November 18 2020

Good Ride Cowboy

When I was just a very young lad I walked up and I told my dad

A bareback rider’s what I wanna be I want the whole world to know about me

Chris LeDoux was born in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1948. By the age of 16 he had won the Bareback World Championship in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association.

In the rodeo arena I’ll take my stand I wanna be known as a rodeo man

I’ll come flyin’ from the chute with my spurs up high

Chaps and boots reachin’ for the sky

Spurrin’ wild with my head throw’d back

You’ll ask whose that well that’s Bareback Jack

You’ll ask whose that well that’s Bareback Jack

In 1967, LeDoux won the Wyoming State Bareback Bronc Championship. In ’69 He Would become theChampion in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

The years of boyhood now have passed

It didn’t take long to learn the tricks real fast

Now I’m goin’ down the road with my rodeo gear

And I hope to make the finals in just a few years

And when my chance comes I’ll give it a whirl

Try to win the championship of the world

In 1976, Chris LeDoux would win that buckle.  Bareback World Championship from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

I’ll come flyin’ from the chutes with my spurs up high

Chaps and boots reachin’ for the sky

Spurrin’ a wild with my head flung back

You’ll all know me I’m Bareback Jack

You’ll all know me I’m Bareback Jack

“Bareback Jack” written and recorded by Chris LeDoux was released in 1971 on his album Songs of Rodeo Life.

Chris LeDoux first learned to ride horses when he was just a kid. He rode on grandparent’s Wyoming farm. By the age of 13 he was participating in his first rodeos.

After his father’s Air Force Career, the LeDoux Family settled in Cheyenne, Wyoming . Chris continued rodeo and played high school football while a student at Cheyenne Central High. While in high school Chris would win the Wyoming State Rodeo Championship bareback riding title twice. He attended college in Casper, Wyoming on a rodeo scholarship. There he would win the Intercollegiate National Bareback Championship.

After becoming a professional cowboy on the rodeo circuit, Chris began composing songs which described his cowboy lifestyle. Chris and his father established a recording company and recorded the first album in a friend’s basement. LeDoux began selling tapes out of the back of his pickup truck to help offset his rodeo expenses.

In 1976, Chris LeDoux would become the Bareback Champion at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City.

“The worn out tape of Chris Ledoux, lonely women and bad booze, Seem to be the only friends I’ve left at all”

Much Too Young songwriters Garth Brooks/Randy Taylor

LeDoux would soon retire from rodeo, and began focusing on his music. After Garth Brooks mentioned him in his 1989 hit, “Much Too Young ( To Feel This Damn Old.)” Chris LeDoux gained National fame not only for his career in rodeo, but also for his music.

Chris LeDoux has been inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days and Old West Museum Hall of Fame, Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Texas Trail of Fame in the Fort Worth Stockyards, and the Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame.

Capitol Records would sign a contract with LeDoux, Capitol’s subsidiary Liberty Records would release the album Western Underground. In 1991 a follow up album, Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy reached the top 10 on the charts. The title song was a duet with Garth Brooks.

Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy” won a Grammy nomination in 1992.

Chris LeDoux was a real life rodeo cowboy. He sang his songs about his life. He never left the Wyoming country to move to the neon lights of Nashville. Chris felt that staying in Wyoming kept his connection to the rodeo and the landscape that inspired him and his cowboy songs.  

LeDoux has more rodeo honors than he has been recognized for his music. I think he is one of the greatest Cowboy singers that ever lived. I recall first finding his music through a friend during my own high school days. His songs still entertain and inspire me to this day.

Sadly Chris LeDoux lost his battle to cancer in 2005. His son, Ned LeDoux and the Western Underground  has kept Chris LeDoux spirit alive through his music. Today, Ned is creating cowboy music of his own.

Before Chris Death, Garth Brooks and LeDoux formed a bond.

I stole my whole act from Chris

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks “Good Ride Cowboy” is his tribute to his friend.

Singin’ “Good ride, cowboy, good ride”

Pancho.

November 5 2020

Power of A Song

Kent Blazy,  who wrote Garth Brooks’ first number one hit, “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” Is an Inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame for 2020, as was announced, earlier this week.

Kent Blazy’s musical influences growing up were The Byrds, Rodney Crowell, and Joe Ely.  Growing up, Kent played for several local bands in and around his hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. He later played for Canadian singer-songwriter Ian Tyson.

It was Garth Brooks that gave him the idea for “If Tomorrow Never Comes.”

“If Tomorrow Never Comes will probably always be my signature song. I ran the idea for this by what seemed like a thousand writers and no one really seemed to understand what I was looking for.”

Garth Brooks

Garth first met Kent Blazy in the late 1980’s. The two were introduced by Garth Brooks’ co-manager Bob Doyle.

“I passed this idea by Kent and he had the first verse down within fifteen seconds. I could tell he just felt it.”

Garth Brooks

To me, “If Tomorrow Never Comes” is one of the greatest love songs, not only in my generation but ever. The heartfelt song is about what would happen if I were to die the next day? Personally, I hope and pray that I am showing this kind of love to my wife.  Will she know how much I loved her?

“If Tomorrow Never Comes,” Was released in August 1989. It was on the album simply titled, Garth Brooks. The song also appears on The Hits and Double Live. The song was Garth Brooks first number one single on the US Billboard Country charts. At the American Music Awards in 1991, the song was named as the Favorite Country Single.

Songwriter Kent Blazy has a total of seven number one hits to his credit. Besides writing for Garth, he has written songs recorded by Kenny Chesney, Diamond Rio, Terri Clark and Clay Walker among others.

For Garth Brooks, Kent Blazy has also written, “Ain’t Goin’ Down ( ‘Til The Sun Comes Up),”  “It’s Midnight Cinderella,” “She’s Gonna Make It,” Somewhere Other than the Night,” and “Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?)”

Kent Blazy also wrote for Patty Loveless, “Can’t Get Enough.”  This was her first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart.

I like a song that I can relate to. I like songs that tell a story. Kent Blazy is a storyteller in his lyrics.

I am now listening to Randy Houser’s “Power of A Song,” (also co-written by Kent Blazy.) I can see this scenario all over again.  I am the type of guy who relates to music, no matter what the genre. If I listen closely, I can find some similarity about myself. A place, a person, a feeling. My past present and future can all be found in music.

That’s the Power of a song

When It Grabs you by the heart

It’s gonna find you when it wants to

No matter where you are

That’s a miracle of music

 – Power of a Song – BMG Rights Management Songwriters: Corey Batten/Kent Blazy/Randy Houser

That’s a miracle of music

Pancho.