Twenty-eight years ago, Garth Brooks joined his lifetime hero, Chris LeDoux, for the song, “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy.”
Brooks was just a kid when LeDoux’s career was taking off. But LeDoux’s success as both a professional rodeo cowboy and a country musician made him an idol for Brooks. LeDoux began his career in the rodeo. However, he wanted to share his story and experiences through music. In 1976, LeDoux won the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City and, through that fame, he was able to share his music with the world. Shortly after the release of his debut album, Songs of Rodeo Life in 1971, LeDoux became a country music icon.
In 1992, LeDoux teamed up with fellow country music legend (and fan) Garth Brooks to record their duet, “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy.” The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and hit number five on the Canadian Country Tracks chart.
LeDoux Upstages Garth Brooks During Duet Performance
Brooks revealed the two highlights of his career as a country music superstar during an interview. He says that his two favorite career moments are playing at the Grand Ole Opry and performing with LeDoux for the 100th anniversary of Cheyenne’s Frontier Days. Brooks explains that his then-wife was pregnant with their third daughter at the time. Because she was so close to her due date, Brooks’s managers weren’t sure if he’d be able to perform so they called LeDoux and his band as a back-up performance just in case.
When Brooks realized that he’d be able to play the show, he tried to pay LeDoux for his time but, like a true cowboy, LeDoux refused, saying “Not on your life, man. This was my treat.”
When Brooks tried to offer to pay him again, Brooks says that LeDoux gave him a stern look and said, “I’d let it go if I was you.”
After playing the show, Brooks and LeDoux took to the stage together to perform“Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy.” And to Brooks’s surprise, Ledoux just may have inadvertently upstaged him.
“And I gotta tell ya, I thought I had that crowd worked up and I thought I was the man until LeDoux walked on stage,” says Brooks. “That place went to another level. I loved that man. I miss that man. He was just the greatest,” he says.