Michigan’s Classic Hits Roots

Those of you who were born in Michigan or who have lived there a long time know about the great history of the state has for producing rock and rollers. Some of the more obvious are Bob Seger and Ted Nugent. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! If you’re looking for classic hits, Michigan is home.

Glenn Fry – Glenn Fry of the Eagles was born in Detroit and grew up in the suburb of Royal Oak and went on to be one of the founding members of The Eagles. Their hit “Hotel California” was not only their most famous song, but was also voted the best guitar solo of all time!

Ray Parker, Jr – Ray Parker, Jr, was also born in Detroit and was the front man for a band called Raydio before embarking on a solo career that included the 80s hit theme song from the movie “Ghostbusters.”

Grand Funk Railroad – GFR was famous for their 70s hit “We’re An American Band”, but got their start in Flint.

Bill Haley – Bill Haley was one of the early pioneers of rock and roll and was born in Detroit. His band, Bill Haley and the Comets had a number of hits in the 50s, but the most famous was “Rock Around the Clock” which was seen by many an anthem to this new form of music.

Brownsville Station – The name of the band might not be familiar–and probably even fewer people knew they got their start in Ann Arbor–but they’re song is certainly one that almost every teenager who grew up in the 1970s remembers: Smokin’ in the Boys Room.

Tommy James and the Shondells- Who can forget some of the hits by Tommy James and The Shondells? “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Mony, Mony,” and “Crimson and Clover.”  This 60s rock band was formed in Niles, Michigan.

Detroit is also home to Motown and we can’t possibly list all the great hits that came out of that one little house in Detroit, but the list includes The Supremes, The Marvelettes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye “The Prince of Soul”, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Aretha Franklin, and Mary Wells.

And the list could go on and on. Other great names include The White Stripes, Alice Cooper and even Sonny Bono (also born in Detroit!)  You’ll find that Michigan has a rich history of classic hits that we all should be proud of!