Early in 1970, Phil Ehart left his band called White Clover and with Kerry Livgren they started a band called Kansas. this band broke up in early 1971 and Ehart reformed White Clover while Livgren formed a new version of Kansas but using the band name Proto-Kaw.
Early in 1973, Livgren agreed to quit his band Kansas and join White Clover. Later that same year, Don Kirshner signed White Clover and they retook the name Kansas.
In 2016, Zak Rizvi (4Front) became lead guitarist for Kansas.