It matters little what sort of musician or music fan you are, chances are you have been influenced by the Amen Break.
These four bars, or about six and a half seconds of music, which were found on the track Amen Brother, the B side of the The Winstons‘ grammy nominated single Color Him Father, changed the course of music.
It’s a drum break that has been replicated and sampled millions of times, and heavily influenced styles as diverse as hip-hop to rock, and given rise to genres such as jungle.
But the Winston’s never got paid for the track, not a single cent – not for any sales or radio play, and not for the countless times it has been sampled. According to Richard L. Spencer on an interview with the BBC, Gregory Coleman, who played the drum break, died “broke and homeless” around 2006.
But now someone has decided that perhaps its time to do something about this. I think the campaign blurb says it best;
“So here is where all of you come in, if you have ever written or sold any music with the amen break, or even just enjoyed one of the countless hundreds and hundreds of tunes that contain it over various genres and styles of music, please donate towards the good cause of the worldwide music community giving something back to the man behind the legendary breakbeat.”
The aim is simple, lets throw some cash the way of Richard L. Spencer – the person who wrote the arrangement for the track, and seemingly the only surviving member of The Winstons.
To contribute – http://www.gofundme.com/amenbrother
The Radio Show that Inspired this Campaign – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00hb618 (Will require an IP proxy outside of the UK)