When I was fourteen years old, my mom called me downstairs to where she was listening to KUPI radio to have me hear a song she thought I might enjoy. I guess my mom knew me pretty well.

The song was “Caballo Diablo”, a Charlie Daniels song as performed by Chris LeDoux, a singer I had been completely unaware of until that moment. Chris would become one of the role models who got me out of my shell and convinced me to pick up the guitar and get serious. Meeting him in 1987 at his home will always remain one of the highlights of my life. 


I started this so-far unfinished painting of Chris with the intention of presenting it to him at a show we were supposed to do together. When the show fell through, to my huge disappointment, I ended up keeping the painting and never finished it. Chris died a year or two later.


Here is my tribute in rhyme to my cowboy hero …

 

CHRIS LEDOUX’S GHOST

 

Sing me your songs of Wyoming,
Powder River, the sand and the sage;
Riding free as the wind on your old buckskin steed,
Sing me your songs of the range.

Tell me your tales of a cowboy
Driving hard just to make the next show;
Your stories made me taste the dust in my teeth
Riding broncs at the big rodeo.

And you’re still out there riding the prairie,
I can see you as you crest the hill,
And Chris LeDoux’s ghost lives in this guitar,
And there’s no doubt that he always will.

I remember that boy and his gui-tar,
A shy kid just fourteen years old
Your “Caballo Diablo” sent chills up my spine,
And I knew then that I had struck gold.

You taught me to get back up on ’em,
If ever I got thrown from my star,
And Chris LeDoux will ride on in my heart,
For his ghost lives here in my guitar.

And you’re still out there riding the prairie,
I can see you as you crest the hill,
And Chris LeDoux’s ghost lives in this guitar,
And there’s no doubt that he always will.

Tag: And I promise that you always will.

               —Kirby Jonas, January 22, 2006

If you’re looking for gifts, check out the incredibly low sale price on nine of my autographed books. Less than eight dollars each–a 50% savings!