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Charles L. Hughes

singer and songwriter, was born Joseph Arrington Jr. in Rogers, Texas. Arrington, a gifted singer from his youth, performed around his hometown for tips, and, as a high-school junior, he won amateur talent shows in Houston and at New York City's legendary Apollo Theater. After graduating from high school in 1951, Arrington, whose stage surname honored his home state and the white singing cowboy Tex Ritter, moved to New York, where he began touring the theater circuit that included the Apollo and Washington, D.C.'s Howard Theatre. He signed to King in 1954 Records, then riding the early success of Tex's idol, James Brown. (Tex's and Brown's respective stage shows bore an energetic similarity.) While Tex scored a few minor hits during his King tenure (including Coasters-style novelties like “Charlie Brown Got Expelled”), he achieved his first real success in 1961, after meeting Buddy Killen ...