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Tex Ritter (January 12, 1905 – January 2, 1974) was an American country singer and actor.
He was born Maurice Woodward Ritter in Murvaul, Texas, the son of James Everett Ritter and Martha Elizabeth Matthews.
He grew up on his family's farm in Panola County and attended grade school in Carthage. He then attended South Park High School in Beaumont. After graduating with honors, he entered the University of Texas at Austin; he studied pre-law, majored in government, political science and economics.
Ritter, one of the early pioneers of country music, soon became interested in show business. In 1928, he sang on KPRC Radio in Houston, a thirty minute show featuring cowboy songs. In that same year, he moved to New York City and quickly landed a job in the men's chorus of the Broadway show The New Moon (1928).
He appeared as "The Cowboy" in the Broadway production Green Grow the Lilacs (1930), which was the basis for the later musical Oklahoma!. He also played the part of Sagebrush Charlie in The Round Up (1932) and Mother Lode (1934).