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Sandy author to release country singer's bio on audio book

David Brown hopes to fund Chris LeDoux project with Kickstarter campaign


Recent Sandy transplant David Brown is hoping fans of Chris LeDoux, a country music singer/songwriter and rodeo champion who died in 2005, will be in awe of his newest project.

Author of “Gold Buckle Dreams: The Rodeo Life of Chris LeDoux,” released in 1987, and its expanded version “Gold Buckle Dreams: The Life and Times of Chris LeDoux,” released in 2013, Brown’s newest project is an audio book he believes will revolutionize the market for such media. POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Recent Sandy transplant David G. Brown hopes to release his new audiobook detailing The Life and Times of Chris LeDoux by this  spring.

“When I wrote the book, nobody had ever heard of Chris,” said Brown, who moved to Sandy from Northern California in December.

In the early 1980s, Brown ran his own rodeo-centered newspaper outside of Seattle and was seeking advertising to make a profit.

LeDoux and his father owned American Cowboy Songs, a recording company. Trying to persuade the company that advertising in his publication would be worthwhile, Brown spoke to LeDoux’s father and eventually made a deal. The publication would run a few small ads in the paper in exchange for the whole collection of LeDoux cassettes.

When the ads still didn’t result in increased business for the recording studio, Brown pitched the idea of running a story about LeDoux alongside an ad, and he was given a direct phone number for one of his heros.

It was like getting a phone number for Garth Brooks, Brown said.

After speaking with LeDoux over the phone, Brown authored an article detailing the story behind LeDoux’s song: “Hippies in Calgary.” The article was a hit, and Brown asked LeDoux if he would be willing to help with another.

While driving to meet with LeDoux in Cheyenne, Wyo., Brown listened to all LeDoux’s tapes in order nearly four times. When he finally met up with LeDoux, he told him that they ought to collaborate on a book. POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Chris LeDoux and David G. Brown at the 1987 FanFair in Nashville, Tenn.

“And he said, ‘Ah shoot, who’d want to read about me?’” Brown said with a laugh.

For six months, Brown interviewed LeDoux over the phone for one hour, once a week. He ended up with about 22 hours of recording.

When it was released in 1987, “Gold Buckle Dreams: The Rodeo Life of Chris LeDoux,” detailing LeDoux’s rodeo career, it became a bestseller.

After LeDoux became well known through his music, he pushed Brown to write another book about his life after rodeo — but Brown said the book needed a big ending.

Unfortunately, it got one when LeDoux died from complications of a liver disease in March 2005.

Brown’s reworked book was released eight years after LeDoux died in 2013. But he knew he wasn’t done yet.

While writing the second edition, Brown went back through the original tapes of his conversations with LeDoux — something he said was extremely difficult for him.

When he was finally able to listen to his friend's voice, he had an idea. Why keep the memory of LeDoux to himself, when he could share it with fans?

Contained inside the audio book recording, which Brown hopes to release by spring 2016, is LeDoux’s story in his own words.

“I let Chris read it,” Brown said. “He’s telling the story in his own words. Chris LeDoux fans will be able to listen to Chris. To me, that’s the amazing part.”

Mixed in with dramatic readings by Brown and lyrics from songs LeDoux wrote, is the voice of the country music star detailing some of his own memories.

One of the moments that stuck out to Brown was when LeDoux talked about his first experience with rodeo. The audio book’s detailing of that moment will include LeDoux drawling, “Put me on one of them bulls.”

But with the rights to LeDoux’s written music, not his recordings, the project hit a snag. Instead of having LeDoux’s original versions of his songs, Brown hopes to record each of the songs with help from the new vocalist from Western Underground, LeDoux’s old band.

Brown is currently working to fund the remainder of the project through a Kickstarter campaign.

“I think everyone that has a copy of this book will want the audiobook,” Brown said.

“Chris never changed,” he added. “That’s the thing that was so amazing to me. He just never quit being Chris LeDoux. He really was a cowboy first and foremost. That’s why I wrote the book.”

kwray@sandypost.com

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