The Creators of the Most-Sampled Piece of Music EVER Are Finally Getting Paid

It’s called the “Amen Break.” It comes from a six-second drum break in a 1969 song by the Winstons called “Amen Brother.” The drummer is Gregory Sylvester “G.C.” Coleman. I guarantee you’ve heard it. Listen.

Those six seconds have been sampled, manipulated and looped in hundreds of song. WhoSampled.com lists almost 1,500. Yet Richard L. Spencer, the songwriter, and Coleman, who died homeless in 2006, never received one single cent for any of those samples.

This video from 2006 gives the complete back story. Watch and learn.

It may be too late for Coleman, but Spencer is finally going to be compensated. A GoFundMe campaign has raised a nice chunk of cash for him as a gesture of thanks. The response has been overwhelming. Nice, huh?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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