The group began in 1970, when school friends Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore all found themselves back in Lubbock, Texas after having spent time in San Francisco, Europe and Austin respectively. They roomed together and began playing together, with various other local musicians drifting in and out of the lineup. The group had a brief run from 1972-73, but when the individual members found success in their solo careers, interest in The Flatlanders was rekindled, with the band reuniting several times since. These three key members went on to become Texas’ most respected singer/songwriters.