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"John Henry Faulk Show" debuts on WCBS

December
17
1951

On this day in 1951, WCBS debuted the "John Henry Faulk Show," which featured music, political humor, and listener participation. Faulk, a native Austinite and an accomplished story-teller, had broken into radio with the help of Texas folklorist Alan Lomax. Faulk's radio career ended in 1957, a victim of the Cold War and the blacklisting of the 1950s. AWARE, Incorporated, a for-profit corporation that investigated the political attitudes of entertainers, branded Faulk a Communist. The charge cost him his contract with CBS. He filed suit against AWARE in 1957. On June 28, 1962, the long-drawn-out case ended when a jury awarded Faulk the largest libel judgment in history to that date, $3.5 million. In 1974 CBS broadcast a version of Faulk's book Fear on Trial, which described his battle against AWARE. In later years he toured the country urging university students to be ever vigilant in protecting their constitutional rights. Faulk died in Austin in 1990.

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