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 Fuller Up The Dead Musician Directory 
 
Roger Troutman 
Roger Troutman 
April 25, 1999 
Age 47

Shot 
 
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 ROCKTROPOLIS
Zapp's Roger and Larry Troutman Found
Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide

Brothers Roger and Larry Troutman,  founding members of seminal '80s funk outfit Zapp, were found dead Sunday (April 25) morning near their Dayton, Ohio recording studio in an apparent murder-suicide.  
              
Roger Troutman, 47, was found just outside the studio with several gunshots to his torso, according to the Associated Press. He died while in surgery at the Good Samaritan Hospital and Health Center.  
                                    
Roger's brother Larry was found dead in a car a few blocks away with a single gunshot wound to the head. Investigators believe the wound was self-inflicted, but won't know for a few days whether a handgun found in the vehicle was the same as that responsible for Roger's death.   
                      
Roger and Larry Troutman founded Zapp in 1975, along with their brothers Lester and Terry Troutman. The group became an important part of the funk scene in the early '80s with such hit records as "More Bounce to the Ounce," "Dance Floor," and "Doo Wa Ditty."  
                                                
Roger, lead singer and guitarist for the group, frequently used a vocoder voice- distortion box for his lead vocals. The group's future-funk vibe provided the transition between the sloppy grooves of Parliament in the late '70s and the early electro foundations of hip-hop in the early '80s. Later in the decade, Roger went solo and earned a crossover hit with the record "I Want To Be Your Man." He later rejoined the family group under the moniker Zapp & Roger.  
             
After depleting a finite reserve of James Brown and George Clinton samples, hip-hop artists also took a liking to Zapp. Most recently, Roger Troutman was used by 2Pac and Dr. Dre for their 1996 award-winning collaboration "California Love." ~Jazzbo

 
    

Musician Roger Troutman Fatally Shot

The Ohio Musician Had Several Hits Including 'More Bounce To The Ounce' 

DAYTON, Ohio, Posted 6:45 a.m. April 26, 1999 -- R&B recording artist musician Roger Troutman was shot to death this weekend, possibly by his brother, in an apparent murder-suicide, police said.  

Troutman, of the rock-funk group Roger & Zapp, was found outside his northwest Dayton recording studio around 7 a.m. Sunday. The 47-year-old Dayton resident had been shot several times in the torso and died while in surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital and Health Center, police Sgt. Gary White said.  

His brother, Larry Troutman, 54, was found dead in a car a few blocks away with a gunshot wound to the head, police said. A handgun was found inside the car, which matched the description of a car leaving the scene of Roger Troutman's shooting, White said.  

"Detectives are investigating it as an apparent murder-suicide," city police Sgt. Tom Rhea said Sunday night.  

White said investigators could know by Tuesday whether the gun was used in both shootings.  

"Family members have been interviewed. They can offer no reason or motive for this double shooting," White said.  

The brothers, natives of Hamilton, were part of the Troutman family of performers that formed the 1970s band Zapp and helped pioneer the rock-funk "Dayton sound."  

Zapp, whose membership evolved during the 1980s from the original all-Troutman-brother lineup, released its last album of new material in 1989.  

Roger & Zapp, artists with Warner Brothers, were known for the 1980 hit "More Bounce To The Ounce." The song was part of the band's self-titled debut album that hit the pop top 20 in 1980.  

Roger Troutman eventually went solo, recording under the name "Roger." He hit No. 1 in 1987 with the single "I Want to Be Your Man."  

Roger Troutman also recorded "California Love," a Grammy-nominated collaboration with hip-hop superstars Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre. He released a greatest-hits album in 1996.  

Larry Troutman left performing in the mid-'80s to manage the Roger & Zapp group full time and assume the presidency of the growing Dayton-based Troutman Enterprises, which included three recording studios, real-estate ventures and contracting.

"Roger, he was unique," said Ohio Players drummer and leader Diamond Williams. "Very, very talented. The world has lost a truly talented entertainer by another senseless act."  

Cincinnati native Bootsy Collins, bass player with Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame member Parliament-Funkadelic, said he would miss his friend and former colleague.  

                                        Copyright 1999 by The Associated Press

 

4,000 gather for Troutman funeral

Friends, family share memories of brothers
 


BY DAN KLEPAL
Cincinnati Enquirer

        MONROE — Roger and Larry Troutman's funeral service Saturday unfolded much like their lives — a mixture of music and faith, joy and sadness, spirituality and love.

        More than 4,000 friends, family and fans celebrated the brothers' lives before saying goodbye to the two men, who topped the R&B charts but never became too successful to help the people of southwest Ohio.

        Services were held in Solid Rock Church before the two were buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

        Police say the brothers died in a murder-suicide April 25, when Larry Troutman shot his brother near the family's recording studio in Dayton before turning the gun on himself.

        Rufus Troutman III, the brothers' nephew, gave a stirring remembrance of the brothers, who were born in Hamilton, before singing “Amazing Grace” with Roger Troutman's trademark “voice box” synthesizer.

        Mr. Troutman III seemed more preacher than musician, at one point calling for everyone who “doesn't know Jesus” to come to the front of the church.

        “I feel like this is a Holy Ghost party,” he said. “I know this ain't on the program, but God ain't got a program.”

        Although there was no mention of the murder-suicide during the ceremony, Dr. Arthur Thomas referred to Larry Troutman's final act in passing.

        “Larry Troutman was a creative genius who loved trying to make a difference,” said Dr. Arthur Thomas. “He fed the hungry, helped the helpless, carried everybody's burden.”

        “Whatever is written or said, Larry Troutman made this a better world.”

        Bishop Rudolph Pringle remembered Roger Troutman as a “natural-born anything.”

        “If anybody knew what God is, Roger did,” Mr. Pringle said. “There are just no superlatives that can describe Roger Troutman.”

        Roger “Little Roger” Troutman, 47, formed Roger & the Human Body in the 1970s. That band would lead him to Zapp, which recorded its first hit in 1980.

        Larry Troutman, 54, started his musical career by playing percussion in Zapp, before eventually becoming the band's manager.

        The brothers owned a number of business enterprises which funneled money back into the community and training unskilled workers for their construction business.

 

 

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BIOGRAPHY
 
 
AMG ZAPP BIO
Born: Nov 29, 1951 in Hamilton, OH 
Died: Apr 25, 1999 in Dayton, OH 

One of the most underrated funk groups of the 1980s, Zapp revolutionized the computer pop of electro with their trademark vocoder talk boxes and bumping grooves, emulating the earthier side of Prince and Cameo, with a leader in Roger Troutman who was more than efficient at polished production.

The family group, with brothers Roger, Lester, Larry, and Tony Troutman, grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, influenced by hometown heroes the Ohio Players as well as Parliament and other funk groups. Tony was the first to begin recording, with an obscure single for Gram-O-Phon Records, "I Truly Love You," which scraped the R&B charts in 1976. Joined by his brothers (with Roger on vocals and guitar, Lester on drums, Larry on percussion and himself contributing bass) and christened Zapp, the group played around the Midwest and gradually picked up backing vocalists (Bobby Glover, Jannetta Boyce), keyboard players (Greg Jackson, Sherman Fleetwood) and a horn section (Eddie Barber, Jerome Derrickson, Mike Warren). 

 Zapp's following quickly gained notices, and Bootsy Collins himself was hired on to work with the group on their debut album. Released in 1980, Zapp hit the Top 20 on the pop charts, thanks to the single "More Bounce to the Ounce." The following year, Roger worked on Funkadelic's The Electric Spanking of War Babies and released his solo debut album, The Many Facets of Roger. His special cover of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," complete with vocoderized talk box, pushed the album into gold territory (as Zapp had done). Zapp II appeared in 1982 and proved just as popular as the group's first, including Zapp's only number one R&B single, "Dance Floor." 

 Zapp III barely made the Top 40 pop charts upon release in 1983, and Roger's second solo album, The Saga Continues, was also a disappointment, though his cover of "Midnight Hour" featured the Mighty Clouds of Joy. The New Zapp IV U fared slightly better after release in late 1985 (thanks to the single "Computer Love"), but in 1987, Roger's third solo album, Unlimited!, featured the group's biggest hit yet, "I Want to Be Your Man," a chart-topper on the R&B lists and a respectable number three pop.

Though Roger and/or Zapp hit the R&B charts frequently during the rest of the late '80s, the unit had effectively halted recording with the 1991 Roger LP Bridging the Gap. Roger continued to produce and play with other artists, and it was his talk box that graced Dr. Dre & 2Pac's Top Ten 1996 single "California Love."

The 1993 Roger & Zapp collection All the Greatest Hits sold well, earning the collective their first platinum record. The Zapp story ended in tragedy on April 25, 1999 when Roger was shot to death by Larry, who then turned the gun on himself. -- John Bush, All-Music Guide

 
 

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  EPMD Pay Tribute To Roger Troutman
                                  Compiled by Detox

                   EPMD are getting ready to drop "Focus," a tribute to one of their
                   biggest musical influences, funk legend Roger Troutman. The
                   former Zapp member's song, "More Bounce To The
                   Ounce," was sampled on their 1987 hit single, "You
                   Gots To Chill." In an interview with MTV, Parrish
                   Smith had this to say about Troutman, "Without
                   Roger, there wouldn't have been no 'You Gots To
                   Chill,' and that's one of our major song." The tribute to
                   Troutman, who was shot outside of an Ohio recording
                   studio earlier this year, may be released on Erick
                   Sermon's label, Def Squad Records, later this year. In
                   the meantime, check for EPMD's next album, Out Of
                   Business, which should be in stores tomorrow.
 
 

 
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