Thursday, March 10, 2005


He's Still Out There Ridin Fences

Today one of the last singing cowboys passed away in Casper, Wyoming from complications arising from cancer of the bile duct. Singer-songwriter and former rodeo champion Chris LeDoux died in Casper, Wyo., following a lengthy battle with liver ailments. He was 56.

LeDoux was admitted to Wyoming Medical Center in Casper earlier this week after
experiencing complications from his cancer. He and his family lived on a ranch near Kaycee, Wyo.LeDoux underwent a liver transplant in October 2000 after being diagnosed with a rare liver disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis. In November 2004, LeDoux confirmed he had been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a slow-growing cancer of the bile duct.

Born Oct. 2, 1948, in Biloxi, Miss., Chris LeDoux was raised in Austin, Texas. His father was an Air Force pilot who moved the family throughout the U.S. While spending time in Texas and Wyoming, LeDoux gained an interest in music and the rodeo. In 1976, he earned the title of world champion bareback rider from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

LeDoux began dabbling at songwriting while in high school and started recording and releasing his own albums in 1973. With titles such as Old Cowboy Heroes, Rodeo Songs and Wild and Wooly, LeDoux's music was aimed directly at the rodeo and cowboy subculture. Selling the tapes at rodeos, LeDoux built a devoted fan base that would continue to support him for more than three decades.

In 1989, Garth Brooks sang "a worn out of tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women and bad booze.." in his hit song "Much Too Young" propelling him to another level of popularity. He has played such venues as ChiliFest and The Texas Hall of Fame here locally near College Station.

He had performed duets with the likes of Garth Brooks, Charlie Daniels and Jon Bon Jovi.

A rodeo champion, a cowboy,an accomplished sculptor, and a singer. A man among cookie cutter singers.

But he's still out there ridin' fences
Still makes his livin' with his rope
As long as there's a sunset he'll keep ridin' for the brand
You just can't see him from the road
Well he never learned to two step hell he barely learned to walk
But he's worn a lot of leather off the tree
He's had one or two good horses that he counts among his friends
He never drew a breath that wasn't free
Well he's tall in the saddle short on the cash
The last to quit the first to buy the beer
Well he's a knight in leather armor still livin' by the code
That's made him what he's been a hundred years
As long as there's a sunset he'll keep ridin' for the brand
You just can't see him from the road

No comments: