One of the finest musicians to ever call Lubbock, Texas "home"! Joe Ely celebrates his 64th birthday today. Joe has been on stage with "The Boss"...he's toured with the Clash...and he's written some incredible music along the way!

Ely's own first, self titled album, 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 Juárez in Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Ely sang backing vocals on the Clash single "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" , and Joe Strummer performed as a guest with Ely's band.[citation needed] Another collaboration was with Dutch flamenco guitarist Teye, with whom he recorded Letter to Laredo (1995) and Twistin' in the Wind (1998).

Throughout his career, Ely has issued a steady stream of albums, most on the MCA label, and a live album roughly every ten years.

The Joe Ely Band song "Brainlock" was featured in the 1980 movie Roadie starring Meat Loaf, Alice Cooper, Don Cornelius and Kaki Hunter.

In the late 1990s Ely was asked to write songs for the soundtrack of Robert Redford's movie The Horse Whisperer, which led to re-forming The Flatlanders with Gilmore and Hancock. 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. Ely said in an interview with Country Standard Time that he thought it would be easier to release the material on his own label instead of dealing with a regular record label and their release cycles. A book of Ely's writings, Bonfire of Roadmaps, was published in early 2007 by the University of Texas Press. In early 2008, Ely released a new live album featuring Joel Guzman on accordion recorded at the Cactus Cafe in Austin, Texas late 2006.

The Flatlanders released their newest album "Hills and Valleys" on March 31, 2009. Here they are on Letterman:

Read more HERE

Joe Performs Robert Earl Keen's "The Road Goes On Forever":

Joe joins Bruce Springsteen to perform Ely's "All Just to Get To You":

Joe pays tribute to another legendary Lubbock artist:

I got an email from an Ely fan this morning. Here's what it said:

Dear Landon,

Enjoyed your Joe Ely birthday piece at 98kool today. As a fellow Ely fan I thought you'd be interested to know of my newly released children's picture book inspired by Joe's music called Musta Notta Gotta Lotta Sleep Last Night. Of the book, Joe Ely says, "I'm going to read this book every night before I go to sleep." If you'd like, you can check it out at


Wendy Parnell


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