Zapp was an American electro-funk band from Hamilton, Ohio, that released four albums on Warner Bros. between 1980 and 1985, followed by a fifth album at decade’s end on the label’s Reprise imprint.

Members: Roger (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, harmonica, vibraphone, percussion), Zapp Troutman (keyboards, bass, vocals), Tony Troutman (bass), Lester Troutman (drums), Larry Troutman (percussion)

Zapp evolved from Roger and the Human Body, a Dayton funk combo that issued the album Introducing Roger on self-press Troutman Bros. Records in 1976. Human Body was the project of brothers Roger, Larry, and Lester Troutman with help from assorted sideman.

Roger Troutman (b. 1951) first recorded at age 13 with surf-rockers The Crusaders, which issued the 1964 single “Seminole” (b/w “Busted Surf Board”) on one-press D.K.R. In 1966, he teamed with older brother Larry (b. 1944) in the soul combo “Lil” Roger and His Fabulous Vel’s, which cut the record “Jolly Roger” / “Night Time” for Cincinnati small-press Teen Records.

A decade passed before they teamed with third brother Lester in Human Body. The same year as Introducing Roger, all three did “special effects” and “rhythm assistance” on the self-titled debut album by fellow Dayton funksters Sun, where their surname is misspelled “Trotman.” Larry started managing business affairs for the group, which changed its name to Zapp after incoming fourth brother Terry “Zapp” Troutman who, like Roger, played keyboard and bass.

In 1979, Zapp caught the attention of George Clinton, who signed them to Uncle Jam Records. Though that label soon folded, they were retained by its parent company, Warner Bros.


  • Zapp (1980)
  • Zapp II (1982)
  • Zapp III (1983)
  • The New Zapp IV U (1985)
  • Zapp Vibe (1989)


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