Dana Key, guitarist and lead singer for the legendary Christian rock group DeGarmo and Key, passed away just a few days ago at the age of 56. D & K released their first of 17 albums in 1978. Pioneers in the Christian music industry, they garnered 7 Grammy nominations and 17 Dove Award nominations. While Dana released a solo project in 1995, D & K ‘s last was in 1994. Since that time, Dana had been pastoring a church in Memphis, TN (no surprise to me as he had been preaching the gospel for a very long time).
I’ve been telling people for years that Christian music has always had a greater impact on me than preaching (the irony is that I’m a preacher). To me the reason is very obvious, I very easily meditate on the words of Christian music throughout the day. No single artist has had more impact on me than DeGarmo & Key. To this day, they remain my all-time favorite.
Losing Dana makes me so sad because now I know there is no hope of seeing them in concert again. That may seem selfish, but to hear DeGarmo & Key play was a tremendous moment of ministry to me. I feel so lucky to have seem them at the Cornerstone Festival in 2008, which I believe is the last time D & K played together.
I made Christ my “Lord” when I was 19 years-old. For the next 6 years, reading God’s Word and listening to Christian music grounded in my faith in a much deeper way than my church did. I’ve spent countless hours of my life listening to the preaching of DeGarmo & Key. Their music still speaks loudly today. While I love today’s brand of Christian music which reaches a much broader audience, the lyrics are very general and sometimes even a bit vague. Not the case with the older groups such as D & K. You never leave a song wondering what in the world they were singing about.
I’ll miss Dana Key. What a great preacher, singer and guitarist (you had to see him play to appreciate just how good he was). My life has never been the same since I participated in his ministry.
Yes Dana, I’m Rock Solid and will remain a Long Distance Runner! And at least in part, it’s because of you. Thank you for following the call on God in your life!
p.s. to read more see the following CCM article