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Roger Chapman

Roger Chapman 2007
Background information
Birth name Roger Maxwell Chapman
Also known as Roger "Chappo" Chapman, Chappo
Born 8 April 1942 (1942-04-08) (age 67)
Leicester, United Kingdom
Origin English
Genres Rock, Blues-rock, Art rock
Occupations Musician, Singer, Guitarist
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1964-present
Labels Liberty, Vertigo, Reprise, Windsong, Mystic Records (UK), Castle
Associated acts Family,Streetwalkers,Charlie Whitney,Bobby Tench,Jim Cregan
Notable instruments

Roger Chapman (born Roger Maxwell Chapman on 8 April 1942 in Leicester), also known as Roger "Chappo" Chapman and Chappo, is an English rock vocalist.[1] He is best known as a member of the progressive band Family, which he joined along with Charlie Whitney, in 1967 and also the rock, R&B band Streetwalkers formed in 1974. His idiosyncratic brand of showmanship when performing and vocal vibrato led him to become a cult figure on the British rock scene. Chapman is claimed to have said that he was trying to sing like both Little Richard and his idol Ray Charles. Since the early 1980s he has spent much of his time in Germany and has made occasional appearances there and elsewhere. He has an Artist of the Year award and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.



Chapman was originally the vocalist for Farinas, who released the single "You'd Better Stop" in August 1964. He moved on to join The Roaring Sixties, who were later renamed Family in 1966. Chapman wrote most of Family's songs with Whitney. The band released "Scene Through The Eye Of A Lens" (1967) and Family's debut album Music in a Doll's House followed in July 1968. Their heavy, experimental rock music gained them a reputation as a progressive underground band.

The release of A Song For Me (1970) and Anyway (1971) established Family as a fast and loud rock band also capable of producing the most intense acoustic music, in the British underground music scene, at that time. On 28 August in 1970 they appeared at the third Isle of Wight Festival. Although the band was popular in UK and Europe, success in the US eluded them and in 1973 they broke up.[2]

Roger Chapman, 1974

Chapman formed Chapman-Whitney with Charlie Whitney, late in 1973. They signed to the Vertigo label and recorded an album Chapman Whitney Streetwalkers (1974), with a line up including other members of Family and King Crimson. Chapman and Whitney morphed their band into Streetwalkers, who were a polished Album-oriented rock band, using more elements of white soul than Family had. They released Downtown Flyers (1975), moving on to record the groove heavy album Red Card (1976)[3] which was released in the UK during 1976 and remains a much respected album.[4] Streetwalkers became highly respected by music fans and the music press and two more albums followed. The band broke up in 1977, ending eleven years of the Whitney-Chapman musical partnership.

In 1979 Chapman began a solo career and recorded his first solo album Chappo[5]. His backing band became known as the The Shortlist at this time and he toured Europe extensivly, during this period. Chapman's song "Shadow On The Wall" was recorded by Mike Oldfield, who used Chapman's vocals and was included it on his album Crises (1983).[6] He appeared as a guest artist on the second Box of Frogs album Strange Land (1986) singing lead vocals on two songs. Chapman went on to record Walking the Cat (1989) and Hybrid and Low Down (1990).

Since then Chapman has released eleven albums of new and live recordings. His album Hide Go Seek (2009) was produced by former Family bassist Jim Cregan and released during May 2009.

In 2009 Roger Chapman announced his intention of retiring from live music. His appearance on Saturday August 21 2010 at Rhythm Festival is said to be his final live performance. [7]





  • Streetwalkers Reprise K 54017 (1974)
  • Downtown Flyers , Vertigo 6360 123, Mercury LP SRM-1-1060 (US)( 1975)
  • Red Card Vertigo 9102 010, Mercury SMR-1-1083 (US), Repertoire REP 47-WP (CD) (1976)
  • Vicious But Fair Vertigo 9102 012, Mercury LP SRM-1-1135 (US), (1977)
  • Streetwalkers Live Vertigo 6641-703 (1977)
  • Best of Streetwalkers CD, CA, LP Vertigo 846-661 (1990)
  • BBC Radio One Live CD Windsong (1995)


  • Roxianna/Crack Reprise (1974)
  • Raingame"/MillerVertigo (1975)
  • Daddy Rolling Stone/Hole In Your Pocket Vertigo (1976)
  • Chilli Con Carne/But You're Beautiful Vertigo (1977)


  • Chappo (1979)
  • Live in Hamburg (1979)
  • Mail Order Magic (1980)
  • Hyenas Only Laugh For Fun (1981)
  • The Riffburglar Album (Funny Cider Sessions) (1982)
  • He Was... She Was... You Was... We Was... (Double, Live) (1982)
  • Swag (as the Riffburglars) (1983)
  • Mango Crazy (1983)
  • The Shadow Knows (1984)
  • Zipper (1985)
  • Techno Prisoners(1987)
  • Live In Berlin (1989)
  • Walking The Cat (1989)
  • Strong Songs - The Best Of...(1990)
  • Hybrid and Lowdown (1990)
  • Kick It Back (UK compilation) (1990)
  • Under No Obligation (1992)
  • 'ing Of The Shouters (1994)
  • Kiss My Soul (1996)
  • A Turn Unstoned? (1998)
  • Anthology 1979-98 (1998)
  • In My Own Time (live) (1999)
  • Rollin' & Tumblin' (live) Mystic (2001)
  • Chappo-The Loft Tapes, Volume 1: Manchester University 10.3.1979 Mystic (2006 )
  • Chappo-The Loft Tapes, Volume 2: Rostock 1983 Mystic (2006 )
  • Chappo-The Loft Tapes, Volume 3: London Dingwalls 15.4.1996 Mystic(2006)
  • Chappo-The Loft Tapes, Volume 4: Live At Unca Po's Hamburg 5.3.1982 Mystic (2006)
  • One More Time For Peace Mystic (2007)
  • Hide Go Seek Hypertension Records (2009)


  • At Rockpalast Wienerworld (2004)
  • Family & Friends Angel Air (2003)



External links

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