Sunday, November 29, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Zapp & Roger

Artist:Zapp & Roger
Song:More Bounce To The Ounce
Album:All The Greatest Hits

Roger Troutman was a funk pioneer who emerged in the 80s with his band Zapp and then as a solo artist and producer. He is best known for his use of the Talk Box which I guess inspired auto tune though I don't think that was Troutman's intention. Zapp was a family band from Hamilton, OH which is a suburb of Cincinnati. Troutman had several bands with brothers Larry, Lester and Terry. The name Zapp came from a band led by Terry Troutman. Their big break came after Roger toured with Parliament Funkadelic. Bootsy Collins and his brother Catfish attended a Zapp concert and suggested to George Clinton that they should record Zapp. This led to a contract with Warner Bros. Their 1980 album Zapp was produced by Bootsy Collins. The debut single More Bounce To The Ounce reached #2 on the R & B Singles chart. Troutman's use of the Talk Box distinguished Zapp from similar funk bands like the Ohio Players. Soon after, Troutman recorded his solo debut album The Many Facets Of Roger. Though Clinton produced and planned to release it on his own label through CBS, Troutman sold it to Warners and split with Clinton. Zapp recorded four albums between 1980-1985. They were all successful as fans didn't tire of Troutman's use of the Talk Box. Troutman also recorded solo but those albums weren't as successful. And Troutman started producing other artists. The 1985 Shirley Murdock hit As We Lay was probably the biggest hit Troutman ever worked on. When the 1989 album Zapp Vibe didn't do as well as previous albums, Troutman disbanded Zapp. He continued to record solo. This budget comp is a good intro to Zapp's music. There was renewed interest in Zapp in the 90s when hip hop guys began sampling their music. Troutman was nominated for a Grammy for appearing on Tupac Shakur's 1996 single California Love. This all ended shockingly on Apr. 25, 1999 when Larry Troutman murdered his brother Roger and then shot himself over the bankruptcy of the family business. Larry was the business manager and he was angry after Roger fired him. Roger Troutman was dead at age 47. Lester and Terry released a Zapp album in 2003 and in a recent interview they said they are planning to record new music. Here's Zapp performing More Bounce To The Ounce on BET 1989.

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