It’s the most famous drum break in the history of recorded sound and like most old samples, none of the musicians involved have received a single penny for their efforts. Until now.
“Amen Brother” was a composition performed by 60s soul band The Winstons and, more specifically, the “Amen break” performed by Gregory Cylvester “G. C.” Coleman. The 6-second break inadvertently formed the percussive foundations of both hip hop and later drum & bass but unfortunately, Coleman passed away in 2006 without seeing any monetary compensation for his work and the same went for the rest of the band. However, a Kickstarter campaign is looking to change all that. Created by Martyn Webster, the crowdfund hopes to pass donations onto Richard L Spencer, The Winstons’ lead vocalist and saxophonist. “It is nothing more than a gesture of good will and obviously totally volentary [sic].” Webster wrote. £15,440 has been raised so far and you can donate by heading to Webster’s GoFundMe page.
In the meantime, stream this 20-minute audio documentary on the break below and familiarise yourself with one of the most recognisable drum breaks ever.