Gregory C. Coleman

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Gregory Sylvester[clarification needed] Coleman (September 1944 – April 2006) was a member of The Winstons and the drummer of the Amen break, a famous drum solo taken from the recording "Amen, Brother" made in 1969 by The Winstons. This solo is one of the most frequently sampled drum loops in modern music and is used in genres from hip hop to drum and bass and beyond. Apart from sales of the original recording, Coleman never received any royalties from the widespread use of the sample. N.W.A used it and brought more fame to it. [1]

Early life[edit]

Gregory S. Coleman was born in September 1944, one of five children. 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, for Otis Redding, and Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions. He later moved to Washington, D.C. where he joined The Winstons.[citation needed]

He also performed drums on the 1969 album Hammer with the Washington DC band Hillow Hammet.[2]

He later moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he recorded with Brick.[citation needed]

Death and Legacy[edit]

Coleman died in Atlanta, Georgia, in April 2006. He was said to be homeless at the time. Coleman was twice married and is survived by a daughter and step daughter. His Amen Break is the most used drum loop in music history. [3][4]


  1. ^ "Seven seconds of fire". 17 December 2011 – via The Economist.
  2. ^ "B".
  3. ^ Savage, Mark (November 11, 2015). "Amen Break musician finally gets paid" – via
  4. ^ "Subscribe to read | Financial Times".