Category: roger troutman

On this day in music history: November 7, 1981 – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Roger hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #79 on the Hot 100 on November 28, 1981. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it is the first solo number hit for the front man of the R&B/Funk band Zapp. For his cover version of the Marvin Gaye classic, Roger takes inspiration from artists such as funk contemporaries Cameo, fusion jazz stalwarts Weather Report and from songwriter/producer Norman Whitfield when coming up with an original arrangement for the song. Roger plays most of the instruments on the track himself, except for the drums and which were handled by his brothers Lester and Terry “Zapp” Troutman. When his debut solo album “The Many Facets Of Roger” is released in the late Summer of 1981, is issued without a lead single. When Troutman and Warner Bros can’t decide between “So Ruff, So Tuff” (eventually released as the second single) and “Grapevine”, the latter wins out by default when DJ’s favor it over other tracks on the album. Clocking in at nearly eleven minutes on the album, it is edited split into two parts for single release in August of 1981. The success of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” also drives “The Many Facets Of Roger” album to the top of the Billboard R&B album chart on the same date, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: December 19, 1987 – “I Want To Be Your Man” by Roger hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on February 13, 1988. Written by Roger Troutman and Larry Troutman, it is the second solo chart topper for the singer, songwriter, musician and producer from Dayton, OH. Following the release of his second solo album “The Saga Continues” in 1984, Roger Troutman immediately turns his attention back to his band Zapp, to work on their fourth album. Titled “New Zapp IV U”, one of its standout tracks is the slow burning groove “Computer Love” (#8 R&B), which also features vocals by Troutman protege Shirley Murdock and Gap Band lead vocalist Charlie Wilson. It goes on to be one of Zapp’s most popular, most sampled and best loved songs. It also provides the inspiration for what becomes one of Roger’s biggest solo hits. Taking much of 1986 off, Troutman returns to the studio in 1987 to record his third album while Zapp is on an extended hiatus. Thinking about how men are often hesitant to make a full commitment to women in relationships, and how women want them to admit it, Roger comes up with an idea to express that feeling in a song. Telling his brother Larry his idea, the pair begin writing the music and lyrics for what evolves into “I Want To Be Your Man”. Playing virtually all of the instruments on the track, Roger records his lead vocal, singing both through his signature vocoder as well as using his natural voice. The background vocalists on “Man” include Shirley Murdock, Ray Davis, Clete Troutman and Mark Thomas. Nicole Cottom, a high school friend of Larry’s daughter, impresses him with her singing voice when she performs at their graduation ceremony, and he tells Roger about her. The brothers invite Cottom to the studio to add vocal ad libs to “I Want To Be Your Man”, to fill a hole in the song. Once it’s completed, Roger plays the finished record for Warner Bros. executive Lenny Waronker who immediately declares the song a smash. Troutman disagrees at first, not seeing it as being more than just album filler. But Waronker’s faith in the song’s hit potential is so great, that he wants to use it and Roger’s album to re-launch Warner Bros subsidiary Reprise Records. Issued as the first single from “Unlimited!” in September of 1987, it quickly becomes a hit. Warner Bros shows their commitment by putting their full promotional muscle behind the single, racing to the top of the R&B singles chart. As its climbing that chart, the song begins to crossover on to pop radio, giving Roger Troutman his biggest hit on the Hot100, when it lands in the top five in February of 1988. “I Want To Be Your Man” is later sampled by Irv Gotti, Lil Rob, Jadakiss, and Cam’ron. It is also covered by Chico DeBarge & Shae Viol, Charlie Wilson & Fantasia Barrino, and Mark Morrison with K.O. McCoy and Young Buck.

On this day in music history: November 7, 1981 – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Roger hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #79 on the Hot 100 on November 28, 1981. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it is the first solo number hit for the front man of the R&B/Funk band Zapp. For his cover version of the Marvin Gaye classic, Roger takes inspiration from artists such as funk contemporaries Cameo, fusion jazz stalwarts Weather Report and from songwriter/producer Norman Whitfield when coming up with an original arrangement for the song. Roger plays most of the instruments on the track himself, except for the drums and which were handled by his brothers Lester and Terry “Zapp” Troutman. When his debut solo album “The Many Facets Of Roger” is released in the late Summer of 1981, is issued without a lead single. When Troutman and Warner Bros can’t decide between “So Ruff, So Tuff” (eventually released as the second single) and “Grapevine”, the latter wins out by default when DJ’s favor it over other tracks on the album. Clocking in at nearly eleven minutes on the album, it is edited split into two parts for single release in August of 1981. The success of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” also drives “The Many Facets Of Roger” album to the top of the Billboard R&B album chart on the same date, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: December 19, 1987 – “I Want To Be Your Man” by Roger hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on February 13, 1988. Written by Roger Troutman and Larry Troutman, it is the second solo chart topper for the singer, songwriter, musician and producer from Dayton, OH. Following the release of his second solo album “The Saga Continues” in 1984, Roger Troutman immediately turns his attention back to his band Zapp, to work on their fourth album. Titled “New Zapp IV U”, one of its standout tracks is the slow burning groove “Computer Love” (#8 R&B), which also features vocals by Troutman protege Shirley Murdock and Gap Band lead vocalist Charlie Wilson. It goes on to be one of Zapp’s most popular, most sampled and best loved songs. It also provides the inspiration for what becomes one of Roger’s biggest solo hits. Taking much of 1986 off, Troutman returns to the studio in 1987 to record his third album while Zapp is on an extended hiatus. Thinking about how men are often hesitant to make a full commitment to women in relationships, and how women want them to admit it, Roger comes up with an idea to express that feeling in a song. Telling his brother Larry his idea, the pair begin writing the music and lyrics for what evolves into “I Want To Be Your Man”. Playing virtually all of the instruments on the track, Roger records his lead vocal, singing both through his signature vocoder as well as using his natural voice. The background vocalists on “Man” include Shirley Murdock, Ray Davis, Clete Troutman and Mark Thomas. Nicole Cottom, a high school friend of Larry’s daughter, impresses him with her singing voice when she performs at their graduation ceremony, and he tells Roger about her. The brothers invite Cottom to the studio to add vocal ad libs to “I Want To Be Your Man”, to fill a hole in the song. Once it’s completed, Roger plays the finished record for Warner Bros. executive Lenny Waronker who immediately declares the song a smash. Troutman disagrees at first, not seeing it as being more than just album filler. But Waronker’s faith in the song’s hit potential is so great, that he wants to use it and Roger’s album to re-launch Warner Bros subsidiary Reprise Records. Issued as the first single from “Unlimited!” in September of 1987, it quickly becomes a hit. Warner Bros shows their commitment by putting their full promotional muscle behind the single, racing to the top of the R&B singles chart. As its climbing that chart, the song begins to crossover on to pop radio, giving Roger Troutman his biggest hit on the Hot100, when it lands in the top five in February of 1988. “I Want To Be Your Man” is later sampled by Irv Gotti, Lil Rob, Jadakiss, and Cam’ron. It is also covered by Chico DeBarge & Shae Viol, Charlie Wilson & Fantasia Barrino, and Mark Morrison with K.O. McCoy and Young Buck.

On this day in music history: November 7, 1981 – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Roger hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #79 on the Hot 100 on November 28, 1981. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it is the first solo number hit for the front man of the R&B/Funk band Zapp. For his cover version of the Marvin Gaye classic, Roger Troutman takes inspiration from artists such as funk contemporaries Cameo, fusion jazz stalwarts Weather Report and from songwriter/producer Norman Whitfield when coming up with an original arrangement for the song. Roger plays most of the instruments on the track himself, except for the drums and which were handled by his brothers Lester and Terry “Zapp” Troutman. When his debut solo album “The Many Facets Of Roger” is released in the late Summer of 1981, is issued without a lead single. When Troutman and Warner Bros can’t decide between “So Ruff, So Tuff” (eventually released as the second single) and “Grapevine”, the latter wins out by default when DJ’s favor it over other tracks on the album. Clocking in at nearly eleven minutes on the album, it is edited split into two parts for single release in August of 1981. The success of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” also drives “The Many Facets Of Roger” album to the top of the Billboard R&B album chart on the same date, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.