Back To School, The Amen Break

My friend Julie sent me this post from Open Culture about the Amen Break.

What is the Amen Break? It started out as a drum break on a b-side of a 45 by a R&B band called the Winstons, performed by GC Coleman. The a-side won a grammy for best R+B song that year. The b-side became the most sampled six seconds in music history. The link above has the whole story, and it’s long and worth it, I think.

At least that’s the sell here. The video is fun and scholarly about sampling. The influence of the Amen Break is more on hip hop, it seems, and UK street styles that have too many qualifying names to remember, but have to do with drum and bass.

I’m sympathetic to Mr. Reynold’s analysis about current copyright law, but he doesn’t do a great job of selling that part of the story. But who cares?

For me, the cool idea is that a drummer in a band in 1969 created a sound that crawled through all of our culture, and became classic. And we know it.

Here’s the original of Color Him Father, which is awfully sweet.


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