September 29: Mark Farner, lead singer and guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad is 63-years-old today.

Besides playing guitar and singing lead for Grand Funk Railroad,  Mark Fredrick Farner, who was born in Flint, Michigan, was the main songwriter for most of their material. His best known composition is the 1970 epic "I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home)." "We're An American Band" reached #1 on the Hot 100 on Mark's 25th birthday.

During the 1970s, Grand Funk Railroad sold more than 25 million records, toured constantly, packed arenas worldwide, and received four RIAA gold albums during 1970. The band's name is a play on words of the Grand Trunk Railroad, a railroad line that ran through the band's home town of Flint, Michigan.

The current Grand Funk Railroad lineup uses the nickname "The American Band," a reference to its 1973 hit "We're an American Band." This song, written by  Don Brewer, was the band's first #1 single.

After Grand Funk initially disbanded in 1976, Farner released his first self titled solo album in 1977, and his second, No Frills, in 1978 (both Atlantic Records).

In 1981, Farner and Brewer launched a new Grand Funk line-up and recorded two albums, Grand Funk Lives and What's Funk?

Farner went solo again with 1988's Just Another Injustice on Frontline Records. His third Frontline release was 1991's Some Kind of Wonderful, which featured a revamped version of the Grand Funk classic of the same name. Farner enjoyed success with the John Beland composition "Isn't it Amazing," which earned him a Dove Award nomination and reached #2 on the Christian Contemporary charts.


In 1981, Farner and former Grand Funk member, Brewer resurrected Grand Funk for an album that cracked the Billboard albums chart. Two years later, they split again.
In 1996 Brewer, Schacher, and Farner reunited as Grand Funk, and were eventually named one of Pollstar's top-grossing acts of 1998.

Also in the 1990s, Farner formed LismarkLisuk. Soon after, Farner began reissuing his solo albums on his own record label, LisMark Records.

Farner also toured with Ringo Starr's Allstars from 1994 to 1995, which also featured Randy Bachman, John Entwistle, Felix Cavaliere, Billy Preston, and Starr's son, Zak Starkey.

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 Mark FarnerNo FrillsGrand Funk Railroad - Greatest Hits

In the late 1990s, Farner reunited with Grand Funk, but left after three years to resume his solo career. He currently tours with his band, N'rG, which plays a mixture of Grand Funk songs and Farner's solo offerings.

In 2005, Grand Funk Railroad was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. The band has had three of its recordings voted Legendary Michigan Songs: "We're an American Band" in 2008, and "Closer To Home/I'm Your Captain" and "Some Kind Of Wonderful" in 2009.

On the TV show, The Simpsons, Homer Simpson has said Grand Funk Railroad is his favorite band.

For more about Mark, visit his Website -



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