This week we highlight funky, high-energy music with a contagious groove built for dancing, loving, and good times.
Made up of masterful musicians who have been getting down together since the late 1970s, the group’s sizzling chemistry can be attributed to the fact that it has always been a joyful family affair. “You know where we’re going with this??”
The band started with Lil Roger and Lil Lester in 1962, which became Lil Roger and the Vels, grew into Roger and the Human Body from 1974-1978, then became a full-fledged movement as Zapp.
ZAPP, are expert players, of funk, and soul. Zapp are the party band pioneers.
The music is best described as Vibrating. – with the moog, bass, the tight-knit group’s songs, demonstrate a wicked sense of humor, and an unmatched ability to tell colorful stories and write solid, memorable hooks.
Zapp’s layered recordings and boisterous, Las Vegas-style live shows have always established them as trailblazers, in both, songwriting and showmanship.
In the tradition of stylish masters such as James Brown, George Clinton, Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone, Roger is a genius at that level..there is too much influential work to tell in an episode so this is gonna be a two parter the early years of zapp and tHen the 80’s Zapp and its eccentric genius of music and fearless leader Roger troutman.. and his solo career in PART TWO. We save the Roger solo stuff for next week and dig into the most influential people and families to come out.. Zapp as a band on the west coast rap music scene.. the feel. you’ll find out that the west coasts. Biggest hip hop efforts are all really version and imitations from this band that came from no where near cali but from the funk hotbed at the time Dayton Ohio … home to tons of populars in R& B music
there are so many facets of Roger and by association, the rest of the group ZAPP. So many so, that Roger had an album named the many facets of Roger.. if you are a fan of soul and original dance funk music then you know the name Roger
If you’ve seen videos or live performances then you know the electricity he generates, and the oh so many “facets”.. this is gonna be a different kind of show this week and next and we will insert some great finds from the internet and also some footage I recorded while working as an overnight dj on the central valley of California, A rhythm music pioneer in the eighties. Or what is now hot 104-7. I have a show with Roger and was witness to how nice the guy was what a clown and what a GENIUS. He came with small Casioish lookin keyboard anyway. He was doing talk box on some of the songs also adlibbing live mic over the top of his own songs. It was I’ll. Some where we’ll get that in and also some footage I Kyped from another post from Zapp.
when you talk about Zapp (also known as the Zapp Band or Zapp & Roger) They had many names over the years and it appears to be based on how the lead singer Roger was feeling that day. The Group emerged from Dayton, Ohio, in 1977. (FROM WIKI) Particularly influential in the electro subgenre of funk, Zapp were known for their trademark use of the talk-box effect. The original line-up consisted of four Troutman brothers—frontman Roger, Larry, Lester and Terry—and non-Troutman family members Bobby Glover, Gregory Jackson, Sherman Fleetwood, Jerome Derrickson, Eddie Barber and Jannetta Boyce. Zapp also worked closely with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins of Parliament-Funkadelic during its early stages, their support being a factor in the group gaining a record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 1979.
Roger the leader of Zapp was Born on November 29, 1951, in town outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton
By the mid to late 60’s Roger Troutman began recording music, issuing his first solo recording efforts “Jolly Roger” and “Night Time” on the obscure and now defunct Ohio label, Teen Records in 1966 under the band name ‘Lil’ Roger and His Fabulous Vels.
Although neither song received recognition due to its very limited release, Troutman and his brothers pursued their music career throughout the 1970s, forming Roger & The Human Body in 1976, on their privately owned label “Troutman Bros. Records.” Their own label allowed Troutman and the band to give a slightly wider and more high-profile release of their own music, issuing their first (and only) album. “Introducing Roger” in 1976.
In the late 1970s Roger Troutman continued to record with his brothers, losing the name Roger & The Human Body and adopting the Zapp nickname from his brother Terry in 1977.
The group, searching for recognition, began playing at various small venues locally around Ohio.
The Troutman family had long-standing friendships with Ohio natives Phelps “Catfish” Collins and William Earl “Bootsy” Collins. who had both been involved with Parliament-Funkadelic in the early 70s.
Phelps and Bootsy were attendees at a performance, and were impressed with Zapp’s musical abilities, so Bootsy invites Roger to the United Sound Studios in Detroit (which was the P-Funk studio home base) and frequently used by Parliament-Funkadelic. Roger Troutman subsequently wrote and recorded the demo for “More Bounce to the Ounce” in 1978.
George Clinton, the leader of Funkadelic liked the recording and encouraged Troutman to present the demo to Warner Bros. Records.
Warner Bros. signed Zapp in early 1979, and on July 28, 1980, Zapp released their debut album, which was recorded by Roger and produced by Bootsy between 1979 and early 1980 at the United Sound Studios in Detroit, their first recording on a major label. The album’s sound, which is highly influenced by Parliament-Funkadelic, contrasts largely with Zapp’s later releases. “More Bounce to the Ounce” reached number two on the Billboard Hot R&B tracks for two weeks during the autumn of 1980. By November 18, 1980, Zapp had been certified gold by the RIAA.
Since Zapp’s beginnings, its heartbeat has always been the vibrant imagination of the three Troutman Brothers – older brother Larry and two younger brothers Roger and Lester – who jammed together before becoming a quartet called Roger and the Human Body.
This early quartet included the duo of Roger and Lester, Ralph Shepard and Chris Croom, whose premiere recording experience was with Capitol Records in 1975- 1976, when they worked on Sun’s debut album as well as the debut of Roger and the Human Body.
Hired as studio musicians, Roger and Lester were fundamental to both projects and had already been experimenting with the talkbox just as it was first gaining fame thanks to mega stars like Stevie Wonder, Peter Frampton and Earth, Wind & Fire.
In 1978, Roger, Larry, Lester and Terry went into the studio with renowned bassist, singer and songwriter Bootsy Collins to record an album and were discovered by P- Funk’s legendary leader George Clinton, who encouraged them to name themselves “Zapp” in honor of Terry’s snappy nickname. In 1980, the four original Zapp members released their self-titled debut, co- produced by Collins, on Warner Bros Records. Released that summer, Zapp became a platinum success, peaking at the Top 20 of the Billboard Top 200 thanks to the hip-shaking hit single, “More Bounce to the Ounce,” written by Roger. This triumph led to a major tour with the Commodores and use of the samples froths joint.
“California Love” by 2Pac & Dr. Dre from the album All Eyez on Me
“Heed the Word of the Brother” by X-Clan
“Servin’ Em Heat” by South Central Cartel
“Snoop Bounce” by Snoop Doggy Dogg from the album Tha Doggfather
“Ain’t No Future in Yo Frontin'” by MC Breed
“You Gots to Chill” by EPMD from the album Strictly Business
“Going Back to Cali” by Notorious B.I.G from the album Life After Death
“The Nigga Ya Love to Hate” by Ice Cube from the album AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted
“Jackin’ for Beats” by Ice Cube from the album Kill at Will
“More Bounce” by Heavy D. & the Boyz from the album Big Tyme
“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
(PLAY) MORE BOUNCE TO THE OUNCE
The history of Zapp, is well noted across the internet especially after his demise. But I am gonna post up in either this weeks or next or maybe even a 3rd session for app. Right now we’re at two shows and I think it’ll be three or maybe I’ll do the concert pieces in the extra on Wednesday..
the second release from the album “Zapp”
Is “be alright..” Here’s one thing I can tell you a few have used in some popular songs. I myself had no idea. Or should I say never cared or wasn’t that deep with my app knowledge to know the hook here is one of the biggest
“Knockin’ da Boots” by H-Town from the album Fever for da Flavor (1993)
“Keep Ya Head Up” by 2Pac from the album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (1993)
“U Gotta Deal wit Dis (Gangsta Luv)” by South Central Cartel
“He’s Mine” by Mokenstef 1995
“Shakiyla (JRH)” by Poor Righteous Teachers
Here’s be alright. From Zapp the album. on the old school rewind
PLAY “BE ALRIGHT”
Zapp released its second album, Zapp II, on October 14, 1982. Electronic production techniques featured prominently, including liberal use of the talk-box that became Troutman’s signature. Despite the contrasting styles between the first and the second albums, Zapp II attained gold status by September 21, 1983.] The album fared almost as well as Zapp’s debut, peaking at number two on the Billboard R&B chart, and reaching 25 on The Billboard 200 Albums chart. The single “Dancefloor peaked at number one on the R&B singles chart of 1982. How cool was Zapp’s dazzling rise , word best associated , for me, would have to be persistive, they were , and it shows all piloted by Roger, who was the band’s producer, chief writer, arranger and composer and invented brand-new ways to use the talkbox that distinguished recordings.
“Dance Floor” is performed, produced, arranged and composed by Roger Troutman. It is the opening track of Roger’s second ‘Zapp’ branded studio album Zapp II and serves as the album’s second single. It spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart.
When Zapp founder and creator Roger Troutman collaborated with Dr. Dre and 2Pac for 1995’s “California Love,” Roger performed the talk box and interpolated the “Shake it” vocal from “Dance Floor” into “California Love
PLAY DANCE FLOOR
“Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing)” / “A Touch of Jazz (Playin’ Kinda Ruff Part II)” is a single performed by Zapp, issued as the lead single from their second studio album Zapp II. “Doo Wa Ditty” is the third track on the album, while “A Touch of Jazz” is the closing track on the album. The single peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard R&B singles chart in 1982.
The song “Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing)” has been sampled on “Do U Wanna Roll (Dolittle Theme)” (2001), a track by R.L., Snoop Dogg and Lil’ Kim from the Dr. Dolittle 2 soundtrack.
PLAY DOO WAH DITTY
1980–81: Split with George Clinton, Uncle Jam and CBS.
After the 1980 release of Zapp’s debut album, tensions rose between Roger Troutman and George Clinton.
Troutman’s solo album, “The Many Facets of Roger” was primarily funded by Clinton, through CBS, and was slated to be released on his own Uncle Jam Records label.
But by the early 1980s, Clinton and his musical projects were experiencing financial troubles due to his poor management skills and shifting tastes in music. Around the time that Troutman’s debut was due to be released, Warner Bros. Records dropped Clinton from their label. Funkadelic’s final recording with Warner Bros., on which Troutman had worked briefly, was The Electric Spanking of War Babies. Under pressure from the label, it was cut from a double album to a single disc. Warner Bros. did not promote the release, which emerged in early 1981 and made little impact.
Troutman could see the disarray surrounding Clinton and severed their partnership by accepting a higher offer for the demo recordings of his album from Warner Bros.
With Clinton out of the picture, Troutman was left to exercise virtually full creative control over the band’s subsequent work. When The Many Facets of Roger was finally released in August 1981 it was on the Warner Bros. label. In Clinton’s biography George Clinton: For the Record, Troutman was quoted as off-handedly commenting, “… Heck gee-willickers, Warner Bros. offered me mo’ money”. Clinton’s view, expressed in his response, was that “CBS paid for it, I paid for it. I don’t like to go into it on the negative side, but it cost about 5 million [dollars], and a lot of people’s jobs and what we consider as the empire falling”. The financial loss from the rupture with Troutman is credited as one of the factors that derailed Clinton’s musical career and sent Funkadelic into hiatus.
This is the Old SCHOOL, REWIND. I Can Make You Dance,” is next in line from the album Zapp III the third studio album by Zapp, released on July 25, 1983 by Warner Bros. Records. Zapp III was released in 1983, and managed to gain a gold certification, but peaked at only 39 on the Billboard 200 and nine on the R&B chart.
In 1983, Zapp’s star was still bright, and Roger was introduced to the R&B legend Shirley Murdock, who auditioned for him and was instantly welcomed into the group in 1984. She toured with the band throughout 1985, the same year, Roger Lester and the rest of their production crew commandeered Shirley’s debut album, which made her an instant platinum sensation.
Clip as we lay,
Zapp spawned several more albums in close succession, retaining the slick electronic style that Zapp II had adopted, but with diminishing success.
Zapp III’s poorer commercial performance became a sign that the band’s popularity and impact were beginning to decline toward the mid 1980s, with post-disco music falling out of trend.
In popular culture
The song “I Can Make You Dance” is featured on the fictional radio station Bounce FM in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
(Play I can make you dance)
From zapp III the song “Heartbreaker” is featured on the radio station Space 103.2 in Grand Theft Auto V, and was also featured in the 1995 film Friday.
PLAY Heartbreaker,” west coast lowriding scenes a many this song has been the sound track too.
This is the old school rewind podcast we’re talking about Zapp. Next week we’ll do Roger and his solo career, By the release of The New Zapp IV U in October 1985, the downward trajectory was evident. The album did not attain gold status until 1994, almost a decade after its initial release. the first single from Zapp IV U is “Computer Love” is a song performed at this time by the crew being called being called Zapp & Roger, issued as the fourth and final single from their fourth studio album The New Zapp IV U. Featuring vocals by Shirley Murdock and Charlie Wilson (a remix of the song without Wilson’s vocal was recorded after Total Experience Records president Lonnie Simmons threatened a lawsuit), the song was written by Murdock and Zapp band leader Roger Troutman. (on the album credits of The New Zapp IV U, the song is credited to Roger Troutman and Larry Troutman). “Computer Love” peaked at number 8 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1986.
Finalize our first week of zapp, here on the old school rewind podcast and a cover of The Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby.”
By 1985, the group had amassed more than four gold records and was drawing huge audiences worldwide.
Zapp’s presence faded further in the latter half of the 1980s, as Troutman focused his attention on his solo career. The final release by Zapp before Troutman’s death was Zapp V in September 1989, which achieved only moderate commercial success and failed to receive an RIAA certification.
1993–96: Resurgence and brief increase in popularity
The increasingly dominant West Coast hip-hop scene of the early- to mid-1990s briefly brought Zapp and Roger back into the spotlight as their material came into favor as a source of samples for hip-hop tracks. Troutman gained recognition for providing talk-box backing vocals for both the original and remixed version of Tupac Shakur’s 1995-96 comeback single “California Love”; the alternate version of the music video features Troutman playing the keyboard and talk-box during a party. Roger’s involvement in “California Love” awarded him a Grammy nomination for “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group” in 1997.
On Sunday morning, April 25, 1999, Roger Troutman was fatally wounded as a result of an apparent murder-suicide that was orchestrated by his older brother, Larry. Roger was shot several times in the torso by Larry as he exited a recording studio in Dayton, Ohio. Roger was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, but died shortly after. Larry’s body was found in a car a short distance away from the murder scene. There were no witnesses at the time, and Larry’s motive for the murder of Roger remains unclear. Larry had been experiencing increasingly severe financial problems managing the family-run housing company, Troutman Enterprises, which eventually filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy owing $400,000 in tax. Larry might also have been bitter after Roger fired him as manager of his music career, a position Larry had held for several years.
During Roger’s funeral, his nephew Clet Troutman performed a talk-box rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Roger was survived by his six sons and five daughters; his eldest son, Roger Lynch Troutman Jr., died of head injuries just a few years after the murder of his father (January 31, 1970 – January 22, 2003).
After Troutman’s death, Ice Cube said that “More Bounce To The Ounce” introduced him to hip-hop. “I was in the sixth grade, we’d stayed after school. We had this dude named Mr. Lock, and he used to bring in his radio with these pop-lockers. He used to teach [the dance group] the L.A. Lockers, and he would do community service in after-school programs. He knew a lot of kids and introduced them to all the new dances, he put on that song ‘More Bounce’, and they started pop-locking. And I think from that visual, from seeing that, it was my first introduction into hip-hop. Period. I didn’t know nothing about nothing. I hadn’t heard ‘Rapper’s Delight’ yet. It was the first thing that was really fly to me. They started dancing, and since ‘More Bounce’ goes on forever, they just got down. I just think that was a rush of adrenaline for me, like a chemical reaction in my brain.”
The resulting impact of Roger and Larry’s deaths left the band stranded, halting production. Without Roger serving as the creative source, they effectively disbanded, and quietly left the music industry altogether. Warner Bros. Records eventually dropped the band from their label, bringing the professional recording career of Zapp to a close. A few years later, Zapp resurfaced for a short period after the establishment of its own independent label, Zapp Town Records, managed by the Troutman family. The label released its only album, Zapp VI: Back By Popular Demand, in 2003. Zapp returned to performing only in live concert, touring across the U.S. at various venues.