Tex Ritter (12 January 1905 – January 2, 1974) was an American country music singer and actor from the middle of the 1930s to 1960s, father of actor John Ritter, and member of the Museum and Hall of Fame of country.
His real name was Maurice Woodward Ritter, and was born in Murvaul, Texas. His parents were James Everett Ritter and Martha Elizabeth Matthews. Grew up on the farm of his family to Panola County, Texas, and studied in Carthage, Texas, and in the South Park High School in Beaumont, Texas. After graduating with honors, entered the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied a preparatory acts, specializing in Government, political science and economics.
Radio and Broadway
Pioneer country, Ritter soon became interested in the world of entertainment. In 1928 he sang in KPRC (AM) of Houston, Texas, on a programme of 30 minutes with cowboy songs. That same year he moved to the city of New York where he got work in the Broadway play male choir show The New Moon (1928). Also acted as the cowboy in the Broadway production Green Grow the Lilacs (1930), basis for the later musical Oklahoma!. He also worked in The Round Up (1932) and Mother Lode (1934) works.
1932 Appeared in New York in first western broadcast, The Lone Star Rangers, on radio station WOR, singing and telling stories of the old West. In 1933 Ritter wrote and starred in the chain WINS child agenda Cowboy Tom’s Roundup. Also worked on the radio show WHN Barndance, and sang in the NBC radio programs. He also appeared in various radio dramas, like Bobby Benson’s Adventures on the Columbia Broadcasting System, as well as television production of retransmission Death Valley Days.
Ritter began recording for American Record Company (Columbia Records) in 1933. Their first album was “Goodbye Ole Paint.” He also recorded “Rye Whiskey” for the same label. In 1935 she signed with Decca Records label that made his first original recordings, “Sam Hall” and “Get Along Little Dogie.” Total recorded 29 songs for Decca, the last in 1939 in Los Angeles, California, as part of TeX Ritter and His Texans.
Ritter in 1936 he moved to Los Angeles. His film debut came with Song Of The Gringo (1936), for Grand National Pictures. Starred in twelve westerns of serie B for Grand National, including Headin’ For The Rio Grande (1936) and Trouble In Texas (1937), along with Rita Hayworth (then known as actress Rita).
After working in Utah Trail (1938), Ritter left Grand National, since the company was going through financial difficulties. Between 1938 and 1945 he worked in over 40 movies as “singing cowboy”. Shot four films alongside actress Dorothy Fay in the Monogram Pictures producer: Song of the Buckaroo (1938), Sundown on the Prairie (1939), Rollin’ Westward (1939) and Rainbow Over the Range (1940).
Ritter then Universal Pictures and worked with Johnny Mack Brown in films such as Raiders of San Joaquin (1943), Cheyenne Roundup (1943), The Lone Star Trail (1943), The Old Chisholm Trail (1942). He also starred in Arizona Trail (1943), Marshal of Gunsmoke (1944) and Oklahoma Raiders (1944).
Having universal financial problems, Ritter became Producers Releasing Corporation, playing “Texas Ranger TeX Haines” in eight films between 1944 and 1945. Ritter not returned to acting until 1950, with supporting roles or playing himself.
Ritter’s recording career was their most successful period. It was the first artist to sign with the newly formed Capitol Records and his first western singer. His first recording took place on June 11, 1942.
In 1944 he stressed his track “I m Wastin’ My Tears On You,” which reached # 1 on the country charts and eleven of the pop. “There’s A New Moon Over My Shoulder” got the number two country and 21 pop. In 1945 three songs were the most voted by the public in a survey of Billboard magazine. Between 1945 and 1946 won seven consecutive successes reached the top five, including “You Two Timed Me One Time Too Often,” (number one) written by Jenny Lou Carson, which stood eleven weeks in the charts. In 1948, “Rye Whiskey” and his version of “The Deck of Cards” reached the top ten, and “Pecos Bill” was number 15. In 1950 the topic was a success “Daddy’s Last Letter (Private First Class John H. McCormick)”.
Ritter toured Europe in 1952, performing among other shows in the Texas Western Spectacle in Harringay Arena in London. That same year Ritter recorded the theme song for the film “High Noon”, “Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin”, which became a hit. The sang the theme in the first televised Academy Awards ceremony in 1953, receiving the same Academy Award for best original song of the year.
In 1953 he began acting at the Town Hall Party program for radio and television in Los Angeles. In 1957 was one of the presenters of Town_Hall_Party, a version of the show. Debuted in television nationwide in the ABC program Ozark Jubilee, and was one of the five presenters its spin-off for NBC in 1961, Five Star Jubilee.
Created Vidor Publications, Inc., a music editor along with Johnny Bond in 1955. The song “Remember the Alamo” was the first catalog. In 1957 released their first album, Songs From the Western Screen. In 1961 six years earlier by Eddie Dean also launched the edited “I Dreamed Of A Hill-Billy Heaven,” success.
Yet already passed the peak of his career, to Ritter recognizing you his contribution to music country and his artistic versatility. It was one of the founding of the Country Music Association in Nashville, Tennessee, and spearhead members in the effort to build the Museum and Hall of Fame of country. In 1964 he was the fifth person and the first cowboy singer on admission to the Museum.
He moved to Nashville in 1965 and started working for the radio station WSM (AM) and the Grand Ole Opry, program was appointed a life member of the same. His family temporarily stayed in California that John finished high school there. During this period Ritter presented alongside the disc jockey Ralph Emery country night radio program. In 1967 his single “Just Beyond the Moon”, with lyrics by Jeremy Slate, reached number three in the country list.
Campaign for the Senate
In 1970 Ritter surprised many people enter the Republican Party of the United States and compete in the primary for the United States Senate. Despite his fame, lost overwhelmingly to Bill Brock, who subsequently defeated Senator Albert Gore, Sr. in the general election.
Ritter was married to actress Dorothy Fay on June 14, 1941. The marriage lasted until the death of the singer. They had two sons, Thomas Ritter and actor John Ritter. He was the grandfather of Jason Ritter. Helped to establish the United Cerebral Palsy Association announced that Thomas was suffering from cerebral palsy. Ritter and his sons devoted great efforts to raise funds and public attention in order to combat the disease.
Ritter tomb tombstone
Ritter made his last recording for Capitol Records in 1973. His last song, “The Americans,” was a posthumous success. In 1974 he suffered an acute myocardial infarction myocardial and died in Nashville. He was buried in the Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches, Texas.
For his contribution to the recording industry, Ritter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6631 Hollywood Boulevard. In 1980 he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.