Thursday, May 12, 2011

Throwback Thursday: DeGarmo & Key

DeGarmo & Key was one of the original Christian Rock bands. Formed in 1978 by main members Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key, DeGarmo & Key released their first album, "This Time Thru" in the same year.  They immediately began to attract listeners, and cemented themselves as a top-notch Christian Rock band.

Between the years of 1978-2006, 23 albums were released from DeGarmo & Key, including Greatest Hits collections and solo projects. They were nominated for 7 Grammy's and won 17 Dove Awards.

Another fun fact is DeGarmo & Key were the first Christian band EVER to have their music video played on MTV. The original music video for "Six,Six,Six" was played on MTV for a while, but then was pulled due to the "violent content" of the video. MTV had actually interpreted "Six,Six,Six" as an anti-Christian song, even though it was about the Anti-Christ. MTV exec Sandra Sparrow had no idea DeGarmo and Key were a Christian band when she added their video to the list of those to be removed from rotation. MTV later allowed DeGarmo & Key to submit an edited version of their video, and "Six,Six,Six" was once again playing on MTV.

Also, their song "Don't Stop The Music" was a direct response to Rev. Jimmy Swaggart's anti-Christian Rock position. The song included lyrics such as "I hear dissenting voices, Quick to disagree, But I'm on a music mission, They don't bother me. I'll sing the songs that set me free" Also, I found it quite ironic that in the liner notes of "D&K" the words "Dedicated to Jimmy Swaggart" were blacked out, but still visible upon close inspection. 

It seems the last album DeGarmo & Key put out before moving on to solo projects was "To Extremes", released in 1994. Several greatest hits albums followed, and DeGarmo & Key reunited for two concerts in 2007 and 2008. 

On June 6th, 2010, Dana Key died from a blood clot at 56 years of age. At the time of his death, Dana Key was head of Ardent Records, and pastored The Love of Christ Church in Cordova, TN. A fun fact about Dana is he was a direct descendant of Francis Scott Key, the author of "The Star Spangled Banner".

Eddie DeGarmo is still alive, and is one of the founders of Forefront Records. 

In 2007 Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key were honored with the ASCAP Vision Award, and were inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame in 2011.

DeGarmo & Key were pioneers in the Christian music industry for sure. With 23 albums to their name, first Christian music video to be played on MTV, influencing hundreds of musicians, winning 17 Dove Awards and starting two Record Labels, DeGarmo & Key is remembered as one of the best Christian bands in the History of Christian Music.


  1. Cool! I used to listen to some of their songs. That's awesome that Dana was a direct descendant of Francis Scott Key! Years ago, my dad was in a Christian music store and Six, Six, Six was playing on the TV, and somebody was causing a scene because of a supposedly "anti-Christian" video. :P

  2. Very interesting post! I remember watching that music video when I was really young on a VHS recording. :)