The musician behind one of the most sampled six seconds of music in history has finally been paid.
The Winstons frontman Richard L. Spencer has received compensation for widespread use of ‘the Amen break’ via a crowdfunding campaign.Taken from the song ‘Amen Brother’ by The Winstons, the six second breakbeat has been sampled countless times in hip-hop, jungle, drum ‘n’ bass and techno. Listen to the original sample below:
Despite its nonstop usage, neither the copyright owner (Spencer) nor the performer (drummer Gregory C. Coleman) never received any royalties or clearance fees for the sample. The pair never sought royalties but Spencer has expressed that he considers its usage to be plagiarism. Coleman sadly passed away in 2006 leaving Spencer as the only member of the band entitled to compensation- this finally came in the form of a GoFundMe campaign called ‘The Winstons Amen Breakbeat Gesture’ set up by Martyn Webster, a DJ involved with the UK breakbeat hardcore scene. The campaign called for donations from musicians who have used the sample and fans of the music it helped create, raising a total of £24,000. Today the Facebook page for the campaign posted the below video of Spencer receiving his check.