Ritter, Tex [Woodward Maurice ]
- Douglas B. Green
[Woodward Maurice ]
(b Panola County, TX, Jan 12, 1905; d Nashville, TN, Jan 2, 1974). American cowboy singer and actor. Bright and musical, Ritter worked his way through the University of Texas while performing as a radio singer of cowboy songs in the 1920s. In Austin, he was mentored by folklorists J. Frank Dobie, Oscar J. Fox, and John Lomax, who fueled Ritter’s passion for traditional cowboy folk songs. While attending law school at the University of Texas, he ran off with a touring New York production. When that show closed, he remained in New York, where he quickly developed a fine career on Broadway, most notably in his role as Curly in Green Grow the Lilacs (1930–31). He also began recording as early as 1928, but had nothing released until the early 1930s. He became popular on radio as a singer and actor on several shows (where he acquired the nickname Tex), and as a co-host of the ...