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Jan. 2: Stage actor-turned-Western film star Tex Ritter had been recording for about 10 years when, in 1942, he became the first country artist to sign with Johnny Mercer’s new Capitol Records. He hit his stride two years later when one side of his fourth Capitol single topped the Billboard country chart, while the other stalled at No. 2. I happen to like “There’s A New Moon Over My Shoulder” better than “I’m Wasting My Tears On You,” so today we listen to the lesser hit. Blogger’s choice.

Tex Ritter was, of course, the father of the late actor John Ritter. But that’s hardly the extent of his impact on entertainment, from Broadway to Hollywood, from music to television, from WSM Radio and the Grand Ole Opry to leadership in the Country Music Association and a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. He died of a heart attack on Jan. 2, 1974. Learn more about his career on his Allmusic.com profile page. and check out this appreciation from the  Geezer Music Club blog.

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