Were he still alive, the great Chris LeDoux would be turning 62 tomorrow. Over the course of his career, LeDoux helped foster a love and appreciation of the old (and new) American West. With his legendary work in mind, let’s pay tribute to five great songs of the West, plus a few of LeDoux’s, that have stood the test of time.
“Back In The Saddle Again” – Gene Autry
The first of the singing cowboys, Gene Autry created one of the genre’s defining songs of the old West with this tune about the joys and pleasures of the open range.
“Cool Water” – Sons Of The Pioneers
Roy Rogers was a member of this group, and they could go in a multitude of directions with their music. And after a hot day on the dusty trail, what could be better than a little cool, clear water? Well, maybe one thing…
“I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” – Patsy Montana
Cowboys aren’t always thinking about horses. Still, you have to search pretty wide for a western song from a female perspective. This 1935 ballad, which became the first million-selling record by a female vocalist in country music, gives hope to all women waiting on their cowboy to give up his lifestyle for the home life before it catches up to him.
“Apache” – Sonny James
This one is a rarity of sorts. Recorded by “The Southern Gentleman” during a brief stint with RCA Victor, this story about a cowboy’s final ride in the darkness of night contains one of the more haunting melodies in the format’s history.
“El Paso” – Marty Robbins
Simply the best story song in country music history, and the best western song ever (at least in my opinion). “El Paso” has the story, the melody, the outstanding harmonies from the Glaser Brothers, and the vocal performance of a lifetime from Robbins himself.
“This Cowboy’s Hat” / “Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy” / “Five Dollar Fine” – Chris LeDoux
Chris LeDoux’s “This Cowboy’s Hat” was one of his best stories, and “Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy” was his biggest. I always liked the philosophy of his 1996 single “Five Dollar Fine.” There’s quite a bit of truth in that one, whether you wear a Stetson or not.
Fuente: LimeWire Music Blog