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Roger

Best known as the leader, founder, songwriter, singer, and guitarist of early-'80s funk masters Zapp, Roger Troutman (better known simply as "Roger") also forged a successful solo career. Born November 29, 1951, in Hamilton, OH, Troutman was the fourth child in a family of nine kids, and gravitated toward music at an extremely early age; he was only five years old when he received his first guitar. It wasn't long before the young musician was playing in local bands, including one outfit called the Crusaders at the age of 11, a band that also later included Roger's brother, Lester, on drums. The group broke up in the early '60s, but Roger and Lester stuck together, as Roger became influenced by such R&B legends as B.B. King, Jimmy Reed, Chuck Jackson, and Junior Walker, in addition to such then-current chart-toppers as the Temptations, Wilson Pickett, and the Beatles. By the late '60s, Roger had added Hammond organ to his resumé of instruments, while two other Troutman brothers joined up with Roger and Lester -- Tony (bass) and Larry (percussion) -- forming Roger & the Human Body.

It wasn't long before Roger and his brothers became enraptured by such funk/rock artists as Jimi Hendrix, the Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, and Funkadelic, whose earthy sounds began to reflect in the brothers' own music. Playing shows all over the U.S. and Canada, the group added another Troutman brother to their ranks by 1977, Terry, who went by the nickname of "Zapp," which soon became the group's new name. Shortly thereafter, Bootsy Collins' brother, Phelps "Catfish" Collins, happened to catch a gig by Zapp, who put them in touch with Bootsy, who then brought them to the attention of George Clinton. Clinton promptly signing the group to his own custom label, Uncle Jam (a subsidiary of Columbia Records). Taking Roger and company under his wing, Clinton got the group's leader a performance spot at the first (and only) Funk Awards in December 1979, introducing Roger Troutman as the most talented musician he'd ever seen in his life. His show-stopping performance created a buzz for Zapp's self-titled debut release, issued in 1980 (due to contractual red tape, the album ultimately was not issued via Clinton's label, but through Warner Bros.).

Zapp (who also went by the name of "Zapp & Roger") quickly established themselves as one of funk's finest, issuing such further albums as 1982's Zapp II, 1983's Zapp III, 1984's The New Zapp IV U, and 1989's Zapp V; in addition to spawning such hit singles as "More Bounce to the Ounce," "Be Alright," "Dance Floor (Part I)," "Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing)," "I Can Make You Dance (Part I)," and "Computer Love." Along with his Zapp duties, Roger also made time to issue solo albums (mixing R&B standards with originals), including such titles as 1981's The Many Facets of Roger, 1984's The Saga Continues, 1987's Unlimited!, and 1991's Bridging the Gap; while scoring such hit singles as a cover of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Part I)" and "I Want to Be Your Man."

But by the end of the '80s, the hits and the public's interest in the group began to dwindle. Just as it appeared that Zapp & Roger had fallen off the radar screen by the early '90s, a whole new generation of rap and R&B artists began sampling bits from the group's catalogue; including such renowned artists as MC Hammer, Kris Kross, Blackstreet, Michael and Janet Jackson, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, and Snoop Dogg. As a result, there was a new heightened interest in the Zapp & Roger, as evidenced by the brisk sales of the 1993 17-track collection All the Greatest Hits, which obtained platinum certification by 1996. However, tragedy was lurking right around the corner, as Roger was shot to death on April 25, 1999, by his brother Larry (who then turned the gun on himself). In 2002, a reissue of The Many Facets of Roger was released via Rhino Records, which included several previously unreleased bonus tracks. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Bring back many memories back in 1987!!!
I MISS ROGER TROUTMAN U WILL BE IN MY HEART FOREVER AND YOUR GROUP ZAPP WILL BE IN CHICAGO PREFORMING YOUR VOICE WILL BE THERE IN CONCERT U MADE THE GROUP SMILE...
thus music will get you out of the dump, and make you jam out.
Stone
jennifer.per a l e s 6 2
��
I love old school music
Broke my heart, when he left here. He was really cool and very gentleman like. I was blessed w knowing him & following him, from Bogarts n Cincinnati, to the USO tours in Germany. #Goodtimes. :)
I don't wanna B yo man, I wanna B yo N****A...ha!
Real music for real
sleepyscott9 9
It àbout time.
Talent lost to soon, RIP Roger!!!!
I love this song, omg,this is real music......M r s . Kandice Zenn
:-D :-) :'(:-D :-) :'(:-D :-) :'(!!!!!
mmmkimber0
"I must make you understand"! Sing Roger!! Tell me how you feel! Back in the days, the men use to sing this to us girls! LOL Memories!
Uh
taniahalaby1 2
Love
taniahalaby1 2
Love
taniahalaby1 2
Love
taniahalaby1 2
Love
taniahalaby1 2
Love
taniahalaby1 2
Love
taniahalaby1 2
Love
taniahalaby1 2
Love
taniahalaby1 2
Love
I love him this fits his personality
Real music. I bought all of his albums back in the day and played them as my daughter was growing up. She likes his music, especially Computer Love.
Love and bball
This my song
I like this song oldies are the best
Real Music! Love It!
Every time I hear his music, I cry tears of joy and sadness, died to soon, love u Roger. RIP.
great song
Rip Roger and Larry! Remembing u when u played at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul Illinois we miss u dearly.
May THEE LORD Bless the Troutman Family's
We Love Y'all.Young Men to Preachers & Teachers
*978*4m14y~
Ya I'm dancing again ha lol I luv this song the Roger and Zapp I love u guys it the best follow me plz thx!
RIL
memories of love and basketball
THIS IS THE STUFF RIGHT HERE I LOVE THIS SONG SO FREAKIN MUCH (HUG AND KISSES) I CRY EVERYTIME I HEAR IT LIKE IM SOOOOOO FOR REAL IM CRYING RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS MESSAGES TO YOU GUYS
Love and basketball
RIP FRANKLIN KNUCKLES MY PRAYERS ARE WITH THE FAMILY CHICAGO OWN YOU WILL BE MISSFROM ALL THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE LISTENERS. GOD BLESS THANK YOU FOR PUTTING OLD SCHOOL HOUSE MUSIC ON THE MAP IN CHICAGO SMILE..
REMIND ME OF HOUSE PARTIES I USED GO TO WHEN I WAS A FANCY FREE TEEN-AGER ROGER TROUTMAN WAS THE SHOW STOPPER FOR THE DANCE MUSIC IN THAT ERA OF TIME R.I.P ROGER HE WAS SO RUFF SO TUFF SMILE..
Damn that man can sing hes a cutie roger is soooooooo fine rip to him
I can picture me sitting on stage at a zapp concert with roger singing to me and giving me hugs and kisses rip roger
I HEARD IT TO THE GRAPEVINE BEEN REMADE SO MANY TIMES BY DIFFERANT SINGERS BUT I LOVE ALL. I MOST LIKE MARVIN GAYE HAS A COMMERAIL OF HIS VERSION OF IT WITH A PLUMP RASIN AND ROGER TROUTMAN HAS DIFFERANT SOUND BITES TO HIS I LOVE SMILE..
I had seen Roger and Zapp in okc just before the tragedy occurred and I was absolutely sad and confused as to what would drive s brother to hate his brother to that degree. Rest in pease Roger.❇♥
Man. Who kills there own brother. R.I.P
GOT ME THROUGH MY HIGH SCHOOL AND TEEN-AGER YEARS WITH ROGER TROUTMAN AND ZAPP THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC. ( R.I.P) BABY ROGER SMILE.. THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL THE GROUP CAME FROM DAYTON,OHIO SMILE.. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK..
Roger was a great musician and singer. WE MISS YOU ROGER R.I.P
Classic!!! I'm 23 years old and every time I hear this song I loose my mind smh
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