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Whatever Happened To Tex Ritter?

His name was Woodrow Maurice Ritter.  But very few of his millions of his fans called him Woodrow.

Nope. He was Tex.  Tex Ritter.

Born in Murval, Texas the legendary Tex Ritter left an indelible mark, not only on country music, but the acting and cowboy world as well.

He began singing his cowboy songs on radio in the late 1920’s in his home state of Texas.  Shorty thereafter, he moved to New York City and in the 1930’s Tex acted on Broadway, mostly in cowboy roles.  He began his decades long recording career in 1933.

Hollywood wasn’t far behind for this multi-talented man, and he appeared in dozens of movies (westerns, of course) throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s…and even sporadically in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

But for many of us, well, we fell in love with Tex Ritter because of his recordings.  Spoken word or singing, it didn’t matter.  Tex Ritter was an original.  As a matter of fact, did you know Tex was a founding member of the Country Music Association and spearheaded the effort to build the Country Music Hall of Fame?

One of Tex’s best remembered classic’s sends a powerful message, called ‘Deck Of Cards’.


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Gee, was Tex Ritter successful at everything he did? Well, no.  In 1970 Tex ran in the Republican Senate primary in Tennessee.  He was defeated overwhelmingly.  Politics, apparently, didn’t agree with Tex (or at least the voters didn’t).

On the personal side, Tex was married to Dorothy from 1941 until his death.  And of course, Tex and Dorothy left a famous ‘legacy’ as well, being the parents of actor, the late John Ritter, and Grandparents of Jason Ritter (John’s son).

Tex passed away from a heart attack 10 days shy of his 69th birthday in 1974.

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