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The Amen Break

October 1, 2012

More about the “Amen Break” – which I referred to in a previous post. Wikipedia is great – they’ve got all the details. I include a link about the drummer Gregory Coleman, who passed away in 2006.

The Amen break is a brief drum solo performed in 1969 by Gregory Cylvester "G. C." Coleman in the song "Amen, Brother" performed by the 1960s funk and soul outfit The Winstons. 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 45 RPM 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.

Gregory Coleman was born in September 1944, one of five brothers and sisters. He was a member of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church and graduated from Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia in 1962. While in high school, he was a dynamic drum major for the school band and formed his own band, called GC Coleman and the Soul Twisters. He later drummed for the Marvelettes of Motown, Otis Redding as well as Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions. Later moved to Washington, D.C. where he joined The Winstons and after that to Atlanta, Georgia where he recorded with Brick.


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