Advertisement
Music by VICE

The Musicians Behind one of the Most Sampled Songs in History Finally Got Paid

The creators of the Amen Break finally catch a break.

by Rebecca Krauss
Nov 10 2015, 11:15pm

In 1969, American soul band The Winstons' created the Amen break, a brief drum composition from the band's song "Amen brother." Since then, the song has become the world's second most sampled track of all time. But though the famous four-bar sample turned into a dance-music goldmine, The Winstons never received any compensation for their musical chef d'euovre—until now.

This past February, a UK-based music fan named Martyn Webster created "The Winstons Amen Breakbeat Gesture," a GoFundMe campaign established to repay the group for their lasting contribution to music. Webster began the fundraiser after watching a brief BBC/1Xtra interview with the band's lead singer and saxophone player Richard Spencer in 2011, where the musician stated he was exasperated by the lack of compensation he had received for the countless samples of the song. Following the campaign's successful completion this past Spring, Webster transferred €24,000 in donations to Spencer, then posted a video of him holding up a giant Go-Fund Me check this morning on Facebook.

In that tear-jerker of a video, Spencer expresses his appreciation for his fans' donations. "Thank you so much, GoFund, for this great contribution to my life," he says.

"It is nothing more than a gesture of goodwill," says Webster.

The Winstons Amen Breakbeat Gesture is on Facebook

Rebecca is on Twitter.