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Down These Mean Streets (Old Time Radio Detectives)

Radio Drama Podcasts

Presenting the best detectives from the Golden Age of Radio. Each week, we'll bring you an episode starring one of Old Time Radio's greatest detectives and the story behind the show. Join us for adventures of Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Johnny Dollar, and many more.

Presenting the best detectives from the Golden Age of Radio. Each week, we'll bring you an episode starring one of Old Time Radio's greatest detectives and the story behind the show. Join us for adventures of Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Johnny Dollar, and many more.


United States


Presenting the best detectives from the Golden Age of Radio. Each week, we'll bring you an episode starring one of Old Time Radio's greatest detectives and the story behind the show. Join us for adventures of Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Johnny Dollar, and many more.




BONUS - At Home with the Harris Family (Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show)

We're spending time with Phil, Alice, Elliott, Julius, and the kids in a pair of shows from one of radio's best sitcoms. First, a new start time for the show causes trouble between Phil and his musicians (originally aired on NBC on September 30, 1951). Then, the kids are pressing Phil for a pool (originally aired on NBC on May 17, 1953).


Episode 436 – First Lady of Baker Street (New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)

Without Edith Meiser, Sherlock Holmes might never have found enduring success and popularity in the United States. It was Meiser, a writer and Broadway actress, who persuaded a network and a sponsor that Holmes could be a viable radio property and she singlehandedly wrote his radio adventures for years. Along with faithful adaptations of classic stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, Meiser created her own original mysteries. In honor of her birthday, we'll hear three of those original Holmes...


BONUS - Another Side of Orson (Jack Benny Program)

When Jack Benny came down with pneumonia in the spring of 1943 and he had to miss a month of shows, an unlikely guest host stepped in to fill his shoes. For four episodes, Orson Welles poked fun at himself and joined in the jokes with Benny's gang - Mary, Phil, Dennis, Don, and Rochester - and showed off his comedy chops on one of the funniest shows of the era. We'll hear all four of those broadcasts from The Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes Program (originally aired on NBC on March 14,...


Episode 435 – Medium Welles (Campbell Playhouse & Lives of Harry Lime)

In the first part of a birthday salute to the great Orson Welles, we'll hear him co-star with My Friend Irma leading lady Marie Wilson in a screwball comedy-murder mystery from The Campbell Playhouse. They star as husband and wife private eyes in "There's Always a Woman" (originally aired on CBS on December 17, 1939). Then, Welles recreates his big screen role of Harry Lime in the continuing adventures of the international rogue of The Third Man. We'll hear "The Professor Regrets," a...


BONUS - An Apple for the Teacher (Our Miss Brooks)

The brilliant comedienne Eve Arden brought wit and charm to the role of Connie Brooks, Madison High School's favorite English teacher. She stood at the center of one of radio's best casts, and her performance makes Our Miss Brooks one of the best sitcoms of the era. In honor of her birthday, we'll hear a pair of episodes - first, there's a cafeteria boycott in the works at Madison (originally aired on CBS on March 13, 1949). Then, Miss Brooks joins her students in a summer job (originally...


Episode 434 – Diamond on the Soles of Her Shoes (Richard Diamond, Private Detective)

On April 24, 1949, radio fans met Dick Powell as Richard Diamond, Private Detective. The only radio gumshoe who wrapped up his case of the week with a song, Diamond was one of the best sleuths to come out of the radio era thanks to scripts from Blake Edwards and the smooth, polished performance of Powell - an actor who could play both comedy and crime drama. We'll hear three episodes of the series: "The John Blackwell Case" (originally aired on NBC on December 17, 1949); "The Martin White...


BONUS - Oscar Night (Lux Radio Theatre)

With the Academy Awards ceremony right around the corner, we'll hear a classic Hollywood comedy recreated for radio. My Man Godfrey picked up six Oscar nominations along with critical acclaim and box office success in 1936. When The Lux Radio Theatre dramatized the film (originally aired on CBS on May 9, 1938), stars William Powell, Carole Lombard, Gail Patrick, and Mischa Auer were joined by David Niven for the story of a bum who becomes a butler overnight and starts a new life with a...


Episode 433 – Matrimonial Mayhem (Thin Man, Mr. and Mrs. North, & Adventures of the Abbotts)

We're joining three pairs of husband and wife sleuthing teams as they mix date nights with dead bodies. First, Nick and Nora Charles solve "The Case of the Suspicious Hangover" on The Adventures of the Thin Man (AFRS rebroadcast from October 6, 1944). Then, Pam and Jerry receive an "Invitation to Murder" on Mr. and Mrs. North (AFRS rebroadcast from February 27, 1946). Finally, insurance investigator Pat and wife Jean investigate the mystery behind "The Rickshaw-Red Lipstick" (AFRS...


BONUS - By Hook (Burns and Allen & My Friend Irma)

Hans Conried gave us one of the all-time great Disney villains as Captain Hook, and he was a memorable menace as Snidely Whiplash. But the greatest showcase for his versatility was radio, where he could play a cavalcade of characters with unique accents and personalities. We'll hear him as Dr. Miller, the long-suffering psychiatrist of Gracie Allen on Maxwell House Coffee Time (originally aired on NBC on December 11, 1947). Then, as Professor Kroptkin on My Friend Irma, he enlists Irma and...


Episode 432 – Out of This World (Dimension X & Dangerous Assignment)

One of radio's best anthologies of adult science fiction, Dimension X presented adaptations of stories from Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and more. We'll hear two tales from the series - each starring a private detective who gets more than he bargained for when he takes on an unusual case. First, it's a hunt for Martians on Earth in Donald Wollheim's "The Embassy' (originally aired on NBC on June 3, 1950). Then, in "Untitled Story" (originally aired on NBC on August 23, 1951), a gumshoe...


BONUS - Shades of Brown (My Friend Irma & Life of Riley)

One of radio's most versatile and in-demand performers, John Brown could be heard in regular roles almost every night of the week through the 40s and 50s. He was Ozzie Nelson's next door neighbor, Dennis Day's boss, and Broadway - narrator of The Damon Runyon Theatre. We'll hear him as Al, the ne'er do well boyfriend of My Friend Irma (originally aired on CBS on May 16, 1947). Then, Brown is Digger O'Dell - "the friendly undertaker" - in The Life of Riley (originally aired on NBC on December...


Episode 431 – Three Jacks (Pat Novak, Jeff Regan, & Pete Kelly’s Blues)

He's best known for Dragnet and Joe Friday, but there was a lot more to Jack Webb's radio career than the groundbreaking police procedural. We'll hear him in three old time radio mysteries as a trio of down on their luck detectives. First, he's Pat Novak for Hire in "Dixie Gillian" (originally aired on ABC on November 24, 1946). Then, Webb stars in "The Man Who Liked the Mountains" from Jeff Regan, Investigator (originally aired on CBS on August 7, 1948). Finally, it's a tale of jazz and...


BONUS - Hey, Paula (Life of Riley)

Over a long radio career, Paula Winslowe effortlessly moved between dramas, thrillers, mysteries, and comedies. But her signature role came in one of the era's best domestic sitcoms as Peg opposite William Bendix in The Life of Riley. As the Riley family's level-headed matriarch, Winslowe gave radio one of its best female characters and created a funny and loving couple with her co-star. We'll hear a pair of episodes - first, Peg's ex-boyfriend sells Riley a life insurance policy (originally...


Episode 430 – Treasury Map (Treasury Agent & T-Man)

For much of its history, the US Treasury Department was extensively involved in law enforcement. The Coast Guard, the Bureau of Prohibition, the Secret Service - all were under the umbrella of the Treasury at one point. The exploits of its agents - men and women who battled counterfeiters and other crooks - inspired films, comic books, and radio shows. We'll hear Raymond Edward Johnson and Ralph Bell in "The Case of the Faithful Wife" from Treasury Agent (originally aired on ABC on August...


BONUS - Still Smiling One Year Later (Jack Benny & Our Miss Brooks)

We mark the first anniversary of our bonus comedy episodes with the shows that kicked off the series. First, Jack Benny and his gang try and solve a murder with an all-star cast of suspects (including Gene Kelly, Rosalind Russell, and Frank Sinatra) in The Jack Benny Program (originally aired on CBS on January 8, 1950). Then, Eve Arden stars as Our Miss Brooks. She's placed in charge of Madison High School's new student banking system (originally aired on CBS on January 30, 1949).


Episode 429 – Let’s Be Frank (Here Comes McBride, Escape, & Night Beat)

Before his big screen turns in The Hitchhiker and In a Lonely Place, Frank Lovejoy made a name for himself on radio. His best known role was reporter and amateur sleuth Randy Stone in Night Beat, but before that he could be heard on everything from The Shadow to Suspense in supporting and starring roles. We'll hear him as a tough insurance investigator in Here Comes McBride (originally aired on NBC on May 19, 1949). Then, Lovejoy is a private eye guarding a fabulous emerald in "Figure a...


BONUS - Nutty and Disorderly (Martin and Lewis)

It's a birthday salute to Jerry Lewis with a pair of shows from his radio comedy series with partner Dean Martin. The cool crooner and the goofball with the squeaky voice were a hit on the air, on stage, and on the big screen in the late 40s and early 50s, and we'll hear them welcome some big stars to their microphones. First, Dinah Shore stops by (originally aired on NBC on October 5, 1951), and then Marlene Dietrich visits (originally aired on NBC on March 21, 1952).


Episode 428 – Legal Eagles (Defense Attorney, Amazing Mr. Tutt, & Academy Award)

We're headed to court for three old time radio mysteries starring crusading counselors at law. First, Mercedes McCambridge finds clues and cross-examines to find the truth in "Client Grady Daniels" from Defense Attorney (originally aired on ABC on August 24, 1951). Then, wily New England lawyer Ephraim Tutt springs from the pages of the Saturday Evening Post in The Amazing Mr. Tutt. Will Wright stars as the attorney in "Advice for a Young Lawyer" (originally aired on CBS on July 5, 1948)....


BONUS - Stan, Stan, He’s Our Man (Stan Freberg Show)

We're back with Stan Freberg and company for more from The Stan Freberg Show, The unique blend of satire and shenanigans was one of the last original comedies of the radio era, and though it was short-lived we can enjoy the entire run today. We'll hear the western psychiatric adventures of "The Lone Analyst" (originally aired on CBS on August 25, 1957) and a saga of the ordeals of ice cream men (originally aired on CBS on September 1, 1957).


Episode 427 – My Fair Rex (Private Files of Rex Saunders & Academy Award)

Before he won a Tony and an Oscar as Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison had a brief stint as a radio private eye. We'll hear the star of stage and screen as a debonair detective in a pair of episodes from The Private Files of Rex Saunders - "The Most Malignant of Diseases...Namely Murder" (originally aired on NBC on June 27, 1951) and "Until Death Do Us Part" (originally aired on NBC on July 18, 1951). Then, he recreates his big screen role as a British spy out to save a...