FORT WAYNE—Two music legends are slated to grace Fort Wayne with their own groundbreaking brands of music when TGFMobile and SouthSide Fest present a Mother’s Day Celebration featuring national recording artists Zapp Band and Shirley Murdock at 8 p.m., May 10 at Link’s Wonderland, 1711 E. Creighton Ave. The theme for the celebration is “Honoring Mothers and Motherhood (Through the Good times and the Bad times).
Zapp Band long has been considered one of the most innovative and important bands in the history of R&B. Founded by brothers Roger, Larry, Lester and Terry “Zapp” Troutman and Bobby Glover and Gregory Jackson, the group created an energetic, funky brand of R&B at times centered around vocalist Roger’s use of the talk box—adding an extra bit of slinky funk to the sound. Zapp ruled the charts with hits including “More Bounce to the Ounce,” “Computer Love,” “I Want to Be Your Man,” a stellar version of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and the No. 1 hit “Dance Floor, Part 1.” While making a name in part opening for other legends such as Prince, the Commodores, Cameo and others, Zapp has secured a place in R&B annals as one of foundations of modern funk and even hip hop, as evidenced by the abundance of hip hop hits featuring Zapp’s music, including EPMD’s “You Gots to Chill,” which featured a sample of “More Bounce to the Ounce.” Additionally, vocalist, the late Roger Troutman, added his trademark talk box sound on 2Pac’s “California Love” and appeared on Snoop Dogg’s debut album “Doggystyle.”
The current lineup of the group still centers around the Troutman family and includes Lester, Terry and Vontel Troutman and Jackson.
Known in both the gospel music and R&B worlds as a top-notch singer, Shirley Murdock’s rise to stardom is tied not only to Zapp after being recruited by Roger Troutman as a backing singer, but also to another legendary Dayton, Ohio-based band—the Ohio Players. Troutman utilized Murdock and Ohio Players’ guitarist Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner to realize the hit “Girl, Cut It Out,” by Roger (featuring Shirley Murdock). From there, Murdock signed her own deal with Elektra Records and released the single “No More,” before releasing the landmark hit “As We Lay,” ironically written by Larry Troutman of Zapp and Billy Beck of the Ohio Players.
Murdock also has released a gospel album, “Home,” on Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Dexterity Sounds label and has starred in films and a number of gospel-themed stage plays, including A Mother’s Prayer—while still remaining an important part of the Zapp family.
Doors open for the May 11 concert at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at Link’s Wonderland and all four TGFMobile locations: 3706 S. Calhoun St.; 620 E. Lewis St.; 2837 E. State Blvd., and 4915 Lafayette St.
For more information, call (260) 205-3356.
This article originally appeared in our May 8, 2013 issue.