The Winstons

The Winstons

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The Winstons were a 1960s funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

 and soul music
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

 group, based in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

. They are known for their 1969
1969 in music
-Events:Perhaps the two most famous musical events of 1969 were concerts. At a Rolling Stones concert in Altamont, California, a fan was stabbed to death by Hells Angels, a biker gang that had been hired to provide security for the event...

 recording
Sound recording and reproduction
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical or mechanical inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording...

 of an EP
Extended play
An EP is a musical recording which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full album or LP. The term EP originally referred only to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play records and LP records, but it is now applied to mid-length Compact...

 featuring a song entitled "Color Him Father
Color Him Father
"Color Him Father" is a song released by funk and soul group The Winstons.It was released in 1969, and reached number 2 on the R&B charts and number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 that same year. Its composer, Richard Lewis Spencer, won a Grammy Award for Best R&B song in 1970."Color Him Father" is one...

" on the A-side
A-side and B-side
A-side and B-side originally referred to the two sides of gramophone records on which singles were released beginning in the 1950s. The terms have come to refer to the types of song conventionally placed on each side of the record, with the A-side being the featured song , while the B-side, or...

, and a song entitled "Amen, Brother" on the B-side
A-side and B-side
A-side and B-side originally referred to the two sides of gramophone records on which singles were released beginning in the 1950s. The terms have come to refer to the types of song conventionally placed on each side of the record, with the A-side being the featured song , while the B-side, or...

. Half-way into "Amen, Brother", there is a drum
Drum
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

 solo
Solo (music)
In music, a solo is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung by a single performer...

 (performed by G.C. Coleman
Gregory C. Coleman
Gregory C. Coleman 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 drum and bass to hip...

) which would cause The Winston's EP to become one of the most widely-sampled
Sampling (music)
In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song or piece. Sampling was originally developed by experimental musicians working with musique concrète and electroacoustic music, who physically...

 record in the history of electronic music
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

. Sampled audio clips of the drum solo became known as the Amen Break
Amen break
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...

, which has been used in thousands of tracks in a large number of musical genres, including: hip-hop, drum and bass
Drum and bass
Drum and bass is a type of electronic music which emerged in the late 1980s. The genre is characterized by fast breakbeats , with heavy bass and sub-bass lines...

, jungle
Oldschool jungle
Jungle is a genre of electronic music that incorporates influences from genres including breakbeat hardcore, and reggae/dub/dancehall. There is debate as to whether jungle is a separate genre from drum and bass as many use the terms interchangeably...

, Big beat
Big beat
Big beat is a term employed since the mid-1990s by the British music press to describe much of the music by artists such as The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method, and Propellerheads typically driven by heavy breakbeats and synthesizer-generated loops and patterns in...

, Industrial, Electronica
Electronica
Electronica includes a wide range of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms of dancing, and background music for other activities; however, unlike electronic dance music, it is not specifically made for dancing...

, and pop music
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

.

The "Color Him Father" record sold over one million copies, and received a gold record
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America
Recording Industry Association of America
The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade organization that represents the recording industry distributors in the United States...

 on 24 July 1969.

Members


The Winstons line-up included:
  • Gregory C. Coleman (vocals
    Singing
    Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm. One who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music known as songs that can be sung either with or without accompaniment by musical instruments...

    , drum
    Drum
    The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

    s)
  • Ray Maritano (vocals, alto saxophone
    Alto saxophone
    The alto saxophone is a member of the saxophone family of woodwind instruments invented by Belgian instrument designer Adolphe Sax in 1841. It is smaller than the tenor but larger than the soprano, and is the type most used in classical compositions...

    )
  • Quincy Mattison (vocals, lead guitar
    Lead guitar
    Lead guitar is a guitar part which plays melody lines, instrumental fill passages, guitar solos, and occasionally, some riffs within a song structure...

    )
  • Sonny Pekerol (vocals, bass guitar
    Bass guitar
    The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

    )
  • Richard Lewis Spencer
    Richard Lewis Spencer
    Richard Lewis Spencer is an African American musician and teacher. He played tenor saxophone in Otis Redding's band, behind Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions with The Winstons. He was awarded the Grammy Award for his composition "Color Him Father"...

     (lead vocals, tenor saxophone
    Tenor saxophone
    The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. The tenor, with the alto, are the two most common types of saxophones. The tenor is pitched in the key of B, and written as a transposing instrument in the treble...

    )
  • Phil Tolotta (second lead, organ
    Organ (music)
    The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

    )


The Winstons toured as backup for The Impressions.

Notable songs

  • "Color Him Father
    Color Him Father
    "Color Him Father" is a song released by funk and soul group The Winstons.It was released in 1969, and reached number 2 on the R&B charts and number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 that same year. Its composer, Richard Lewis Spencer, won a Grammy Award for Best R&B song in 1970."Color Him Father" is one...

    " — (1969, Billboard Hot 100
    Billboard Hot 100
    The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

     # 7)
  • "Amen, Brother" — (1969)
  • "Love of The Common People" — (1969, Billboard Hot 100
    Billboard Hot 100
    The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

    # 54)