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Chris LeDoux

Prior to becoming a successful independent country artist, Chris LeDoux was a rodeo champion known for his bareback-riding skill and made his name in music by writing countless songs about the rodeo life. LeDoux was born in Biloxi, MS, in 1948 and moved around often as a child since his father was in the Air Force. He first tried his hand at rodeo riding in Denison, TX, at age 13 and was soon winning junior competitions. His family moved to Cheyenne, WY, while he was in high school, and he continued to ride; after graduating, he won the Wyoming State Rodeo Championship, which earned him a rodeo scholarship to Caspar College. He also studied the sport at Sheridan and Eastern New Mexico and won the Intercollegiate National Bareback Riding Championship. He turned pro in 1970 and eked out a living on the national rodeo circuit, winning just enough prize money to keep himself going. At the same time, LeDoux began writing songs about the rodeo lifestyle, since no other country performer had yet filled the niche (the way trucker songs became a specialized country subgenre). His first composition was "Bareback Jack," and he soon recorded an album's worth of songs in a friend's basement in 1972. He and his father set up a recording company, American Cowboy Songs, and LeDoux began selling his tapes at rodeo events out of the back of his pickup truck. As this side business became more lucrative, LeDoux started traveling to Nashville for quickie recording sessions rather than relying on local musicians.

LeDoux's hard work on the rodeo circuit paid off when he won the 1976 world bareback riding championship at the National Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City. He remained active until 1980, when small nagging injuries and a desire to be with his family led him to retire. He settled on a ranch in Kaycee, WY, but kept up his songwriting and recording and developed an increasingly large following as well as a reputation for exciting concerts. By 1982, he'd sold over 250,000 copies of his self-released albums, of which he completed 22 by the end of the '80s. LeDoux had long refused to sign a record deal, valuing his independence more, but when rising superstar Garth Brooks name-checked him on the 1989 hit "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)," the attention was too much to resist. LeDoux signed with Capitol subsidiary Liberty and released his national debut, Western Underground, in 1991. The 1992 follow-up, Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy, featured a duet with Brooks on the title track. The single became LeDoux's first (and only) Top Ten country hit, and the album also entered the Top Ten and went gold. Though he hasn't had another single that big, LeDoux recorded steadily for Liberty through the '90s, and all of his albums -- 1993's Under This Old Hat, 1994's Haywire, 1996's Stampede, 1997's Live, and 1998's One Road Man -- made the country Top 40, selling well to LeDoux's extensive fan base. 2000's Cowboy found LeDoux re-recording his earliest compositions, and he subsequently battled a liver illness that threatened his life and required a transplant. He recovered and returned to music with the more personal album After the Storm in 2002. LeDoux released Horsepower in 2004. It would be his last completed album before he died of complications from liver cancer in March of 2005. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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I had just about every album this man had ever made. A true cowboy and artist he was. He did it for the love not for the fame!
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You just can't see him from the road
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alrbutler
I've been a fan since the 80's, what a awesome person. Best concert ever at Billy Bob's. Photo Finish is my fav.
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I LOVE Chris Ledoux!!! I grew up listening to him. I just regret being born after his passing
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I love you Chris!!!!
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Aww how I still love Chris LeDoux
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Yes take me to a rodeo
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I love this song
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Anyone heard Roger Creager, I thought it was Chris singing a song I hadn't heard. I wish he would resurrect some of Chris' songs. Especially ones he recorded on his own but never nationally.
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Riding fences makes his living with his rope
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Thank The Cowboy For The Ride
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Hey Tex
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I love you Chris we made camp I am feeling it
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Under this old hat & look at you girl are two of his best . He loved what he did and loved his family his songs say it all. I really admired him ..
Mark from Pa.
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Good friend makes me stop and think, used talk bareback riding and tires with him waiting on BBQ . Real guy great man.
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charlestoone
Saw him live in St. George, UT, in 2004. He and his band were having a blast on stage. Had twin drummers that were going insane on the drums. Chris will be remembered for a long time to come.
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dscampbell77 2 7
Saw him live in harker heights texas best show ever seen he signed my hat while on stage..... Good times
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I was ten years old when he did I wish I could've seen him live
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Wish I coulda seen him live
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One of the only artists I listen to!! ��
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Seen him at we fest just after his liver transplant. THE best performance ever!!!!!!!
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Love him. To bad he died before I was born. Go Chris! God bless your soul!!!!!!!!
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Took my daughter to see him at Billy Bobs Texas....Get Back on that Pony and Ride got us thru a lot over the years
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You will forever be my favorite country artist! You're songs hold so many memories for me.
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trevino79
Great singer makes me like the rodeo even more
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Sure do miss you!! God bless Chris Ledoux!!!!!
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One of the best country singers in history, love the song "call of the wild"
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I love you chris
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My favorite singer love the real country
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Can't beat this music, or what it's about....
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If yall love this great mans music yall fallow me
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Long live Chris 4ever
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When ole chris died the world was changed

Hey but let's all bang a drum for all of remaining Cowboys and Chris's true fans

This girl s all I've grown up on and I've always loved it

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chelsy_rumpc a
Happy Birthday, Chris!!!
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robertssusan 1 0 1 4
I love this song I used to have all his cds until they got stolen out of my car.
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beverlykeena n 2 0 0 2
I'm from Cody and remember when we didn't have any money and taped our boots to their soles with duct tape. Chris spray painted his taped up boots with metallic gold. The first time I stopped in Kaycee (KC ranch) after the big bronze went up, I teared up. If the hardware store had been open that late, I'd have bought a roll of that thousand mile and hour tape and fixed his boots.
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pzdenek8
I so love Chris, it was for him that I would always travel to the Country Jam outside Fruita. His ending the concert every Sunday night. I miss you so much. Sending best wishes to his wife, Peggy.
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There is nothing like listening to Chris while headed to a rodeo traveling bull riding and listening to Chris that's what's life's all about
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God bless you mr chris
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Love you!
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Hardly a day goes by that I don't think, miss, & love you!!!
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davidaswart
The real deal,songs from the heart,a true cowboy heart & soul,RIP Chris God needed another cow hand in heaven.
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Copenhagen.. . . Y e a h !
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King of the Rodeo
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Miss U! Original Cowboy....ju s t to touch you....U'd be here
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Bang A Drum.....alw a y s will for you Chris! KICK THIS BAD WORLDS A**! REASON 2 BELEIVE!
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Damn, how I miss you!
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ryanhay98
a true cowboy
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bubbafyr
Wish he was alive
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Lv his unique voice, miss you!
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