No one in country music had written and sang as many songs about rodeo as Chris LeDoux whose career peaked in the mid-sixties to the nineties. His influence is much evidenced in Garth Brooks‘ music. And in March 1989, Brooks’ debut single record, “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old),” highlighted LeDoux and rodeo cowboy’s life.
The competition’s getting younger
Tougher broncs, you know I can’t recall
The worn out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women and bad booze
Seem to be the only friends I’ve left at all
Brooks co-wrote the song with Randy Taylor and was also featured on The Garth Brooks Collection, The Hits, and The Ultimate Hits. It is a tale about a rodeo cowboy, who’s been competing for most of the time of his life. He misses home and realizes that his time had passed and he has to let the younger crowd take over the business. One of the track’s best feature is its instrumentals that highlight the fiddle and steel guitar.
The track successfully peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on July 15, 1989. Also, it topped at number 9 on Canada Country Tracks.
On Brook’s The Hits CD booklet liner note, he expressed his gratitude to Taylor and LeDoux for the completion of his very first single. A part of the note says,
“Randy was the writer and Chris was probably the reason that it was played. Hey Chris, Randy and I decided that we owe you a beer, pal.”
How the Song Helped LeDoux’s Career
When “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” was released, Chris LeDoux was popular for being a rodeo bareback champion and at the same time an independent country recording artist. The track’s popularity and promising position on the chart helped advertise LeDoux’s recordings.
The two never met until eight months after the song came out. A producer set them up together on the same bill at the Cocky Bull in Victorville, California. Brooks then convinced Capital Records to give the rodeo champion a record contract. The two country stars would later collaborate for “Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy.” LeDoux passed away in 2005 at age 56.
It’s time for 1989 reminiscence with Garth Brooks’ first ever single, “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old).” Have a great day, fella!
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Chris LeDoux, Garth Brooks, Much Too Young (to Feel This Damn Old)