Gregory C. Coleman

For the classical guitarist, see Gregory Coleman.
The Amen break as performed by Greg Coleman
Originally used on Amen, Brother by The Winstons.

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Gregory Sylvester 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.[1]

Early life

Gregory S. Coleman was born in September 1944, one of five brothers and sister. 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. He later moved to Washington, D.C. where he joined The Winstons. 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.


Gregory S. Coleman died homeless and broke in Atlanta, Georgia in April, 2006. He was twice married and is survived by a daughter and step daughter.


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