“Sweet, Sweet Connie” in Grand Funk Railroad Hit dies at 66

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Connie Hamzy, an Arkansas rock ‘n’ roll groupie who was immortalized as “Sweet, Sweet Connie” on the 1973 Grand Funk Railroad hit “We’re an American Band,” has passed away. She was 66 years old.

“I was determined to be a famous groupie,” Hamzy, who lived in Little Rock, told KTHV in 2019. “I really was.”

An obituary posted by Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth Funeral Home in Little Rock indicated that she died on Saturday. The Pulaski County coroner had a report on his death but did not immediately release details.

Hamzy told KTHV she was finishing her final year of high school when the director of Grand Funk Railroad called her to tell her that her name would be in one of the group’s new songs. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to have to see it to believe it,'” she said.

But that summer, while at the lake with friends, she heard an announcer on her transistor radio introduce the new song and noted that a local girl was in the front lines, he said. she declared.

The song about the band on tour and partying begins: “On the road for forty days. Last night in Little Rock put me in the fog. Sweet, sweet Connie, playing her part. She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact.

Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, who wrote and sang the lead vocals for “We’re An American Band,” told The Associated Press, “I’m sorry to hear of Connie’s death. My memory of her is that of a very outgoing ‘Sweet’ girl who wanted to be famous. It was his goal in life. May she rest in peace! “

Hamzy told the TV station that she first went backstage at the age of 15 after her mother, who didn’t want to deal with traffic, dropped her off early to see Steppenwolf at the Barton Coliseum.

“We would go there, then we would walk backstage, and one thing would lead to another,” she told KTHV.

Hamzy, who worked for a time as a substitute teacher, spent time with bands including Queen, the Eagles and Kiss, KTHV reported. Hamzy told the TV station that Van Halen was a particular favorite.

Michael Hibblen, chief information officer at KUAR, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he occasionally met her at a bar in Little Rock.

“She would sit at the Town Pump bar and openly share her getaways with rock stars,” Hibblen said. “She’s always had fun telling these stories.”

KARK-TV, which first reported on Hamzy’s death, reported that in June she signed autographs and posed for photos at a reception for an exhibition called “Play It Loud: Concerts at Barton Coliseum “at the Old State House.

Hamzy’s cousin, Rita Lawrence, said Hamzy, an only child, never married.

“She was just a wild child, and she was really from that era, bands and stuff, that was her life, and she loved it,” Lawrence told the AP.


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