redstar2"We were very fortunate in the early years to have leadership that set us on the right path and gave us a strong foundation."

             -Chamber President
                  Tommie Ritter Smith

Panola County Chamber of Commerce
300 W. Panola Street
Carthage, TX 75633

FAX 903.693.8578
Hours of Operation:
M-Th  8:00 - 4:30 PM
F 8:00 - 4:00 PM

Chamber News

  • showcase logoAuditions for the John Ritter Tribute Showcase were held Saturday, June 29, 2019 at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Thirty (30) contestants were chosen to compete at the finals on Friday, August 9, 2019, at the Carthage Civic Center in Carthage, Texas. The winner will represent the TCMHOF at various concerts and special events and also receive a prize package which includes $1000. For details, click here    

    2019 Showcase Winners

    Bailey Rae from Roberta, Oklahoma
       Sang "Always on my Mind" by Willie Nelson

    1st Runner-Up
       Zac Clifton from East Bernard, Texas
       Sang "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me" by Ray Price

    2nd Runner-Up
       Adri Anna from Argyle, Texas
       Sang "Sweet Music Man" by Waylon Jennings

    3rd Runner-Up
       Caitlin Drennan from Gilmer, Texas
       Sang "Together Again" by Buck Owens

    Fan Favorite
       Chase Dawson from Gary, Texas
       Sang "Help Me Make it Through the Night" by Kris Kristofferson

  • TCMHOFTCMHOF 2019 Inductees Announced

    The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame announced the 2019 inductees:  Jeannie C. Riley, Claude Gray and Rodney Crowell. The induction ceremony was Saturday, August 10 at the Carthage Civic Center. For more information, 
  • Awards Winners Named for 73rd Annual Chamber Banquet

    The Panola County Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 73rd year with a banquet held on Thursday, February 14th, 2019 at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame/Tex Ritter Museum. Awards presented were:

    Citizen of the Year - Tommie Ritter Smith
    Employee of the Year - Cindy Deloney
    Main Street Shining Star Award - Kerri Vance
    Main Street Rising Star Award - Peyton Jones
    Arthur Johnson Ambassador of the Year Award - Jean Thomas
    Chairman's Award - Tonya Cooke

    Employee of the Year award was sponsored by KGAS Radio, and Citizen of the Year award was sponsored by the Panola Watchman.

    r gatlinEntertainment was provided by special guest Rudy Gatlin of the Grammy Award winning trio The Gatlin Brothers. Rudy, along with his brothers Larry and Steve, were inducted in to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. The trio have recorded many hits including “Broken Lady,” which earned them a Grammy for Best Country Song, and “All the Gold in California,” which earned them an Academy of Country Music Award for Single of the Year. In addition to singing and touring with The Gatlin Brothers, Rudy has starred in the Broadway musicals “Oklahoma” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” Rudy is an avid golfer and enjoys being involved in several charity golf events around the country.

  • paradeThe 72nd Annual Panola County Christmas Parade

    Float Entry Winners:

    President’s Award……………………East Texas Consolidated Supply
    Director’s Award....................…. David's Auto Repair
    Ambassador’s Award.....................Central Baptist Church

  • roundup info 18 smKGAS Radio is hosting the "Tex Ritter Round-Up" with book signing featuring guest authors, live music by the Southern Impact Band, free museum tours, special guests, autographs. KGAS is sponsoring the County Music Showdown, a music competition with a top prize of $500. Rules and entry forms may be picked up at KGAS Radio, online at, or on the day of the event at the TCMHOF. 
  • The 72nd Annual Chamber of Commerce Membership & Awards Banquet

    February 8, 2018

    Congratulations to Award Winners

    Citizen of the Year - Pat Smith
    Employees of the Year - Panola County Sheriff's Deputies-
    Chris Dickerson, Travis Curry, Calahan Malone

    Ambassador of the Year - Renee Nolan
    Chairman's Award - Kevin & Kristy Whitsett
    Main Street Shining Star - Tresa Joffrion

    Entertainment for the evening was provided by
    Tiff Taylor and Johnny Counterfeit

  • TCMHOF AdditionCome visit the new expansion of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Tex Ritter Museum
  • nealGroundbreaking ceremonies were held March 19 for the new expansion project of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Special guest Neal McCoy attended the ceremonies.
  • Check out the latest Chamber events

Jim Reeves Memorial

Jim Reeves"Gentleman" Jim Reeves, famous for his velvet voice, died in a plane crash on July 31, 1964. A life-sized sculpture of the famous singer marks his grave on a one-acre, tree-covered plot of ground three miles east of Carthage on U.S. Highway 79. Thousands of visitors from every state and many foreign countries have visited the site.

In 1967, his favorite dog Cheyenne was buried inside the concrete circle surrounding the grave of his former master just a few feet to one side and to the rear, in just about the same position Cheyenne would have assumed in following his master.

Reeves was born James Travis Reeves in Galloway, Texas, a small rural community near Carthage, Texas. He became known as a crooner because of his warm, velvety His songs were remarkable for their simple elegance highlighted by his rich light baritone voice. Songs such as "He'll Have to Go," "Adios Amigo," "Welcome To My World," and "Am I Losing You" demonstrated this approach. Jim Reeves' Christmas songs have been perennial favorites, including songs such as "Silver Bells," "Blue Christmas," and "An Old Christmas Card."

For many years, Reeves mixed college life with baseball and music. Influenced by such Western swing artists as Jimmie Rodgers and Moon Mullican, as well as popular crooners Bing Crosby, Eddy Arnold and Frank Sinatra, it was not long before he got a foothold into the music industry. For a time, he was a member of Moon Mullican's band and also worked as a DJ and announcer with local radio stations. He made some early, Moon Mullican-style recordings like "Each Beat of my Heart" and "My Heart's Like a Welcome Mat" in the late 1940s/early 1950s.

After an injury cut short his minor-league baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals' farm system, his musical break came while working as announcer on KWKH Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Singer Sleepy LaBeef could not make it on time for a performance on the Louisiana Hayride, according to former Hayride emcee Frank Page, and Reeves was asked to fill in. (Other accounts—including Reeves himself, in an interview later released on the RCA album "Yours Sincerely"—name Hank Williams as the absentee.) Reeves' singing career was launched.


potlatch logo
October 12, 2019

John Ritter Tribute Showcase