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Joe Ely


Joe Ely (born February 9, 1947) is an Austin, Texas, honky-tonk/country musician. Ely, born in Amarillo, spent his formative years from age 12 in Lubbock, Texas.

Shortly after high school, in 1970, with fellow Lubbock musicians Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, he formed The Flatlanders. According to Ely, "Jimmie was like a well of country music. He knew everything about it. And Butch was from the folk world. I was kinda the rock & roll guy, and we almost had a triad. We hit it off and started playing a lot together. That opened up a whole new world I had never known existed." In 1972, the band released their first and— until 2002's Now Again— only album, but have appeared together on each other's albums. Since the band's initial break-up just after their album was cut, the three musicians have followed individual paths.

Ely's own first album, self titled, was released in 1977. The following year, his band played London where he met punk rock group The Clash. Impressed with each other's performances, the two bands would later tour together, including appearances in Ely's hometown of Lubbock, as well as Laredo and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Since then, a steady stream of albums have followed, most on the MCA label. Ely's live performances have become legendary, and he has released a live album roughly every ten years (the last was Live at Antone's in 2000). He has had a genre-crossing career, performing with Bruce Springsteen, Los Super Seven, and James McMurtry in addition to his early work with The Clash and more recent acoustic tours with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, and Guy Clark.

In the late 1990s, Ely was asked to write songs for Robert Redford's movie The Horse Whisperer, which led to reforming The Flatlanders with Gilmore and Hancock for an appearance on the movie soundtrack. A new album from the trio followed in 2002, with a third in 2004.

In February 2007, Ely released "Happy Songs From Rattlesnake Gulch" on his own label, Rack 'Em Records. A book of Ely's writings was published in early 2007 by the University of Texas Press. Ely also released a second album of old lyrics that he has finally recorded.

Several other reissues of Ely's previous work were due out later in 2007 on Rack 'Em.



Song lyric Boxcars BOXCARS Joe Ely
Song lyric She Never Spoke Spanish To Me SHE NEVER SPOKE SPANISH TO ME Joe Ely
Song lyric Me And Billy The Kid ME AND BILLY THE KID Joe Ely
Song lyric Honky Tonk Masquerade HONKY TONK MASQUERADE Joe Ely
Song lyric All Just To Get To You ALL JUST TO GET TO YOU Joe Ely
Song lyric Dallas DALLAS Joe Ely
Song lyric West Texas Waltz WEST TEXAS WALTZ Joe Ely
Song lyric Gallo Del Cielo GALLO DEL CIELO Joe Ely
Song lyric Ranches And Rivers RANCHES AND RIVERS Joe Ely
Song lyric Fingernails FINGERNAILS Joe Ely
Song lyric Musta Notta Gotta Lotta MUSTA NOTTA GOTTA LOTTA Joe Ely
Song lyric Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown TONIGHT I THINK I'M GONNA GO DOWNTOWN Joe Ely
Song lyric Letter To Laredo LETTER TO LAREDO Joe Ely
Song lyric Settle For Love SETTLE FOR LOVE Joe Ely
Song lyric Cool Rockin' Loretta COOL ROCKIN' LORETTA Joe Ely
Song lyric If You Were A Bluebird IF YOU WERE A BLUEBIRD Joe Ely
Song lyric Streets of Sin STREETS OF SIN Joe Ely
Song lyric Johnny's Blues JOHNNY'S BLUES Joe Ely
Song lyric Saint Valentine SAINT VALENTINE Joe Ely
Song lyric Roll Again ROLL AGAIN Joe Ely
Song lyric Mardi Gras Waltz MARDI GRAS WALTZ Joe Ely
Song lyric A Flood On Our Hands A FLOOD ON OUR HANDS Joe Ely
Song lyric All My Love ALL MY LOVE Joe Ely
Song lyric All That You Need ALL THAT YOU NEED Joe Ely
Song lyric Carnival Bum CARNIVAL BUM Joe Ely
Song lyric Fightin' For My Life FIGHTIN' FOR MY LIFE Joe Ely
Song lyric Fools Fall in Love FOOLS FALL IN LOVE Joe Ely
Song lyric I Ain't Been Here Long I AIN'T BEEN HERE LONG Joe Ely
Song lyric I Gotta Find Ol� Joe I GOTTA FIND OL� JOE Joe Ely
Song lyric I Had My Hopes up High I HAD MY HOPES UP HIGH Joe Ely
Song lyric I Saw It In You I SAW IT IN YOU Joe Ely
Song lyric I'm A Thousand Miles From Home I'M A THOUSAND MILES FROM HOME Joe Ely
Song lyric I'm On The Run Again I'M ON THE RUN AGAIN Joe Ely
Song lyric Run Little Pony RUN LITTLE PONY Joe Ely
Song lyric Run Preciosa RUN PRECIOSA Joe Ely
Song lyric Standin' At The Big Hotel STANDIN' AT THE BIG HOTEL Joe Ely
Song lyric That Ain't Enough THAT AIN'T ENOUGH Joe Ely
Song lyric That's Why I Love You Like I Do THAT'S WHY I LOVE YOU LIKE I DO Joe Ely
Song lyric Treat Me Like a Saturday Night TREAT ME LIKE A SATURDAY NIGHT Joe Ely
Song lyric Twisty River Bridge TWISTY RIVER BRIDGE Joe Ely
Song lyric Wind's Gonna Blow You Away WIND'S GONNA BLOW YOU AWAY Joe Ely