Grand Funk Railroad blended the raw energy of rock with infectious melodies and high-energy live performances to become one of the biggest-selling American bands of the 1970s.
The founding members of Grand Funk Railroad - Mark Farner on vocals and guitar, Don Brewer on drums and vocals and Mel Schacher on bass - first joined forces in Flint, Mich. in 1968; manager Terry Knight named the group in honor of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad line running through their hometown. Grand Funk Railroad embarked on a relentless touring schedule, following a breakthrough performance at the 1969 Atlanta International Pop Festival with the release of its Capitol Records debut LP, On Time.
By the summer of 1971, Grand Funk Railroad ranked among the biggest acts in the nation despite minimal radio support and critical scorn: the albums Closer to Home, Survival and Live Album all reached the Billboard Top Ten. After parting ways with Knight, the band teamed with producer Todd Rundgren for the chart-topping 1973 hit "We're an American Band," followed a year later by a blockbuster cover of Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion." Grand Funk Railroad split in 1976, but reunited at various times in the decades to follow, both with and without Farner.