Nice Idea Too Late to Help Broke, Homeless, Dead Drummer

SKF NOTE: A bittersweet story. At what point do people involved in The Star Making Machinery voluntarily do what’s right and see that artists are paid monies they’re owed?

November 11, 2015
Happy Ending
Man who wrote ‘the most famous drum sample of all time’ finally gets paid for it

[A] drum solo from a little-known track called “Amen, Brother” could very well be one of the most famous beats in the world. However, the beat’s creators — a funk group known as The Winstons, fronted by Richard Spencer — never saw “a single penny for its use in the countless music that contains it,” according to a GoFundMe campaign…set up to right that wrong.

Believed to have been used in around 1,862 tracks, “Amen, Brother” itself might not ring any bells. But Amy Winehouse, Oasis, N.W.A., and hundreds of others have used “the most famous breakbeat and sample of all time” in some of their best known music:

Now, 46 years after “Amen, Brother” was written, around $36,400 has finally been raised for Spencer….

…Spencer thanked contributors for the money on Facebook. “Thank you so much for this great contribution to my life,” he said…. “Thank you very, very much. A-men!” Gregory Coleman, the drummer who…played the Amen Break, “died a broke and homeless man” in 2006.., according to the GoFundMe campaign.

You can learn more about the history of the Amen Break in this BBC documentary below.

Full Story

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