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, 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 decided to pursue his music career out West, playing the Nevada circuit. During that time, he became friends with Colin Ray, who was pursuing the same career. In addition to his work on the circuit, John has recorded sessions with Anita Pointer of the Pointer Sisters and Sony Music VP Paul Worley.
After 11 years as a successful Nevada entertainer, John decided to stop entertaining and move 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. The success of that show allowed John to hook up with Ken Cooper to form “Cooper and Ritter,” which ran as a very successful morning show on the legendary Q105 for six years.
Rise Up eventually moved to Tampa’s Award Winning WQYK, 99.5, where it was re-titled to “Rise Up Country” and distributed nationally. Rise Up Country can now be heard on over 150 great radio stations across America.
Rise Up Country’s mission statement is to tell people not to give up, that God loves them, and there is hope. John likes to say it’s where we get our weekly dose of inspiration and a message of 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. John knows how precious family can be. He and his wife almost lost their son, Johnny, to a violent attack, so they’ve learned to appreciate every moment with their children and the power of prayer.
In addition to hosting the Rise Up Country 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 radio show, “Beautiful Downtown Lutz,” and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fight Song, “Hey, Hey, Hey, We’re the Buccaneers.”
Each month, John spends some time in Nashville, writing songs with artists and other songwriters. He has songs recorded by Craig Morgan, Aaron Tippin, Tracy Lawrence, Tenille Arts, and Ray Stevens.