March 11

These Chris Ledoux Songs Proved He Was The Definition of a True Cowboy

Since most of Chris Ledoux songs sing about a cowboy’s life, he didn’t have to look far for inspiration. He actually lived the life. 

Before making a name in country music, Ledoux made ends meet as a professional rodeo cowboy – and music was just a side hustle. In fact, he was once a champion of the National Final Rodeo in Oklahoma City.

Eventually, he wanted to share his story with the world, and there’s no better way to do that than music. So, Chris Ledoux started writing songs based on his life experiences and recorded his own music. And today, we’re going to take a look at some of that. Keep on scrolling below.

1. This Cowboy’s Hat

From: Used to Want to Be a Cowboy (1982)

In the song “This Cowboy’s Hat,” Ledoux listed down several reasons why it’s never a good idea to touch a cowboy’s hat. “You’ll ride a black tornado, ‘cross the western sky, rope an ole blue northern and milk it till it’s dry – long before you take this cowboy’s hat,” he explained. After all, his hat is something a cowboy has earned for living the cowboy life. 

2. Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy

From: Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy (1992)

Ledoux teamed up with his close friend Garth Brooks for another cowboy anthem. “Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy” was released as the first single off Ledoux’s album of the same name. And as expected, the two icons made a country hit out of it, reaching No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

3. Bang a Drum

From: One Road Man (1999)

“Bang a Drum” was originally released in 1990 as a country-rock song by the frontman of the rock band Bon Jovi. Eight years later, LeDoux took on the song and even invited Jon Bon Jovi to perform guest vocals. To make things more exciting, LeDoux tagged along Shawn Lane – who is a mythical figure in the guitar community – to perform guitar solo.

4. Cadillac Ranch

From: Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy (1992)

Reaching No. 18 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, “Cadillac Ranch” is an uptempo ballad that tells the story of a man who is looking for a solution to his financial mess. And the only thing he could think of was to turn their farm into a party nightspot.

5. Look at You Girl

From: Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy (1992)

Ledoux movingly delivered this romantic anthem about a man crooning to a woman he truly adores. While it’s not quite often for the country star to show his romantic side, the song allowed him to convey some heartfelt emotions at the same time maintaining his entertaining vibe.

6. Life Is a Highway

From: One Road Man (1999)

The song was originally a No. 1 hit for Canadian singer Tom Cochrane. It even peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Seven years later, LeDoux covered the song – giving it some personal touch and country feel by making a few changes – for his 1998 album One Road Man. 

7. Tougher Than the Rest

From: Haywire (1995)

Though the song was originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen in 1987, LeDoux made it his own. It is where he showcased his allegiance to the genre – turning a rock ballad into a classic-sound country song.

8. Stampede

From: 20 Greatest Hits (1999)

Ledoux’s hometown of Wyoming and how he was raised in this untamed spirit of the West is the central topic of this song. It gives a glimpse of the rough life a cowboy often leads.

9. Country Fair

From: Western Underground (1991)

Perhaps there’s no better thing than to have fun on Friday night after a long day of work. In the song, Ledoux highlights how a small town easily gets thrilled by special events that capture a different sensation from their daily lives. Plus, the song’s story of young love will surely make your heart flutter.

10. Copenhagen

From: Songs of Rodeo Life (1971)

This may be the last on the list, but it truly brings out LeDoux as a vibrant and lively performer as he sings about a song that refers to chewing tobacco – a stereotype that’s often true about cowboys – as well as the problem you can get into with this habit.

He would later perform this song together with country star Toby Keith, a team-up that captivated countless country fans.

More Chris Ledoux Songs That Helped Him Be One Of The Most Important Figures In Modern Country Music

Chris LeDoux was absolutely riding high in country music, especially during the middle of the 1990s. So, take a look at more of his songs below that shows his talent that can never be compared.

  • Dallas Days and Fort Worth Nights
  • Workin’ Man’s Dollar
  • Honky Tonk World
  • Gravitational Pull
  • Riding for a Fall
  • Ten Seconds in the Saddle
  • Caballo Diablo
  • Lean, Mean and Hungry
  • I Used to Want to Be a Cowboy
  • For Your Love
  • When I Say Forever
  • Silence on the Line
  • Under This Old Hat
  • Every Time I Roll the Dice
  • This Cowboy’s Hat

It is sad when his life was cut far too short after his death in 2005. Truly, Chris Ledoux songs will forever live on.


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Chris LeDoux


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