Friday Five: Chris LeDoux

Juli Thanki | March 9th, 2012

Chris LeDoux passed away on this day in 2005 at the age of 56. Over the course of his career, he recorded three dozen albums, several of which were self-released. Here are five of my favorite LeDoux tunes; what are yours?

5. “Copenhagen Angel”

Ladies, if a bucking horse knocks out your teeth, it’s okay, because you’ll a) look tough and b) free up some room for more Copenhagen.


4. “Hooked on an 8 Second Ride”

This song sums up the thrill of the rodeo and the mindset of bull riders, and sets it all to driving country-rock.


3. “Ain’t No Place for a Country Boy”

The big city loses its appeal once a country boy gets there and experiences the noises, smells, and people firsthand. In true, heartbreaking ballad fashion, the young man is forced to sell his grandfather’s watch in order to afford bus fare back home.

2. “Tougher Than the Rest”

It might not have been particularly successful on the charts, but this Springsteen cover, from 1994 album Haywire, is a fine one.


1. “Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy?”

This toetapper, recorded with Garth Brooks, a major fan and supporter of LeDoux, hit #7 on the charts in 1992, making it the most successful single of LeDoux’s career.  It’s also the first Chris LeDoux song I heard, so I’ve got a soft spot for it.

  1. Andrew
    March 9, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I guess if I had to pick just one it would be “Hooked on an 8 Second Ride”.

    Chris has always been one of my absolute favorite artists and was the first concert I ever went to. I really got a kick out of meeting his son, Ned, a couple months ago when he was in town playing drums for Dustin Evans and The Good Times Band.

  2. bll
    March 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    My favourites are a toss up between ‘This Cowboy’s Hat’ and ‘Some Things Never Change’.

  3. Rick
    March 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I’d say my favorite is “County Fair” and I consider that a damn near perfect country song! As much as I like Chris’ cover of “Tougher Than The Rest”, I prefer the approach taken by Greg Hawks and the Tremblers back in 2001 but that’s just me…

  4. luckyoldsun
    March 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    It’s a true testament to the greatness of Garth that just by singing the lyric “a worn out tape of Chris Ledoux,” he created a star.

    Back in the ’90s, I remember at Tower Records in NYC and at one time, the Chris Ledoux section was bigger than Cash,bigger than Jones, bigger than Loretta, bigger than Wynette, biggger than all of them combined! CAPITAL RECORDS–not some weird, dinky label–suddenly issued something like 20 Ledoux CD’s all at once and Tower stocked them all. It was all because of that Garth lyric.

    Being a fan of a lot of cowboy music, from Hank Snow to Hank Williams to Marty Robbins to Frankie Laine, I bought two of those Ledoux discs, based on the song titles, I guess.
    To call those discs junk would not do justice to Fred Sanford!

  5. Brody
    March 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Old Cowboy Classics was a staple in my dad’s truck for a while when I was growing up, so most of those are among my favorites. “This Cowboy’s Hat” and “Caballo Diablo” are way up there, too.

  6. Barry Mazor
    March 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

    He is so associated with the cowboy music that it’s easy to forget where he really came from–which we’ll eventually get around to commemorating on the Mississippi Country Music Trail.
    LeDoux song that most applies: “Born in Mississippi.”

  7. bll
    March 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    “It’s a true testament to the greatness of Garth that just by singing the lyric “a worn out tape of Chris Ledoux,” he created a star.

    And anyone who heard him sing his ‘worthless original’ at Willie’s back in 1985 cheered that line, as everyone there knew Chris LeDoux.

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