I hope you had a great Summer and looking forward to an equally great Fall season. I Like the cooler weather, personally, and welcome the relief from the heat we enjoy so much of in the south. I have been busy, as always looking for and buying some great vintage drums to feed my "drum junkie" habit. My latest drum set acquisition is a beautiful Black Diamond Pearl 1960s E.W. Kent kit that I am featuring this month. Many young drummers received a set of Kent drums for their first set. They were American made drums that were more affordable than the other great American drum maker's sets. I gathered some some good information about Kent drums from www.coopersvintagedrums.com. They also have some wonderful photos of Kent Drums on their site. The following information is from The Kent Drums History on the Coopers Vintage Drum site:
"The Kent Drum Company was started in 1947 by two brothers, Ed and Bill Kent. Located in Kenmore, New York, The Kent Manufacturing Company produced snare drums, drum sets and accessories. Little is known about the company, however. Before starting the Kent Manufacturing Company, Bill Kent was employed by the Gretsch Drum Company for a time, probably in the 1940’s. The company closed in 1977. William Kent passed away in 2014 at the age of 99.
The E.W. Kent Manufacturing Company offered quality drums at an affordable price. While they may not have measured up to the "big four" (Slingerland, Ludwig, Rogers and Gretsch), in terms of construction quality, E.W. Kent made some great looking and great sounding drums.
During the 1950’s and 60’s, Kent snare drums and tom toms were constructed of two-plys of maple, providing a very thin and resonant shell, similar to Gretsch drums of the same period. Often, actual production dates were stamped inside the drum shells. Bass drums were of six- ply maple construction. These maple shell drums varied in construction quality. Some were beautifully finished inside, with true bearing edges while other drum shells were crudely assembled, with dark brown glue smeared on the inside and virtually no bearing edges. It is common to see lugs and strainers attached crookedly as well. No two Kent drums were ever alike!"
I had a friend back in my younger days who had a white sparkle Kent set. He didn't have a floor tom with his kit as I recall. It was one of the drum sets I went searching for when I started collecting. I was determined to find them and hopefully restore them. I was able to trace the set to a girl who had owned them, but claimed she didn't know what had become of the set. The trail went cold and I didn't find them. I finally own a set of Kents now, and I really like these drums. My set is a very nice four piece set with a 22" bass drum, 14" floor tom, 12" tom and 14" matching snare.