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Chris LeDoux dies

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rancher

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Chris LeDoux, a world champion bareback rider who parlayed songs about cowboys he knew on the rodeo circuit into a successful recording career, died Wednesday from complications of liver cancer, according to his record company.

LeDoux was 56.

LeDoux, who also was a sculptor, died Wednesday morning in Casper, according to Judy McDonough, spokeswoman for Capitol Nashville, LeDoux's recording company.


He had checked into Wyoming Medical Center earlier this week following complications from cancer of the bile duct and was with family and friends at the time of his death.

"All of us at Capitol Records and EMI Music are saddened at the passing of Chris," Capitol Nashville President and CEO Mike Dungan said.

"In a world of egos and soundalikes, 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. Our thoughts go out to his wife Peggy and the LeDoux family."

LeDoux, known little outside the rodeo world until country superstar Garth Brooks paid tribute to him in a song, described his music as a combination of "Western soul, sagebrush blues, cowboy folk and rodeo rock 'n' roll."

He and Brooks teamed up for the Top 10 hit, "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy," in 1992.

In November 2004, LeDoux canceled several tour dates, including an appearance at the National Finals Rodeo, while undergoing cancer treatment. He had undergone a liver transplant in 2000 after a lengthy illness.

LeDoux was born Oct. 2, 1948, in Biloxi, Miss., and raised in Austin, Texas.

His grandfather encouraged him to ride horses on his Wyoming farm, and LeDoux, who would graduate from high school in Cheyenne, twice won the state's high school bareback title.

In 1976, he became the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's world bareback champion.

LeDoux had been playing guitar and harmonica and writing songs since his teens, and he used his musical skills to help pay his rodeo entry fees.

His songs often focused on cowboys, the ups and downs of the rodeo circuit and his adopted home of Wyoming. He had lived on a ranch near Kaycee, about 60 miles north of Casper, for decades.

By 1989, LeDoux had released 22 albums, mostly cassettes produced by his parents, which he sold at concerts and rodeos. He had a loyal, if limited, fan base.

That year, Brooks scored a hit with "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)," which included the line: "A worn-out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women and bad booze/seem to be the only friends I've left at all."

The song came at a time when LeDoux's career was sputtering with an independent label and no marketing.

"And here he comes along and mentions the worn-out tapes in his song," LeDoux said of Brooks in an interview with The Associated Press in 2001. "To me, Garth, he's kind of like my guardian angel. It's like every time I need some help, he's there."

LeDoux eventually signed with Brooks' record label, Capitol.

In 2003, he released the album "Horsepower" and celebrated career sales of more than 5 million albums.
 
A

Anonymous

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Tell me it's not so rancher.


I have some of his tapes that I have played so much that they should be wore out by now. When I went to school for a while in Wyoming, I went to the first "concert" that he said he ever put on without dancing with it. He was very nervous, but did an outstanding job.

I will miss him.
 
A

Anonymous

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the real jake said:
Tell me it's not so rancher.


I have some of his tapes that I have played so much that they should be wore out by now. When I went to school for a while in Wyoming, I went to the first "concert" that he said he ever put on without dancing with it. He was very nervous, but did an outstanding job.

I will miss him.


I met him back when he was a bareback rider that could sing --- Met him first time in a Regina motel suite that Meyer rodeo and Labatts beer used to sponsor for the cowboys after the rodeo... I didn't know who he was- girls were all trying to get him to sing-- but he pulled out the guitar and I never forgot that night--sang a lot of good oldies and ranch and rodeo songs- sang until the sun was coming up... I ended up at several of his "private concerts" for the cowboys after that....Definitely a loss to the cowboy world.......
 

Buckskin

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I am going to miss this great person. I got the opportunity to visit person to person with him. I will remember that moment the rest of my life. This is a great loss to all of us. One thing I know is that he is watching us from above. :( :( :(
 

EJ

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Saw him in concert about 15 yrs ago. Whetstone battlefield, Forbes N Dak. Talk about energy, he`ll be missed grately.
 

Liberty Belle

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Chris was one of us. That old song of his called Reride.... my husband and his brother, both old stove-up bronc riders, would listen to that song, laugh till they cried, and then start with the "Remember the time....

He will be greatly missed in this little corner of the world.
 

PPRM

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Chris was a spokesman for Powder River Livestok Equipment. Some Powder River people describe him, always a class guy. Used to listen to a lot of his stuff in the early eighties. World was a better place because he was a part of it,
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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This was sure a shock to read this news about the best true cowboy song singer of all time. I think I damn near have every song he has ever recorded and I listen to it all the time. Used to enjoy listening to him while I was on my own journeys up and down the rodeo trail. My favorite song of his was "Western Skies, and 8 second ride" Provided for some good music to keep a guy a wake on som eof those long drives home. A true loss! Our condolenses go out to his family! :cry2:
 

katrina

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Sad, Sad, Day......My favorite songs, Strawberry Roan and Copenhagen Cowgirl..... :(

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What is RSS? | All RSS Feeds Bareback Riding Champion, Country Musician Chris LeDoux
Associated Press
Thursday, March 10, 2005; Page B07


Chris LeDoux, 56, a world champion bareback rider who parlayed songs about cowboys he knew on the rodeo circuit into a successful country music career, died March 9 in Casper, Wyo., from complications of liver cancer.

Mr. LeDoux, known little outside the rodeo circuit until country star Garth Brooks paid tribute to him in a song, described his music as a combination of "Western soul, sagebrush blues, cowboy folk and rodeo rock-and-roll."


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He and Brooks teamed up for the Top 10 hit "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy" in 1992.

"In a world of egos and sound-alikes, he was a unique artist and a wonderful man," said Mike Dungan, Capitol Nashville president and chief executive.

In November, Mr. LeDoux canceled several tour dates while undergoing treatment for cancer of the bile duct. He had undergone a liver transplant in 2000.

Mr. LeDoux (pronounced luh-DOO) had been playing guitar and harmonica and writing songs since he was a teenager, and he used his musical skills to help pay for his rodeo entry fees.

He recorded songs about cowboys, the ups and downs of the rodeo circuit and his adopted home of Wyoming. In 1976, he was the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's world bareback riding champion.

By 1989, Mr. LeDoux had released 22 albums. They were mostly cassettes produced by his parents, which he sold at concerts and rodeos. He had a loyal, if limited, fan base.

But that all changed that year when Brooks had a hit with "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)," which included the line: "A worn-out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women and bad booze/seem to be the only friends I've left at all."

The song came at a time when Mr. LeDoux's career was sputtering with an independent label and no marketing.

"And here he comes along and mentions the worn-out tapes in his song," Mr. LeDoux said of Brooks in a 2001 interview with the Associated Press. "To me, Garth, he's kind of like my guardian angel. It's like every time I need some help, he's there."

Mr. LeDoux eventually signed with Brooks's record label, Capitol.

In 2003, he released the album "Horsepower" and celebrated career sales of more than 5 million albums.
 

graybull

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Didn't think I would ever post on this forum again..........disagree with the direction it has taken..........never the less........just felt the need to write a few words.

Sure hated to read the paper this morning.

As any of you who knew him........can vouch for...........Chris was one of the best......of course he is buy far my favorite singer........but more than that he was a friend and a tremendous human being.

Many years ago.........he put on a special charity concert for my good friend who had a little girl with a rare genetic disease........donated the proceeds and tried to not even get any publicity......just the kind of guy he was.

Wyoming has lost one of its best...........
 

graybull

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Forgot to say............best song ever was........

Under this old hat

Also his best album
 

montana cowgurl

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absolutely love all his songs! too bad he's gone now. I should have gone to his concert when he came to town last year. :cry:
 

Chuckie

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"under this old hat"...the kids and i saw chris in iowa, oh, probably 6 yrs ago at a rodeo. he and ian tyson are the top 2 REAL cowboy singers in my personal book, and, i'm proud to say, the kid's also.

ian tyson's "all the good 'uns" is the top cd in my house and car, as far as playing time. i wonder if he and chris ever even met? wouldn't THAT be a collaboration?! AWESOME...
 

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