Redgum were formed in 1975 when three students at Flinders University, John Schumann, Michael Atkinson and Verity Truman, collaborated for a musical assessment piece for their Politics and Art course. The trio quickly gained fame around the University community for their forthright songs, and by 1976 had been joined by violinist Chris Timms (also attended Flinders University). The group were soon in demand for parties, pubs and rallies throughout South Australia and Victoria. Initially a part-time band, performing weekends and school holidays (two members were teachers), it was only after they released their second album, Virgin Ground (late 1980), to strong sales and critical acclaim, that the group became full-time and started touring nationally.
In 1986, John Schumann left the band to sign as a solo artist with CBS. Remaining members Verity Trumann, Hugh McDonald, Michael Atkinson, and Michael Spicer completed the band's last album Midnight Sun. When Atkinson also left in 1987, his departure precipitated the band's break-up shortly after.