Texas Country Music Hall of Fame
The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, formerly the Tex Ritter Museum, located in Carthage in Panola County in East Texas, honors those who have made outstanding contributions to country music and were born in the state of Texas. This includes singers, songwriters, disc jockeys, and others.
A museum, a large multipurpose room, and a gift shop comprise the major areas of interest within the facility. The multipurpose room can be configured to serve as a lecture hall or a dining room. It is covered with impressive photographs from local and regional history. The museum contains information panels that cover each inductee's career and accomplishments through text, photographs, and various artifacts.
In the center of the exhibit area, a replica of a 1930s theater marquee reminds visitors of the role of country music in film. A juke box nearby allows visitors to select the country songs that they wish to hear played while touring the museum.
The marquee serves as the entrance to the Tex Ritter Museum. A native of Panola County, Ritter was one of the first singers inducted into the hall of fame when it was established in 1998. It also has an exhibit on Ritter's son, John Ritter.
Mickey Gilley, a native of Ferriday, Louisiana, and Moe Bandy, originally from Meridian, Mississippi, though not born in Texas, have subsequently had a long association with the state, Gilley with Houston and Bandy with San Antonio. On August 12, 2017, Kenny Rogers, a Houston native who became one of the most successful performers in country music history in a career spanning nearly 60 years, was inducted into The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Plans are underway to double the size of the hall of fame in the area immediately to the rear of the building.
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