So lets kick this off with a whopping fact. The 'Amen Break' is the most sampled drumbeat (breakbeat) EVER. The original track was first released in 1969 by a relatively unknown funk & soul outfit called The Winstons. The 6secs sample, that would become famous many MANY years later, has been used on countless tracks within Hip Hop, Hardcore, Jungle and Drum & Bass.
The full song is an up-tempo instrumental rendition of Jester Hairston's "Amen", which he wrote for the Sidney Poitier film Lilies of the Field (1963) and which was subsequently popularized by The Impressions in 1964. The Winstons' version was released as a B-side of the 45RPM 7-inch vinyl single "Color Him Father" in 1969 on Metromedia (MMS-117), and is currently available on several compilations and on a 12-inch vinyl re-release together with other songs by The Winstons. [Wikipedia]
BUT...the writers of the track didn't receive a penny from royalties from all the unregistered 3rd party use of the sample.
"It felt like plagiarism and I felt ripped off and raped. I come from an era where you didn't steal people's ideas." says Richard L Spencer, lead singer of The Winstons.
So in 2015, DJ's and long time fans of The Winstons - Martyn Webster & Steve Theobald - decided to set up a crowdfunding account with the idea of raising money to give a little back. Their initial target was £1000, but they went on to raise £24,000 for the retired musicians.
Check out the gofundme page HERE
Listen to the BBC 1Xtra documentary about the History Of The Amen Break in full below.
(Feat: James Lavelle, Ray Keith, Chase & Status, Fabio & Grooverider, Dillinja, Alec Empire, J Majik, DJ Slipmatt, Luke Vibert, Wickaman, Michael S. Schneider, Nate Harrison, Richard Lewis Spencer, and Gregory C. Coleman (The Winstons))