Ken Stanton Sr. opened
Ken Stanton Music in 1949.
Drawing on his experience as a music educator in the Cobb County School System,
the Marietta, Georgia store specialized in band and orchestra instruments
until the mid 1980's when combo instruments were added to the stores offering.
During this time, Ken's son Kenny began to work for his dad on a full time
basis and eventually took the reins himself when Ken Sr. retired in
1992. After the opening of a second store in Roswell,
Georgia, the combo
department continued to grow with the addition of the Epiphone and Gibson
brands and today is a major part of the store's business.
The road however has not always been a smooth one. For
example, In the late 1990's, Kenny learned that the now defunct Mars Music
would be opening a store just down the street. Rather than throw in the towel,
he decided to fight fire with fire by expanding inventory and sharpening
his merchandising skills to combat the big-box giant. The result was the
addition of two more stores, one in Woodstock and one in Snellville. In addition,
a spacious new Marietta superstore was completed around the same time, and
just this month a brand new location was opened in West Cobb. Today, Ken
Stanton Music has emerged as the formidable presence in the Greater Atlanta
Billy Darling, the Guitar and Combo Department Manager
at the Ken Stanton flagship store in Marietta has been with the company for
eleven years. "I have been very impressed at the superb quality of Epiphone
instruments over the last several years. People looking for a quality instrument
at an affordable price have the opportunity to buy a Dot or a
Les Paul and start
out with a guitar that looks and sounds like their heroes. We've even had
veteran players come in and buy Epiphone Dots because they are comparable
to the vintage models they are used to".
Of course you don't last long in this business unless
you know how to treat your customers! Billy continues, "We have a very big
student business at all of our locations, which reflects the education ideals
that we were founded on 55 years ago and we are still very much a family
style business. We get to know our customers and their needs. Kenny is here
in the Marietta store every day so we really maintain that family business
atmosphere. He's very hands-on and cares about the stores and our customers.
He is a great example of what a music store owner should be."
When you are in the Atlanta area, be sure and check out
one of the Ken Stanton Music locations or visit them on-line at