Meet Degarmo & Key
DEGARMO & KEY
From the days they were playing before small groups of kids in coffeehouses and church basements to their later concert tours before thousands of enthusiastic fans, DeGarmo & Key have maintained one mission: to communicate a clear, honest Christian message through straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll!
Friends since first grade, Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key grew up together in Memphis, Tennessee, listening to "old blues guys" performing street-side on egg crates and apple boxes. Living in the shadow of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, the boys couldn’t help but dream of being rock stars. By fifth grade, they were preoccupied with music, and by sixth they had formed their first band, The Sound Corporation, complete with knee-high suede boots.
At the age of 16, Eddie and Dana landed their first record deal. But although their career seemed to be climbing, they were personally headed in the wrong direction. Motivated by a desire to get rich, meet girls, and party, both of them drifted into substance abuse. If not for Eddie’s older brother, things might have gotten much worse.
It was on a typical Monday morning at school when Eddie grabbed Dana in the hallway and pulled him into a janitor’s closet. There he explained that his brother had brought him to Christ, and now he wanted to share the good news with Dana! The lifelong friends became brothers in Christ, a decision that completely changed their lives—including their careers.
Over the next 17 years, DeGarmo & Key created 15 albums of faith-filled, blues-influenced rock music, earning seven Grammy and 17 Dove Award nominations. They produced several award-winning videos, including the first video by a contemporary Christian artist to be aired on MTV, and wrote popular songs for other artists like Amy Grant and Sandi Patty. Billboard Magazine once raved that DeGarmo & Key’s albums contained "one of the most consistently inventive bodies of music in Christian music."
Always looking for ways to use their music as a ministry, they also created a 13-week Sunday school curriculum based on songs from their album Go To the Top, worked with Zondervan to promote the NIV Student Bible, contributed efforts to the True Love Waits campaign and the Biblical Literacy Foundation, and have given away over 150,000 copies of their D & K album to unsaved youth.
In 1995, much to the dismay of loyal fans, the duo decided to disband. Rumors began flying about intense public disagreements fueled by a battle between two monstrous egos, but the truth is Eddie and Dana remain the best of friends. They simply felt that they had creatively said everything they could as a group, and now needed to head in new directions. Dana has begun recording solo projects for his own label, Ardent, and Eddie is now an executive at ForeFront Records. Ironically, they’ve discovered that they now share a new passion—to develop and help new Christian talent.