Chris LeDoux Honored with Statue, Music and Rodeo on 50th Anniversary of Debut Album

by Clayton Edwards

Many country artists sing about rodeos and cowboys. However, very few live that life before they sing about it. Chris LeDoux was one of the few who lived it. In fact, before he ever pressed an album, LeDoux was riding broncos in the rodeo ring around the nation. The songs he sang were a reflection of his life.

Back in 1971, Chris LeDoux had been living the rodeo life for a while. He was an up-and-comer on his way to a gold buckle. At the same time, he was gaining recognition among his fellow cowboys for his singing and songwriting chops. That was the year that he formed his own record label, American Cowboy Songs, and used it to release his debut album, Songs of Rodeo Life. That was fifty years ago.

He continued riding broncos and recording albums. Later, he would be a mainstay at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo. He didn’t just ride there, though. Chris LeDoux also took the stage to share his music with his fellow cowboys and those who came to see the action.

So, it is fitting that the organizers of Cheyenne Frontier Days have dedicated this year’s rodeo to Chris LeDoux. During the celebration of all things cowboy, a statue will be unveiled in Chris’ honor, according to Sounds Like Nashville. That statue features the LeDoux riding the horse Stormy Weather. He rode that horse to win the 1976 World Bareback Riding Championship. It also features a guitar and an arrow-shaped base to represent the Frontier Days logo.

Chris Ledoux Is Also Being Honored with an Anniversary Album

This is a big year for fans of Chris LeDoux as well as his legacy. He is being honored with a rodeo as well as a statue. That, of course, was only one side of him. Capitol Nashville and LeDoux’s estate teamed up to release a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Songs of Rodeo Life. That album, Wyoming Cowboy – A Collection, came out earlier this month. It chronicles the high points of LeDoux’s music career. It is available on vinyl as well as on streaming platforms.

Mark Sissel, Chris LeDoux’s longtime guitarist and friend helped to put the album together, according to Music Row. He added in a couple of rare tracks as well as LeDoux’s most-loved tracks. You’ll get songs like “Cadillac Cowboy,” “This Cowboy’s Hat,” and “Seventeen.” However, you’ll also get, “Oklahoma Hospitality,” a song that was only released in the UK as well as a song simply titled, “Album Intro,” which is from an out-of-print record from 1975.

The record also contains two of Chris LeDoux’s biggest duets. “Even Cowboys Like a Little Rock and Roll,” which features Charlie Daniels and the Garth Brooks duet, “Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy.”

However, the most special song on the album is called “We Ain’t Got it All.” Ned LeDoux and Mac McAnally wrote that tune using some of Chris LeDoux’s unfinished lyrics. Ned sings the song on the album.