Ritter, Tex

Ritter, Tex (Woodward Maurice Ritter), 1905–74, American country singer, b. Murvaul, Tex. He moved (1930) to New York, where he performed in musicals and on the radio. Settling (1936) in California, he became one of Hollywood's best-known singing cowboys, starring in more than 70 low-budget Westerns in the late 1930s and the 1940s. He began recording albums in 1942, started to perform on television in the early 1950s, and, coming to Nashville in 1965, made regular appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. Among Ritter's best-known songs are the Oscar-winning theme for the movie High Noon (1952) and “Hillbilly Heaven” (1961). A key figure in the creation of the Country Music Hall of Fame, he was inducted into it in 1964.

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