Don Kent, Blues Historian, Died at 71

  Dead Famous

Dead, Donald Theodore “Don” Kent, born April 20, 1944 and died August 9, 2015, he was an American collector of blues and bluegrass recordings, a founder and owner of record labels such as Mamlish Records, Country Turtle Records, Flying Crow Records, and a much sought-after writer of liner notes not only on his own labels’ issues but also on others’, such as Yazoo Records.

Many of the blues reissue albums of the 1960s and 1970s use 78 rpm records out of his large collection.

Kent was born in Chicago, Illinois, and later was employed as a social worker in the New York City Department of Social Services.

In the 1960s he was a member of the so-called New York “Blues Mafia”, a group of blues enthusiasts, whose other members were Steve Calt (writer of liner notes and books), Samuel Charters (RBF Records), Lawrence ‘Larry’ Cohn (CBS/Epic, Columbia/Sony Records), John Fahey (aka ‘Blind Joe Death’, Takoma Records), Michael Stewart (aka ‘Backwards Sam Firk’), Stefan Grossman (aka ‘Kid Future’, Kicking Mule Records), Tom Hoskins (aka ‘Fang’, who ‘rediscovered’ Mississippi John Hurt), Bernie Klatzko (Herwin Records), Jim McKune, Nick Perls (Yazoo and Blue Goose Records), Phil Spiro (who – along with Nick Perls and Dick Waterman – ‘rediscovered’ Eddie ‘Son’ House) and Pete Whelan (Origin Jazz Library).

He died at the Regional Medical Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina, aged 71.