We’ve all heard this iconic drum loop somewhere in the past. The so-called “Amen break,” a six-second drum loop from the Winstons’ 1969 song “Amen, Brother,” has appeared in more hip-hop, pop, rock, and dance songs than we could possibly hope to count. Due to technicalities of the day, its creators, namely Richard L. Spencer, who owns the copyright and wrote the arrangement, and Gregory Coleman, the drummer who brought that arrangement to life and passed away homeless in 2006, have never received any kind of royalties for their game-changing song…until now.
A GoFundMe page has been started to give Spencer the royalties he deserves by a DJ from the UK named Martyn Webster. What started as a request for £1,000, or about $1,500, eventually led to support of about $15,000 and counting. Over 850 people have helped to get Spencer 10 times what Webster was asking for, which is an amazing feat. “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,” Webster wrote on the fund’s page.
It’s incredible to see Spencer’s hard and revolutionary work finally paying off for him in some form. Listen to the legendary break in the song above.