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March 9, 2005
In Loving Memory of
Chris LeDoux
We will miss you.  You were one of country music's greats!  
My friend and country singer (and producer),
J. Marc Bailey, always talked about how incredibly nice and down to earth Chris LeDoux was.  I had
looked forward to meeting him someday.... guess I'll have to wait longer than planned.  My deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.  
He was so young.
(P.S.  Ask Marc about carving pumpkins with Chris LeDoux.)
Visit the
official music
web site of
Chris LeDoux
The Measure Of A Man
(A Tribute To Chris LeDoux)

How do you measure the life of a man,
is it just by the height of success,
or is it, at last, the number of lives
his love and devotion have blessed.

At wild bronco riding he rose to the top,
world champion, a rodeo star,
then with a talent from heaven it seemed,
came fame from his voice and guitar.

From a life that was showered with honors,
his name became known 'cross the land,
but the title he wanted remembered,
was that of a "Family Man."

The years we are granted are unknown,
and sometimes are sadly but few,
so a man lives each day to the fullest,
while doin' the best he can do.

He decided the path he would follow,
and held to that choice throughout life:
the greatest reward beyond all of the fame,
the love of his children and wife.

His legacy we will remember with pride,
for he rose 'bout as high as you can,
but greater by far is the lesson he left,
well taught by a "Family Man."

How do you measure the life of a man,
is it just by the height of success,
or is it, at last, the number of lives
his love and devotion have blessed.

Rod Nichols
(c) 2005
Country music star Chris LeDoux dies at 56
By Ed Will
The Denver Post
Country music star Chris LeDoux, who had more influence on modern country than even his legions of
hard-core fans would reflect, died Wednesday in Casper, Wyo. He was 56.
"Nobody created as much excitement as Chris LeDoux," said Kathy Repola, co-owner of Denver's Grizzly
Rose. "He always sold out, and there was electricity in the air the day he was going to come."
LeDoux had been undergoing treatment since being diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct late last year.
He had undergone a liver transplant in 2000.
The singer checked into Casper Medical Center early this week, where he died surrounded by family and
friends, his record label, Capitol Nashville, said in a news release.
LeDoux, who lived on a ranch outside Kaycee, Wyo., is survived by wife Peggy and five adult children.
LeDoux's death took fans and the music industry by surprise: He had been booking shows for a summer
tour. Tickets were to have gone on sale Friday for a June 25 concert at the Grizzly Rose.
"They were planning on starting out   the first of June," said John Tabor, a longtime friend of LeDoux's
and a booking agent in Cheyenne, Wyo.
He also is chairman of entertainment for Cheyenne Frontier Days, which was LeDoux's favorite place to
Rodeo was in his blood even before music. Born in Biloxi, Miss., LeDoux grew up in Austin, Texas.
He began competing as a bareback bronc and bull rider in high school. He grew up to be a world
champion bronc rider, and early on, he started to write and self-record songs about hard life, good times
and the crazy characters of the rodeo circuit.
He sold those tapes out of his truck at rodeos.
"In the early days, I probably gave more of them away than I sold," LeDoux said in a 1997 article in The
Denver Post's Empire Magazine.
LeDoux went on to sell millions of dollars worth of records, releasing 22 on his own label before signing
with Capitol in 1990. His last release, 2003's "Horsepower," was his 37th album.
LeDoux's loyal fans celebrated his honest   lyrics about a hard but ultimately rewarding life. They also
were drawn by the energy in his music, which LeDoux acknowledged might be more rock 'n' roll than
Still, much of LeDoux's popularity sprung from the fact that the Hollywood-handsome, square-jawed
entertainer was in the end just another hard-working cowboy.
"The only way I can describe him is he was genuine," Repola said. "He was a salt-of-the-earth type of a
guy. A wonderful man."
Chris LeDoux,
singer/songwriter and rodeo
champion and acclaimed
sculptor, passed away this
morning at the age of 56 in
Casper, Wyoming. He had
checked into the Casper
Medical Center earlier this
week following complications
from ongoing treatment for
cancer of the bile duct, and
was surrounded by family and
friends at the time of his death.
Last American cowboy LeDoux dies at 56
By CLAY MASTERS / Daily Nebraskan
March 11, 2005  
The last American cowboy of country music died on March 9th. Chris LeDoux, 56, had been reportedly battling liver cancer.
In 2000, LeDoux was given a liver transplant at the University Nebraska Medical Center and late last year was diagnosed with liver

LeDoux's tours made stops in Lincoln quite regularly for the Nebraska State Fair -- his last performance here was last August.

LeDoux, was a world championship bareback bronco rider and wrote music on the side. In the 1990s he got noticed for his music
through the mention of Garth Brooks' first single, "Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old."

With the departure of LeDoux from this world and the country music industry we have now lost the last true cowboy singer/songwriter.

The country music industry has been lagging for a number of years now and it's a unique thing when the country music artist writes
his/her own songs. Artists today in the country genre create albums chalked with watered down filler music surrounding two or three
songs that are billed to be slapped on country radio.

For LeDoux, this was not the case. His albums were timeless and unlike almost every other modern country entertainer that gets
airplay today, LeDoux's albums had originality from a voice that had lived the true American cowboy life.

LeDoux tried to remain true to his country music roots and not sell out, much like the older artists of the genre -- Kris Kristofferson,
Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

His songs were what he lived and his words were simple.

I was in elementary school when I first discovered LeDoux and found myself having total admiration for someone who completely
changed careers and was successful in doing so.

I have long since drifted away from modern country music due to the lag discussed earlier. But LeDoux has always been the one artist I
can still pull out every once and a while and feel a connection with and take me back to my younger years when I fantasized being a
cowboy myself.

LeDoux will be missed greatly by more than just country music fans. He will be missed by the people who believe in music and
Visit the official
music web site of
Chris LeDoux

There’s a core of strength that defines Chris LeDoux and his music. In Horsepower, his 36th album, it’s
clearly spelled out in “One Less Tornado,” about the passing of a rodeo champ, and in “The Ride,” about a
young boy’s life lesson from his first ride on a horse. But it runs through even the toe-tapping fun songs
about love, like “Smack Dab In the Middle,” and “All Wound Up.”

“As much as anyone, Chris LeDoux is the same man as a singer as he is a man,” says Mac McAnally, co-
producer with Alan Schulman of LeDoux’s last three albums. “What you hear is a straight outgrowth of the
life he lives.” That’s true of both the songs he writes himself, and of the ones he chooses to record. “ I have
to hear a song that just hits home in some way or another,” LeDoux says. “It feels like something that I
believe in or I can relate. We were able to find some great cowboy songs for the album. It’s hard to find
those true western type songs or songs about rodeo that ring true. We seemed to be lucky this time. “

If anyone can judge whether a rodeo song rings true, it’s Chris LeDoux, onetime bareback bronc riding
champion. He entered his first rodeo as a teen, about the same time he became absorbed in music. “All of
us at some level love music and when I was in high school I loved it so much that I just had to be a part of it,
- singing, even it was just for my own entertainment,” he says. “It just hung on through the years like that.
When I get away from it for a while, it’s kind of nice, but then I start missing the old guitar and I’ll go pick it
up. If you love the music you won’t be able to lay it down for long.”

By now it’s a well-known story that LeDoux combined his love of music with his love of the west. He wrote
songs about the rodeo life he was leading as he traveled the circuit, and soon discovered that a lot of
people wanted to hear those songs. After making 22 albums on his own, he signed with Capitol Records in
1991. His fan base continues to grow, encompassing all ages, and his live shows are legendary for their rip-
roaring excitement. He’s sold nearly six million records, without much radio airplay and counts among his
devoted fans Garth Brooks and Toby Keith. And though he doesn’t rodeo anymore, he still lives the cowboy
life on his working ranch in Kaycee, Wyoming.

Chris got sidetracked in 2000, dealing with an illness that required major surgery. His first album following
that life-changing experience, After The Storm, was a slightly more gentle project than his usual energized
rocking fare. It expressed his deepened appreciation for the small joys of the day. Now he’s onto the next
chapter of his life and back rocking as always, as this latest album reflects. As the songs look back and look
forward, LeDoux displays a respect for the cowboy ethic. Old pal Toby Keith, who joined LeDoux on1994’s
ode to chewing tobacco, “Copenhagen,” shows up as a writer on Horsepower’s “Rodeo Moon,” a song
based on the early years of LeDoux’s marriage, when he and his wife Peg led a rodeo vagabond life. “Blue
Bonnet Blues,” written by LeDoux, is a memory of his childhood home. “Buffalo Grass,” paints a musical
picture, as a lone man contemplates the despair of winter and looks forward to the rebirth of spring.
“Horsepower” celebrates moving a long at a fast pace. He’s even trying something completely different - a
Cajun song featuring Jo-El Sonnier, called “Pass My Hat.”

From top to bottom, Horsepower offers the full range of LeDoux’s strengths. It’s cowboy in some places,
rocking in others, but vivid and true everywhere.

Thanks to Capital Records for this information.
Chris LeDoux singing "Western Skies"
Release date:  July 1992
CD title:  "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy"
Buy it at:

March 9, 2005 - Chris LeDoux, singer/songwriter and rodeo champion and
acclaimed sculpture, passed away this morning at the age of 56 in Casper,
Wyoming. He had checked into the Casper Medical Center earlier this week
following complications from ongoing treatment for cancer of the bile duct,
and was surrounded by 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," said Capitol Nashville President and CEO Mike Dungan. "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, a former world champion bronc rider, started playing music in his
teens, while he competed in rodeos, writing about his life on the circuit.
His songs captured the romance, the freedom, the dirt and the hurt of rodeo,
and drew fans who demanded tapes of his songs. LeDoux had recorded 22
albums on his own, when Garth Brooks mentioned his name in the hit song,
Much Too Young (To Be This Damn Old). As a result, LeDoux's music
became more widely known, and he signed with Capitol Records Nashville in 1990. He
released 15 since then, and sold nearly six million records.

In 2000, LeDoux was diagnosed with a liver disease, and successfully
underwent a liver transplant. Within six months of the surgery, LeDoux was
on tour again - throwing himself right back into the hard-driving,
full-force stage shows he was known for. Late last year he was diagnosed with cancer
and began undergoing radiation treatment.

A devoted husband and doting father, LeDoux spent his time off the road
with his family at their ranch in Kaycee, Wyoming.

Judy McDonough
Director, Media: Public Relations
Capitol Nashville
(from his bio on his website)