Grand Funk Railroad Biography
Grand Funk Railroad is a prominent American rock band that peaked in the 1970s. Known for its crowd-pleasing arena rock style, the band toured widely and played to sold-out venues throughout the world, and despite a lack of critical praise, the band was well-liked by fans. They are well-known for their song “Some Kind of Wonderful.”
Mark Farner (guitar, keyboards, harmonica, vocals) and Don Brewer (drums, vocals) from Terry Knight and the Pack, as well as Mel Schacher (bass) from Question Mark & the Mysterians, founded Grand Funk Railroad as a trio in 1969. Knight became the band’s manager soon after, and the band was named after the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, a well-known Michigan rail line.
The band was signed by Capitol Records after first gaining notoriety at the 1969 Atlanta International Pop Festival. Grand Funk was requested back to play at the 1970 Atlanta International Pop Event II the following year after a boisterous, well-received set on the first day of the festival. With Terry Knight’s marketing prowess, the band developed its own popular style, modeled after hard-rock power trios such as Cream. The band published their first album, On Time, in August 1969, which sold over one million copies and was certified gold in 1970.
Grand Funk (aka The Red Album), the second album, was certified gold in February 1970. Despite negative reviews and limited airplay, the band’s first six albums (five studio albums and one live album) were commercially successful.
Despite their success in the mid-1970s, tensions within the band grew as a result of personal concerns, burnout, and disagreements about musical direction. Despite these setbacks, Grand Funk continued on. Grand Funk embarked on a huge tour in order to finish their record agreement with Capitol, and chose to record a double live album, Caught in the Act (August 1975). Grand Funk Railroad officially disbanded in late 1976. “Things were disenfranchised within the band,” Farner reflected at the time.
Grand Funk Railroad reformed in February 1981, without Frost (who was playing with Bob Seger) and with Dennis Bellinger replacing Schacher on bass, after being approached by their previous manager Andy Caviliere (who had taken over from Terry Knight in 1972). The group disbanded for the second time in early 1983, shortly after the release of What’s Funk?, due to poor sales of Grand Funk Lives and the death of manager Caviliere in 1982.
Grand Funk Railroad’s three original members (joined on tour by keyboardist/guitarist and background vocalist Howard Eddy Jr.) reformed in 1996 after some rehearsals in late 1995 and played to 500,000 people over a three-year period. Along the way, some members left and others joined, but Grand Funk Railroad continued to tour, and kicked off its “The American Band Tour 2019”, “Celebrating 50 Years of Funk” tour on January 17, 2019. Grand Funk Railroad is thrilled to be performing again in 2022, marking a 53-year milestone. Grand Funk’s 2022 tour will continue to reach both new and long-time fans, after playing to millions of fans on the band’s tours from 1996 through 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Grand Funk Railroad?
Grand Funk Railroad is a rock band that was formed in 1969. The band is made up of Mark Farner, Mel Schacher, and Don Brewer. They are best known for their hit songs “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)”, “We’re an American Band”, and “The Loco-Motion”. The band has sold over 25 million albums, and they continue to tour today.
Was Grand Funk Railroad Gained Success?
Grand Funk Railroad was definitely one of the most successful bands of the 1970s. They sold over 25 million records, and had a ton of hit songs. Their live performances were also very popular, and they regularly packed stadiums and arenas.
Who Are The Current Members Of Grand Funk Railroad?
The current lineup of Grand Funk Railroad includes bassist Mel Schacher, guitarist and vocalist Mark Farner, keyboardist Craig Frost, and drummer Don Brewer. Former members include vocalist/guitarist Terry Knight, who died in 2004, and singer/guitarist Bruce Kulick, who left the band in 1988. Grand Funk Railroad has sold over 25 million records and continues to tour throughout the United States.
What Is The Name Of Super Hit Album Of Grand Funk Railroad?
The name of Grand Funk Railroad’s super hit album is “We’re an American Band”. Released in 1973, the album contains the hit singles “We’re an American Band”, “Walk Like a Man”, and “Main Street People”. The album reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA.
Who Wrote Most Of Grand Funk Railroad Songs?
Of all the songs that have been recorded by Grand Funk Railroad, only a handful were written by outside songwriters. The bulk of the material was penned by the band’s three members – Mark Farner, Don Brewer and Mel Schacher.