Deep from the vaults of old time radio history, some of these rare mystery shows haven't been heard widely in decades. These Rare Mystery Programs are filled with whodunits which you have may never heard before!
39 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 15 hours, 1 min)
available in the following formats:
Few stories are quite as satisfying as a good mystery tale. Other forms of storytelling ask the listener to passively absorb the information shared in the narrative to generate the feelings the storyteller is trying to induce. A good mystery compels the listener to dig into what he is being told and solve the puzzle before a solution is revealed.
Some critics have trouble with the mystery genre because the puzzles often involve murder. In most cases, the murder in question is fictional, with no more nefarious intent than a campfire ghost story. Of course, some are intended for consumption by more mature audiences.
One of the best things about vintage mystery stories is that they are still fun to hear, even after you have heard the story and know the solution to the puzzle. The stories in this collection are taken from our huge library of Old Time Radio Rarities. These are shows that may not fit in another collection, may be an audition program which was not picked up by sponsors, or one of the only surviving episodes of a show lost to history. It also means that these are new mysteries to most listeners, so you get the thrill of hearing them for the first time here.
Lincoln Highway, February 14, 1942, Red Network, sponsored by Shinola Shoe Polish. "The Aviatrix Triangle". Publisher Courtney Peters lands the chance to collaborate with famous flyer Lillian Kettenberg, but the piece needs to be on the market soon while her famous flight is still in the public's attention. The best way to get the thing written will be in the privacy of Peters' farmhouse in Ohio, but Courtney's wife, Helen, is not so sure that is a good idea. Mary Astor and George Murphy star.
Max Haines Mystery Hall of Fame. "Albert Guay". Haines was known as North America's Foremost True Crime Reporter. Although he didn't begin his column in the Toronto Sun until 1972, he collected a marvelous assortment of murder stories. The case of Albert Guay, an adulterous jeweler in Quebec, involves a conspiracy to murder Guay's wife using dynamite in her suitcase as she flies on a Canadian Pacific Airliner. This will allow him to collect her insurance, avoid a divorce (which was impossible to get in Catholic Quebec) and elope with his teenage girlfriend. 23 people died on the plane and Guay won a date with a rope.
Two One a Clue, 1944, CBS. The Spencer's are a relatively normal family of three, Jeff is a lawyer with a beautiful red-headed wife, Debby, and their nine-year-old son Mickey, all very normal, except for their constantly becoming involved in murder! Couples as Mystery Solvers is a popular "soft-boiled" detective format, with a tougher-than-she-seems wife and an often-reluctant crime-solving husband. Other examples include The Thin Man, Mr. and Mrs. North, and Abbott Murders. Although not quite a soap opera, the target audience is pretty obvious from the laundry product ads. The quarter-hour programs are not afraid of setting up fun cliffhangers.
The Whisper Men, Mutual, 1945. Crusading radio commentator Max Chandler, played by Karl Swenson, has a running crusade against a ring of international criminals known as the Whisper Men. These underworld figures seem to have ties to the Communists and have no problem using murder to achieve their goals.
A Voice in the Night, June 14, 1948, Mutual. Singer Carl Brisson manages to combine his nightclub act with solving murder mysteries. Danish immigrant Brisson previously worked as a prizefighter and became Rosalind Russell's father-in-law. In this surviving episode, the singer gets involved with a girl whose necklace was stolen and leads to murder.
This is Your F.B.I., August 10, 1951, ABC, "The Adopted Thief". One of the reasons the Bureau supports the program is to alert citizens, so they can be on alert for criminal activity. Tonight, the subject is larceny. Mrs. Fulton receives a mysterious phone call from a man who claims to be the son she gave up for adoption many years ago. Her new husband is wealthy and considering a run for mayor. She is the perfect target for blackmail.
ABC Mystery Time/Masters of Mystery, 1956, ABC net/AFRTS, Live from New York. "No One Will Ever Know". Everything seems to be going great for "Lucky" Sam Parnell, the stocks he picks all go up ten points, the longshot horse he bets on wins, he has that oil well in Texas, and a pretty wife whom he is getting ready to take to Paris. Everything is great until he gets the telegram that the oil well is dry. Everything is tied up in the well, he will lose everything, but he does have a sizable life insurance policy, so he contacts a mobster to arrange a hit, on himself!
Adventures in the Supernatural, Audition Program. "Mysterious Carriage", Host Dr. Lionel Hirsch explains that the program will explore mysteries of supernatural occurrences and that it will be up to the audience to determine if they are part of a hoax or something other-worldly. It is a sultry night when two couples are playing bridge, the housekeeper is away visiting relatives when the hostess faints, having a vision of a murderous carriage approaching. The heat of the past few days can explain some of the strange occurrences, but there are still mysteries to deal with.