Squeeze the Day for 11/29

Rumpke Mountain Boys come home, plus This Day in Music with Roger Troutman and "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

click to enlarge Rumpke Mountain Boys (Photo: Facebook)
Rumpke Mountain Boys (Photo: Facebook)

Music Tonight: The Rumpke Mountain Boys are back! The local Bluegrass/"Infamous Trashgrass" four-piece has spent much of November doing show dates in Colorado, which means the group's popular every-Tuesday-night residency at Stanley's Pub has featured a string of capable fill-ins in their place all month. But now the band — which was also out west when they won yet another Cincinnati Entertainment Award for "Bluegrass" — is back in town and back at Stanley's tonight for a "welcome home" performance. (The band announced on its Facebook page that it will also be performing at Stanley's for year-end parties Dec. 30 and 31.) Dig the group's tune "Cincinnati Moon" below, then get yourself to Stanley's by around 9:30 p.m. to see 'em live. Admission is $5. —-

Momentous Happenings in Music History for November 29

On this day in 2004, the third version of pioneering charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" — an all-star benefit for African famine relief credited to Band Aid and written, recorded and issued in 1984 — was released in the U.K. to celebrate the original's 20th anniversary. The original song was a precursor to the huge, multi-continental benefit concert Live Aid, as well as the Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones-led American twist, "We Are the World." The weak 2004 version (as well as the even-worse 1989 version) was re-recorded with the "stars of the day," including Dizzee Rascal and Coldplay's Chris Martin, though it did feature original participants Bob Geldof (the original's mastermind), Paul McCartney and Bono.  

We will no doubt have to suffer through many more "updated" versions of the song (written by Geldof and Ultravox's Midge Ure) in our lifetime — and chuckle at the unintentional callousness of the line "Tonight thank God it's them, instead of you" — but thankfully the earnestness will likely be softened by parody versions, of which there are already numerous, including the following take put together by Comedy Death-Ray.

Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a date birthday include: Soft Jazz icon Chuck "Feels So Good" Mangione (1940); member of Joey Dee and His Starlighters ("Peppermint Twist") and The Young Rascals ("Good Lovin'"), singer/organist Felix Cavaliere (1942); one of the best known

didgeridoo-ists ever, Jamiroquai's

Wallis Buchanan (1965); and Ohio music legend Roger Troutman (1951). 

Born in Hamilton, Ohio, and later based in Dayton, Troutman (like another Ohio Funk hero, Bootsy Collins) received a career boost when George Clinton enlisted him into his legendary Funkadelic band in the early ’80s. Clinton also signed Troutman's band Zapp (featuring his brothers) to his label in the late ’70s. That label folded soon after but Zapp rebounded big-time with a Warner Brothers Records contract, which yielded Zapp's breakthrough hit, "More Bounce to the Ounce" (co-produced with Bootsy, a longtime friend of Troutman's, who reportedly also played guitar on the track), in 1980. The band released a string of successful Soul/Funk albums (mostly titled Zapp, plus its Roman numeral sequencing number, a la Led Zeppelin) throughout the ’80s and Zapp continued to be a popular concert draw in the years that followed. 

Zapp was also legendary in Hip Hop circles (particularly favored by West Coast rappers from the "G-Funk" era), first as funky source material for a variety of samples (for tracks by EPMD, Ice Cube and Notorious B.I.G., among numerous others) and later for his star turn on the huge 2Pac/Dr. Dre single, "California Love," on which Troutman sang the hook with his trademark robotic "talk box" effect. His experiments with the talk box achieved an effect similar to the over-used Auto-Tune heard on so many of today's R&B and Hip Hop recordings. KRS-One and Buckshot released an Auto-Tune diss song called "Robot," which featured the lines "The best to do it was Roger Troutman/Nah shorty — T-Pain didn't come out then."

On April 25, 1999, Troutman was found shot several times and critically injured outside of his Dayton recording studio. He died during surgery later that day. Troutman's brother Larry was also found that day nearby, dead from a single gunshot to the head. Police determined Larry had shot Roger, then himself; family members said business and financial issues had caused rising tension between the once super-tight brothers. 

Roger Troutman would have been 60 years old today. Bounce along to the following (extended mix) track in his honor:

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