Tex Ritter

Country Musician

Woodward Maurice Ritter, better known as Tex Ritter, was an American country music singer and movie actor popular from the mid-1930s into the 1960s, and the patriarch of the Ritter family in acting. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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1905 Birth Born on January 12, 1905.


1928 23 Years Old An early pioneer of country music, Ritter soon became interested in show business. In 1928, he sang on KPRC-AM in Houston, a 30-minute program of mostly cowboy songs. … Read More
1932 27 Years Old In 1932, he starred in New York City's first broadcast Western, The Lone Star Rangers on WOR-AM, where he sang and told tales of the Old West.
1933 28 Years Old 1 More Event
Ritter wrote and starred in Cowboy Tom's Roundup on WINS-AM in 1933, a daily children's cowboy program aired over two other East Coast stations for three years. … Read More


1935 30 Years Old In 1935, he signed with Decca Records, where he recorded his first original recordings, "Sam Hall" and "Whoopie Ti Yi Yo". … Read More
1936 31 Years Old In 1936, Ritter moved to Los Angeles. … Read More
1938 33 Years Old Between 1938 and 1945, he starred in around forty "singing cowboy" movies. … Read More
1941 36 Years Old Ritter was married to actress Dorothy Fay on June 14, 1941, until his death. … Read More
1942 37 Years Old Ritter's recording career was his most successful period. He was the first artist signed with the newly formed Capitol Records as well as its first Western singer. His first recording session was on June 11, 1942.
1944 39 Years Old In 1944, he scored a hit with "I'm Wastin' My Tears on You", which hit No. 1 on the country chart and eleven on the pop chart. "There's a New Moon Over My Shoulder" was a country chart No. 2 and pop chart No. 21.


1945 40 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1945, he had the No. 1, 2, and 3 songs on Billboard's Most Played Jukebox Folk Records poll, a first in the industry.
1948 43 Years Old In 1948, "Rye Whiskey" and his cover of "The Deck of Cards" both made the top ten and "Pecos Bill" reached No. 15. … Read More
1952 47 Years Old Ritter first toured Europe in 1952, where his appearances included a starring role in the Texas Western Spectacle at London's Harringay Arena. … Read More
1953 48 Years Old 1 More Event
At the first televised Academy Awards ceremony in 1953, he sang "High Noon", which received an Oscar for Best Song that year.


1955 50 Years Old 1 More Event
He made his national TV debut in 1955 on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee and was one of five rotating hosts for its 1961 NBC-TV spin-off, Five Star Jubilee.
1957 52 Years Old In 1957, he released his first album, Songs From the Western Screen. … Read More
1961 56 Years Old In 1961, he hit the charts with "I Dreamed Of A Hill-Billy Heaven," which had actually been released six years earlier by Eddie Dean. … Read More
1964 59 Years Old In 1964, he became the fifth inductee and first singing cowboy to be honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame.


1965 - 1966 2 More Events
1967 62 Years Old Ritter's 1967 single "Just Beyond The Moon" with lyrics by Jeremy Slate hit No. 3 on the country chart.
1970 65 Years Old In 1970, Ritter surprised many people by entering Tennessee's Republican primary election for United States Senate. … Read More
1974 69 Years Old In 1974, he had a heart attack and died in Nashville, Tennessee ten days before his 69th birthday. … Read More
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