Mark Farner

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Mark Farner
Mark Farner (2009).jpg
Mark Farner performing at the Fall Fest in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, September 26, 2009.
Background information
Born (1948-09-29) September 29, 1948 (age 65)
Flint, Michigan, United States
Genres Rock, hard rock, CCM
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals, keyboards, harmonica, bass guitar
Years active 1965–present
Labels Capitol, MCA, Atlantic, Warner, Lismark
Associated acts Grand Funk Railroad, Terry Knight and the Pack, N'rG, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Dave Mason
Website www.markfarner.com

Mark Fredrick Farner (born September 29, 1948) is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter, best known as the lead singer and lead guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad, and later as a contemporary Christian musician.

Early life and career[edit]

Farner began his career in music by playing in Terry Knight and The Pack (1965–1966), The Bossmen (1966), The Pack (aka The Fabulous Pack) (1967–1968), before forming Grand Funk Railroad with Don Brewer (drums) and Mel Schacher (bass guitar) in 1968.[citation needed] Craig Frost (keyboards) joined the band in 1973. Farner has Cherokee ancestry from his maternal side.[1]

With Grand Funk Railroad[edit]

Farner was the guitarist and lead singer for Grand Funk Railroad as well as the songwriter for most of their material. His best-known composition is the 1970 epic "I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home)".[2]

Grand Funk's We're An American Band reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 on Mark's 25th birthday on September 29, 1973.[citation needed]

Post-Grand Funk Railroad[edit]

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).[citation needed] In 1981, Farner and Don Brewer launched a new Grand Funk line-up with bassist Dennis Bellinger and recorded two albums, Grand Funk Lives and What's Funk?.[citation needed] Farner went solo again with 1988's Just Another Injustice on Frontline Records.[citation needed] 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 No. 2 on the Contemporary Christian music charts.[citation needed]

In the 1990s, Farner formed Lismark Communications with former Freedom Reader editor Steve Lisuk. Soon after, Farner began reissuing his solo albums on his own record label, LisMark Records.[citation needed]

Farner 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Farner had a pacemaker installed 22 October 2012. He had suffered with heart troubles for the last eight years.[3]

Other interests[edit]

Farner was honored with the Lakota Sioux Elders Honor Mark in 1999. During the concert in Hankinson, North Dakota, a special presentation was held honoring Mark's Native ancestry and his contributions. Members of the Lakota Nation presented him with a hand-made ceremonial quilt.[4] He has also been honored with the Cherokee Medal of Honor by the Cherokee Honor Society.[5]

An authorized biography of Farner, entitled From Grand Funk to Grace, was published in 2001.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

Mark Farner was mentioned in episode 9 of season 8 of the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm in September 2011.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Mark Farner, 1977
  • No Frills, 1978
  • Just Another Injustice, 1988
  • Wake Up, 1989
  • Some Kind of Wonderful, 1991
  • For the People, 2006

Other albums[edit]

  • Closer to Home, 1992 (best-of)
  • Red White and Blue Forever, 2002 (mini-album)
  • Heirlooms: The Complete Atlantic Sessions, 2000 (re-release of Farner's two first studio albums)
  • Live!! N'rG, 2003

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, Noel Lyn. "Grand Funk's frontman to rock Jackson arena". navajotimes.com. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  2. ^ Grand Funk Railroad. VH1 Behind the Music. March 7, 1999. 
  3. ^ "Oldies Music News". Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  4. ^ "Lakota Sioux Elders Honor Mark, Ceremonial Quilt Presented". Mark Farners Official Website. August 28, 1999. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Mark Farner's official website::". Markfarner.com. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  6. ^ Engelhardt, Kristofer (2001). From Grand Funk to Grace: Authorized Biography of Mark Farner. Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-1-896522-74-6. 

External links[edit]