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Tex Ritter

O’Neal, Bill.
Tex Ritter, America’s Most Beloved Cowboy.
Austin: Eakin Press, 1998. Later printing. 157 pages.
Pictorial stiff wrappers in FINE condition. $22

Tex Ritter was born and raised in Panola County, Texas. He graduated high school in Carthage before attending the University of Texas in Austin where he was a member of the Glee Club. While in Austin, he met, among others, the great collector of cowboy music, John A. Lomax. Lomax encouraged Ritter to build his own collection of cowboy songs. While on a research trip with Texas author and folklorist, J. Frank Dobie, he collected the folk song, “Rye Whiskey”. It became his first hit and a permanent part of his performance repertoire. From Austin, Ritter headed to New York where he found work on Broadway and the radio. He eventually made his way to Hollywood where he enjoyed great success, as a singer, certainly but also as an actor. He consistently ranked in the top 10 cowboy stars. And even though Ritter did not act in High Noon, his rendition of “Do Not Forsake Me” was the only thing on the soundtrack and helped the movie achieve the success it did. Ritter died in 1974. He was 69.