Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives)

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In 1960, CBS moved production of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar to New York. Longtime leading man Bob Bailey stayed behind, and the network tapped another Bob - Bob Readick - to fill the shoes of the man with the action-packed expense account. Readick, an actor since childhood, starred as Dollar from December 1960 to June 1961 as the show embarked on a new era on the East Coast. We’ll hear Bob Readick as Johnny Dollar in “The Lone Wolf Matter,” originally aired on May 21, 1961.

Direct download: Episode_154_-_The_Big_Apple_Matter_Yours_Truly_Johnny_Dollar.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST
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Erle Stanley Gardner, the creator of Perry Mason, brings you A Life in Your Hands – a courtroom mystery drama that puts you in the middle of a murder trial. Follow Jonathan Kegg – neither prosecutor nor defense lawyer, but amicus curiae – an impartial observer dedicated to finding the truth. Kegg questions witnesses on both sides to ensure that the truth comes out and to see that justice is done. Carlton KaDell plays Kegg in “Judge Cook Shot,” originally aired on NBC on August 29, 1950.

Direct download: Episode_153_-_Friend_of_the_Court_A_Life_in_Your_Hands.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00pm EST
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Leonidas Witherall runs a prestigious boys school, writes a popular detective series, and is a dead ringer for William Shakespeare. He’s also an amateur detective who can’t help stumbling into mystery and murder. From the pages of novels by Alice Tilton comes The Adventures of Leonidas Witherall, starring celebrated stage actor Walter Hampden as Witherall. Aided by his housekeeper Mrs. Mullet, Leonidas solves cases and gets double takes from theatre fans. We’ll hear “The Corpse Meets a Deadline,” originally aired on Mutual on April 22, 1945.

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Craig Rice blended hard-boiled mystery and screwball comedy in the exploits of John J. Malone. The hard-drinking, rumpled criminal defense attorney played private eye to solve his cases in mysteries that were in a league of their own. The zanier elements of his character were toned down when he came to radio in The Amazing Mr. Malone, but listeners could still enjoy the adventures of a character quick with a quip and sharp-eyed enough to spot any clue. We’ll hear Frank Lovejoy as Malone in “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness,” originally aired on ABC on August 28, 1948.

Direct download: Episode_151_-_Amazing_Stories_Amazing_Mr_Malone.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST
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We salute actor Stephen Dunne, the second man to wear Sam Spade’s trench coat on radio. After struggling to break out of bit parts on the big screen, Dunne found success on radio in a number of shows. In 1950, after rumors of Communist ties cost Howard Duff the gig, Dunne stepped into the role of Sam Spade and put his own spin on the shamus for 24 episodes. His affable, easy-going qualities and smooth voice served him well as he later transitioned into television. We’ll hear him today as reporter “Lucky” Larson in “A Boy Asks for Help” from Deadline Mystery (originally aired on ABC on August 10, 1947). Then, Dunne is Spade in “The 25-1235679 Caper,” originally aired on NBC on January 5, 1951.

Direct download: Episode_150_-_All-American_Spade_Deadline_Mystery__Sam_Spade.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST
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The Saint hit radio in January 1945, but Leslie Charteris’ “Robin Hood of Modern Crime” didn’t find long-lasting success on the air until 1947 when big screen star Vincent Price donned Simon Templar’s halo. In honor of his radio anniversary, we’ll hear two mysteries starring the Saint. Price is Templar in “No Hiding Place” (originally aired on November 19, 1950). Then, Tom Conway steps in as the heavenly hero in “Death of a Cowboy” (originally aired on July 1, 1951).

Direct download: Episode_149_-_Saints_Preserve_Us_The_Saint.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST
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Holidays and homicide go hand in hand in the “Down These Mean Streets” Christmas special. We’ll hear yuletide mysteries from some of your favorite radio detectives to wrap up 2015. First, Richard Kollmar is Boston Blackie in the syndicated episode “Stolen Rings at Christmas.” Then, Charles Russell is Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar in “How I Played Santa Claus, and Almost Got Left Holding the Bag” (originally aired on CBS on December 24, 1949). Finally, Frank Lovejoy is Randy Stone in “Five Days Off for Christmas” from Night Beat (originally aired on NBC on December 21, 1951).

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Billed at one time as “the handsomest man in the world,” silent screen idol Francis X. Bushman may seem a strange choice to play Rex Stout’s gargantuan gourmet Nero Wolfe, but in 1945 he lent his considerable stage presence to the role on radio. Bushman headlined The Amazing Nero Wolfe, a short-lived series that co-starred radio actor and director Elliott Lewis as Archie Goodwin. We’ll hear their take on the classic gumshoes in the show’s sole surviving episode – “The Shakespeare Folio,” originally aired on Mutual on November 30, 1945.

Direct download: Episode_147_-_Wolfe_in_Sheeps_Clothing_Amazing_Nero_Wolfe.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST
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Even as he played bashful biology teacher Mr. Boynton on Our Miss Brooks, Jeff Chandler voiced the two-fisted tough guy shamus Michael Shayne. The hard-boiled intensity Chandler brought to the role made his short tenure as Shayne a memorable run. His versatility as an actor made him believable as both a timid teacher and a gritty, cynical private eye. We’ll hear Chandler as Shayne in a pair of mysteries set in New Orleans: “The Case of the Wandering Fingerprints” and “The Case of the Phantom Gun.”

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From his first appearance in 1925, Charlie Chan has been a captivating yet controversial figure in the world of detective fiction. Earl Derr Biggers created the avuncular Hawaiian police detective and family man to dispel the “Yellow Peril” fear of the Chinese in America, and the character’s popularity kicked off a long, successful run of B-movies. But the broken English and stereotypical traits have alienated Chan from some modern audiences. Ed Begley stars as Charlie in a mystery that hits too close to home – the kidnapping of his Number One Daughter! – in this episode rebroadcast on Mystery Playhouse from the Armed Forces Radio Service.

Direct download: Episode_145_-_Wisdom_of_the_East_Adventures_of_Charlie_Chan.mp3
Category:Old Time Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST
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