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Episode 333 – Baileywick (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)

For radio detective fans, it doesn't get much better than Bob Bailey as "the man with the action-packed expense account." In honor of the actor's birthday, we'll hear him in a complete five-part adventure of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar: "The Long Shot Matter" (originally aired on CBS between June 25th and June 29th, 1956).


Episode 332 - Nothing's Better than Mohr (Philip Marlowe & Nero Wolfe)

Gerald Mohr lent his voice to hundreds of radio episodes, but he's best remembered today for his run as Philip Marlowe. Mohr's voice was perfect for the hard-boiled narration and rough and tumble action, and his Marlowe stands out as one of the best gumshoes of the era. We'll hear Mohr as Marlowe in "The Last Laugh" (originally aired on CBS on April 2, 1949) and "The Last Wish" (originally aired on CBS on July 19, 1950). We'll also hear him as Archie Goodwin in "The Case of the Vanishing...


Episode 331 - The Names Have Been Changed (Dragnet)

Seventy years ago this week, Dragnet made its radio debut and changed the face of crime drama forever. That first episode launched a franchise that stretched into the 21st century and made its creator and star Jack Webb a household name. We'll celebrate the anniversary with four cases pulled from the files of the LAPD: "Homicide" (originally aired on NBC on June 10, 1949); "The Big Fake" (originally aired on NBC on June 1, 1950); "The Big Bible" (AFRS rebroadcast from 9/28/1954); and "The...


Episode 330 - Dash It All (Adventures of Sam Spade)

We're saluting Dashiell Hammett - born May 27, 1894 - with three old time radio adventures of his famous private eye Sam Spade. Spade's adventures made for one of the best radio detective shows of the era - a hard-boiled mystery that poked gentle fun at the conventions of the genre. Howard Duff stars as the gumshoe in "The Wheel of Life Caper" (originally aired on CBS on July 11, 19498) and "The Battles of Belvedere" (AFRS rebroadcast from May 1, 1949). Then Steven Dunne stars as Spade in...


Episode 329 - Bird is the Word (The Falcon)

The ringing of that phone means Mike Waring has to break another date and The Falcon has a new case. The suave private eye solved crimes in print, on the big screen, and for over a decade on radio. Les Damon starred as Waring for several years, including a run when the Falcon got a new client – Uncle Sam and Army intelligence. We’ll hear the Falcon solve “The Case of the Sweet Swindle” (originally aired on NBC on June 13, 1951) and “The Case of the Babbling Brooks” (originally aired on NBC...


Episode 328 - Hey Bulldog (Bulldog Drummond)

Captain Hugh Drummond comes out of the fog, into the night, and earns his nickname “Bulldog” as he fights evildoers everywhere. The gentleman adventurer of H.C. McNelie’s novels came to the big screen with Ronald Colman and Ray Milland logging time as the man of mystery. In 1941, Bulldog Drummond came to radio and continued his battle for justice. We’ll hear George Coulouris as Drummond in a September 1941 audition program. Then Ned Wever steps in as the detective in “Death Loops the Loop”...


Episode 327 – Orson’s Swell (Lives of Harry Lime & Black Museum)

Orson Welles’ radio work is defined by a skirmish between a couple of planets, but there was far more to his career than an invasion from outer space. We’ll celebrate the actor, writer, and director’s birthday with some of his performances on the air. First, he recreates his Third Man movie role in “Horse Play” from The Lives of Harry Lime. Then, he narrates the bloody history of “The Khaki Handkerchief” from The Black Museum.


Episode 326 - Their Girl Friday: Frances Robinson (Let George Do It, Richard Diamond, & The Whistler)

What do Philo Vance, George Valentine, Richard Diamond, and John J. Malone have in common? They all romanced – and were frequently assisted by – Frances Robinson. The busy and talented actress was a mainstay on radio crime dramas, and her performances gave us some of the genre’s all-time great partners in crime. We’ll hear her in “The Elusive Hundred Grand” from Let George Do It (originally aired on Mutual on April 18, 1949); “The Pop Skoals Case aka The Blind Man and the Cop Killer” from...


Episode 325 - Master Class (Nick Carter, Master Detective)

Nick Carter was a super sleuth in the pulps and on the big screen before he came to radio in 1943, and he found success on the air as well. Lon Clark starred as Carter – “the most famous of all manhunters” – for twelve years in hundreds of radio mysteries. Hear Nick, along with his friends Patsy Bowen and Sgt. Mathison in “The Double Disguise” (originally aired on Mutual on January 8, 1944) and “The Case of the Candidate’s Corpse” (September 26, 1948).


Episode 324 - G-Men Get Their Man (This is Your FBI)

Criminals and spies can run, but they can’t hide from the FBI. Stacy Harris stars as Special Agent Jim Taylor in This is Your FBI, the only dramatic radio program endorsed by the Bureau and J. Edgar Hoover. We’ll hear a pair of FBI adventures: “The Case of the Curious Coin Collector” (originally aired on ABC on October 4, 1946) and “The Agent Apprentice” (originally aired on ABC on August 11, 1950).


Episode 323 - Hit the Road, Jack (Jeff Regan, Pat Novak, & Pete Kelly's Blues)

We're celebrating Jack Webb's birthday, but instead of cake we have three old time radio mysteries starring Webb as three hard-boiled sleuths. First, he's Jeff Regan, Investigator in "The Gambler and the Lady" (originally aired on CBS on December 11, 1948). Then Webb stars as Pat Novak for Hire in "Rory Malone" (originally aired on ABC on March 20, 1949). Finally, we'll hear "June Gould" from Pete Kelly's Blues (an AFRS rebroadcast of an episode from NBC on September 19, 1951).


Episode 322 - Same Bat-Time (Adventures of Superman)

Holy 80th Anniversary, Batman! The Caped Crusader made his first comic book appearance on March 30, 1939, and we're marking the occasion with a complete serialized adventure of Superman co-starring Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder. It's "The Mystery of the Dead Voice," a tale with ties to young Robin's origin, and it originally aired on the Mutual Network between September 25 and October 16, 1946.


Episode 321 - The Buck Starts Here (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)

When Johnny Dollar itemized his first expense account on February 11, 1949, he was played by actor Charles Russell, and Russell would fill the role for just over one year. Though his tenure was short, Russell’s take on the character – glib, sarcastic, and a little unscrupulous – makes him stand out in the fraternity of actors who brought Dollar to radio life. We’ll hear him in three episodes: “The Perikoff Policy” (originally aired on CBS on 2/11/1949); “Melanie Carter and the Un-Nice...


Episode 320 - Don't Fence Me In (Tales of the Texas Rangers)

When criminals strike in the Lone Star State, they know it won’t be long before the Texas Rangers are on their trail. Joel McCrea brought his big screen western star power to radio as Jayce Pearson in Tales of the Texas Rangers. The crime drama presented actual cases from the Rangers’ files in a blend of police procedural and western. We’ll hear two episodes from the series: “Quicksilver” (originally aired on NBC on August 12, 1950) and “The Trap” (originally aired on NBC on February 25,...


Episode 319 - Hite Writes (Philip Marlowe & Fort Laramie)

Kathleen Hite started at CBS as a secretary only to become the network’s first female staff writer. She would go on to pen hundreds of radio and TV scripts for shows like Gunsmoke, The Whistler, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. We’ll hear two of her mysteries from The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: “The Good Neighbor Policy” (originally aired on CBS on July 28, 1951) and “The Young Man’s Fancy” (originally aired on CBS on August 18, 1951). Plus we’ll hear one of Hite’s episodes of Fort...


Episode 318 - Take a Letter (Box 13)

“Adventure wanted. Will go anyplace, do anything. Write Box 13.” That’s the newspaper ad Dan Holiday runs and each week a new letter brings him to the doorstep of danger. Holiday runs the ad to get plots for his mystery novels, but he has to survive each case before he can start writing. Big screen star Alan Ladd puts his film noir bona fides to work as Holiday in two old time radio mysteries: “Mexican Maze” and “House of Darkness.”


Episode 317 - Their Girl Friday: Virginia Gregg (Richard Diamond, Let George Do It, & Frontier Gentleman)

No matter what old time radio genre you prefer, you’ve probably heard Virginia Gregg’s voice. You’ve almost certainly heard her as Mrs. Bates in the Psycho films or seen her in one of her many on-screen performances. She was one of radio’s most versatile and talented actresses, and in honor of her birthday we’ll hear Virginia Gregg in three old time radio shows. First, she plays Helen Asher opposite Dick Powell’s Richard Diamond, Private Detective in an episode originally aired on NBC on...


Episode 316 - A Chorus Crime (Broadway is My Beat)

It’s back to Broadway this week, as Detective Danny Clover walks his beat - “the gaudiest, the most violent, the lonesomest mile in the world.” Larry Thor stars as Clover, the cop with the soul of a poet, in two mysteries from Broadway is My Beat: “The Val Dane Starvation Murder Case” (originally aired on CBS on August 25, 1949) and “The Gridiron Hero Murders” (an AFRS rebroadcast of an episode from November 22, 1952).


Episode 315 - Wealthy Young Man About Town (The Line-Up)

Bill Johnstone may be best known as the voice of The Shadow, but old time radio fans can enjoy his performances from shows ranging from Escape and Suspense to My Favorite Husband and Our Miss Brooks. In honor of his birthday, we’ll hear him as Lt. Ben Guthrie, the determined detective of The Line-Up in “The Topaz Earring Case” (originally aired on CBS on November 23, 1950) and “The Jersey Parallel” (originally aired on CBS on December 7, 1950).


Episode 314 - The Final Five Matter (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)

Seventy years ago this month, listeners first met “the man with the action-packed expense account” when Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar premiered on CBS. The show ran until 1962 with several actors stepping into the shows of “America’s fabulous freelance insurance investigator,” but the best of the bunch was Bob Bailey. Bailey starred as Johnny Dollar from 1955 until 1960, including a tremendous run of five-part nightly stories from 1955 to 1956. We’ll hear the last of those serialized...