John Ritter has been directly involved in the music business since he was a young child. At eight years old, and before ever having a voice lesson, he was singing in church and talent contests. His natural-born musical ability continued to improve during high school (he is a graduate of Northeast High School in Saint Petersburg, Florida) where he played the bass guitar and sang with several local bands. After attending Saint Petersburg Junior College, he received his Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from the University of South Florida.
In 1980, after taking a vacation to Lake Tahoe, John made the decision to pursue his career out West. Together, John and Colin Ray cut their teeth in the music business playing the Nevada circuit. (He and Colin are still good friends to this day.) In addition to his work on the circuit, John has recorded with the Warner Brothers and RCA labels, with Co-producer Anita Pointer of the Poniter Sisters and Sony Music VP Paul Wurley.
After 11 years as a successful Nevada entertainer, John decided to stop entertaining and moved back to Florida with his wife, Bobbie, and their two children, Lindsey and Johnny. He built a 24-track recording facility and began the positive country music show Rise Up, which can be heard from Anchorage, Alaska to Fort Myers, Florida. The success of that show allowed John to hook up with veteran Ken Cooper to form “Cooper & Ritter,” which ran as the morning show on the legendary Q105 for six years. Rise Up then moved to the CMA #1 Country Station in the U.S.A., WQYK, 99.5.
Rise Up’s mission statement is to tell people not to give up, that God loves them and there is hope. John wants to see families stay together; and as a proud dad, one of the most important messages he hopes to convey is to love your children. He knows how precious family can be. When John was nine years old, and after one year of home schooling and no running for health reasons, he was given two weeks to live. He had a disease called Histoplasmosis which causes a deterioration of the lungs. His X-rays at the Green Springs Tuberculosis Sanitarium showed massive amounts of scar tissue criss-crossing his lungs.
John’s parent’s faith took them to a shrine in Carey, Ohio, where they met a monk who told them of Saint Philamino, who had died from that disease. The monk gave John a thin rope belt to wear around his waist and instructions for praying for healing. When John returned to the Sanitarium for further X-rays and blood tests, the disease was completely healed. For John, prayer is a life changing experience!
In addition to hosting the Rise Up show and running his production studio, John has also continued to pursue his writing abilities and has several songs to his name, including the theme songs for the Q-Morning Zoo, “Beautiful Downtown Lutz,” and the Tampa Bay Buccaneer Fight Song, “Hey, Hey, Hey, We’re the Buccaneers.” Each month he spends some time in Nashville where he is writing songs with artists and other song writers.
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