June 16, 2010


Excuse me. I am very, very sad right now. Just found out that I lost a friend. Well, I considered Dana Key, the lead singer and guitarist of the Christian band DeGarmo and Key a kind of friend. Met him after concerts (and once before) about three times. Great show. (Greg Morrow was drumming for them, look for him on the credits of Van Zant's latest albums.) He's gone now, dead on June 6, 2010 at age 56 from a blood clot.

Some people say that people do not grow spiritually when they're into any kind of rock music. Well, Dana was another one that became a pastor. He was one of those people that you could see it in his eyes, felt like he was looking into me. Startling the first time it happened. These guys meant what they said, and had the courage to sing about Jesus. For that matter, I remember when they released a 2-for-1 deal — buy the tape, there is a second one inside the package for you to give to "an unsaved friend". That has always impressed me.

I came back to my faith a few weeks ago. Part of what brought me back was music by DeGarmo and Key. Back in 1978, I remember the guy at the Christian bookstore in Lansing, MI showing me the new album, "This Time Thru", by the then-unknown DeGarmo and Key. So, they've been important to me for 32 years, except when I had put my faith on the back burner. But they had retired from music just about that time, so I didn't miss out on many tunes. Even so, DeGarmo and Key and the band ministered to me (and many others).

When we meet again (this time, in the glory that he proclaimed), I'm going to ask how he did some of those guitar licks. When he wasn't doing the lighter pop music, he could fit in with the best of the secular rockers! The video below gives a sample of the skill of this direct descendant of Francis Scott Key.

Good write-up and touching comments here. Also see the tribute here. Addendum: My follow-up on June 6, 2011 is here.

It's more than a wish, more than a daydream
More than just a passing whim
Yes, I've said this all before
A thousand times or more
I don't want to waste my life in chains of sin


I don't wanna be a casual Christian
I don't wanna live a lukewarm life
But I wanna light up the night
With an everlasting light
I don't wanna live a casual Christian life

This life is filled with strong distractions
With pulls from the left one from the right
I've already made up my mind
Gonna leave this world behind
Gonna live my life a living sacrifice.
— "Casual Christian"
Now see "Rock Solid":


Unknown said...

Dana Key was an amazing witness for Christ. He is still missed today! Thanks for blogging about his ministry. I, too, was blessed by it.

Bob Sorensen said...

Hi DeeJay,

DeGarmo and Key influenced me years ago. I had admiration and fondness for them, and I rediscovered them shortly before Dana died. I did not react like the standard "tough guy", that's for sure.

You might like this bit: DeeJay. I asked my wife about a character in a show she used to watch. "Yes, D.J. Tanner in Full House". Played by Candice Cameron." OK... Candice Cameron, sister of Kirk Cameron, who is now involved in "Way of the Master" evangelism training. And I'm enrolled in the School of Biblical Evangelism through WoTM.

I like stuff like that.

Anyway, hope you check back now and then, or subscribe in your reader, if you think there is material here that you like. Take care now. Bye bye then.

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