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Shirley Murdock: Working To Keep Roger Troutman’s Legacy Alive

Shirley Murdock: Working To Keep Roger Troutman's Legacy Alive

R&B veteran Shirley Murdock is on a mission to have a Roger Troutman memorial erected in Dayton, Ohio.

The ‘As We Lay’ singer, a protégé of Troutman’s, told BlackVoices.com that the idea to spearhead this campaign came to her about a year ago.

“I was driving toward downtown Dayton and as I approached the corner of Salem Avenue and Catalpa, I glanced over and saw a newly constructed gateway in the place that once housed the vibrant Troutman Sound Labs. Needless to say, I was overcome with emotion and my head was flooded with so many wonderful memories from days gone by,” she recalled.

Troutman was the lead singer of the band Zapp and helped lead the Funk music movement in the early 1980′s. Known for his signature computerized talkbox-enhanced vocals; Troutman’s music would be heavily sampled during the rise of West Coast hip-hop in the 1990′s.

Best known for hits like ‘Computer Love,’ ‘Mega Medley’, ‘More Bounce To The Ounce’ and ‘I Can Make You Dance,’ the musician – whose life story was featured on a recent episode of TV One’s ‘Unsung‘ – was killed on April 25, 1999 after allegedly being shot by his brother Larry Troutman.

Roger Troutman

“Dayton was not only the heart of Ohio Funk, but the Troutman studios turned out smash hits from, ‘More Bounce,’ ‘So Ruff, So Tuff,’ ‘Dance Floor’ and ‘ I Wanna Be Your Man,’” Murdock explained, before adding: “It was where my own career began!”

Murdock said she prayed and sought God’s direction on how to celebrate the legacy of her former mentor and decided to embark upon this journey to have a memorial built.

“I spoke to the former mayor of the city, Rhine McLin and she put me in touch the wonderful people at the Phoenix Project. Not only did they construct the gateway, they were revitalizing the neighShirley Murdockborhood by tearing down old dilapidated houses and replacing them with brand new ones. Roger and his brothers had the same vision and heart for urban neighborhoods via Troutman Construction,” the singer disclosed.

Now the singer has partnered with neighborhood leaders, the Phoenix Project, Good Samaritan Hospital, CityWide Development Corporation and the City of Dayton to see that Troutman’s legacy is honored properly. Dayton artist Michael Bashaw has also designed a sculpture to pay tribute to Troutman.

Murdock and the campaign are seeking tax-deductable donations for the memorial that can be made at www.daytonfoundation.org or via the “Roger Troutman: The Music Lives On” Facebook page.

“We’re making sure his legacy and his music still lives on,” she closed.

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