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This week in 1951: A state of emergency was declared in Missouri as floods left 500,000 people homeless; A General Motors Plant in Michigan displayed the LaSabre as "The car of the future"; President Harry Truman warned that Soviets were expanding to open new aggression "at any time"; and production began on a movie which would produce a song that was to be named one of the Top Western Songs Of All Times but never made the country music charts.

There are all kinds and types of "oddities" in all types of business but over the years the music business has proven to have somewhat of an over-abundance of oddities.

Such an oddity is the fact that the soundtrack recording that made the name Tex Ritter (a Murvaul, Texas, cowboy singer who was born Maurice Woodward Ritter in 1905) a household word plus provided a badly needed shot in the arm for the careers of both Ritter and actor Gary Cooper, plus being awarded the 1952 Academy Award for Best Original Song and performed by Ritter on the Academy Awards, never appeared on the country music charts!

Even more odd was despite the fact that of being proclaimed a country song plus being the soundtrack for one of the most popular western movies of its time, the song scored a No. 12 on the pop music charts.

Tex Ritter.
In addition to being awarded the 1952 Academy Award for Best Original Song, "High Noon" was also listed in the top 25 of "AFI's 100 Years 100 Songs" and chosen as one of the top 100 songs of all time by The Western Writers Of America.

Dimitri Tiomkin wrote the music and Ned Washington wrote the lyrics for the song. There were only three instruments used in Ritter's soundtrack recording: a guitar, accordion and Novachord an instrument which created the sound of electronic percussion.

Ritter's recording of "High Noon" was included in his 1958 "Songs From The Western Screen" album and 1961 "Songs Of The Golden West" LP.

Tex Ritter did place 25 songs on the country music charts between 1944 and 1974, including three No. 1s.

He joined The Grand Ole Opry in 1965 and was inducted into The Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1964.

Tex Ritter died in 1974.


Join Doug Davis weekends on KPIG-FM Radio 103.9 and 98.5 from 6 a.m. to noon for "Roots of Country" on Saturdays and "Sunday Country" on Sundays. You can also listen on the internet at and on the My Pig Radio Facebook page.

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