1948 - 2005
Chris LeDoux had been playing guitar and harmonica and writing songs since his teens, and he used his music to help pay for his rodeo entry fees. He'd sing and record songs about Rodeo life and the cowboys who lived it. By 1989, he had released 22 albums. They were mostly cassettes produced by his parents, which he sold at concerts and rodeos, sometimes out of the back of a pickup truck.
Then came one little lyric, in a not so little song "A worn-out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women and bad booze/seem to be the only friends I've left at all.". That reference in Garth Brooks "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" turned everything around, and Chris went from having a small loyal fan base, to becoming recognized worldwide.
In 2003, he released his 36th album, "Horsepower," and celebrated career sales of more than 5 million albums.
"All of us at Capitol Records and EMI Music are saddened at the passing of Chris," said Capitol Nashville President and CEO Mike Dungan. "In a world of egos and sound-alikes, he was a unique artist and a wonderful man. We have always been proud to represent his music, and honored to call him our friend."
Bruce Ford, a five-time world champion bareback rider who traveled with LeDoux to rodeos said "Gen-u-ine. He was the real thing," "There was nothin' phony about Chris. He was a great guy."
A true cowboy, gone at age 56.
© 2005 Eddie Bear Productions