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Born and raised in Lubbock, Texas, Hancock's grandmother had him classically trained in violin. At age 16, Tommy joined the military and traveled overseas as a paratrooper and military policeman, serving in the Pacific towards the end of World War Two. Upon his discharge at the end of the war, he returned to Lubbock, where he led a popular swing band called the Roadside Playboys. The Playboys had various members over time, including performers such as guitarist Sonny Curtis and fiddler Benjamin "Tex" Logan.:69
In the late 1940s, Hancock hired Charlene Condray as a singer; they went on to marry. Together with five of their children, they toured the Rocky Mountains as "The Supernatural Family Band". Today, three of their children still tour as the "Texana Dames".
In the early 1970s, Hancock was introduced to fellow performer Jimmie Gilmore. They bonded over a desire to seek out new spiritual experiences. Hancock noted that "my whole thing with taking acid was I want to know God. If there's a god, I want to know him. And Jimmie was the first intelligent person I'd ever run into who was searching for God." Hancock played fiddle for Dale's band, The Flatlanders.
In 1980, the Hancock family settled in Austin, Texas.
In March 2000, Tommy was inducted into the Austin Chronicle Music Awards Hall of Fame. In 2002, The Supernatural Family Band was inducted into the Country Music Association of Texas Hall of Fame.
- Carr, Joe; Munde, Alan (1995). Prairie Nights to Neon Lights: The Story of Country Music in West Texas. Texas Tech University Press. p. 67. ISBN 0896723658.
- Davis, John (2014). The Flatlanders: Now it's now again. University of Texas Press. p. 82. ISBN 9780292745544.
- "Roadside Playboys and Texana Dames: The supernatural saga of the Hancock family", MARGARET MOSER, Austin Chronicle DECEMBER 31, 2004 Archived December 31, 2010, at WebCite