He was truly a singing cowboy. He made more than 20 albums in his recording career, and songs like the poignant “This Cowboy’s Hat” or “Cadillac Ranch” are mainstays on that rodeo circuit he so dearly loved. In fact, in 1976, he took home the bareback championship at National Finals Rodeo.
One of the most iconic entertainers in country music, Garth Brooks, counts Chris LeDoux as a major inspiration in his career. The two collaborated on the Top 10 hit, “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy.” Texas superstars like Cody Johnson and Casey Donahew also credit Chris with inspiring their music and pattern their live shows with the same kind of energy that the original “swingin’-from-the-rafters” country star employed.
Sadly, Chris passed away in 2005 after a lengthy illness, leaving behind his wife and five children at the family’s ranch in Kaycee, Wyoming. It was a great loss for his family and for the rodeo and country music worlds.
But now, the LeDoux legacy will live on in his handsome son Ned who has just announced the release of his debut EP, “Forever a Cowboy.”
Ned played drums in his father’s band and after Chris’ passing, he continued to tour with the Western Underground, eventually picking up the guitar and stepping up to the microphone. His own unique energy and sound can be heard on the collection that includes one previously unreleased Chris LeDoux song. In a bittersweet twist, two of the tracks were songs started by his father, but finished by Ned and hit songwriter Mac McAnally, including the title track, which upholds Ned’s pledge to keep the cowboy in country.
“Forever a Cowboy” is set for release on Dec. 2 with a full-length project to follow, but you can also find Ned on the road performing his own songs, as well as tipping “This Cowboy’s Hat” to his father.