originally aired on ABC on July 16, 1951.

Direct download: Episode_95_-_I_Dont_Like_Killers_Man_from_Homicide.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 5:00 AM