The GMA Foundation (GMAF) inducted Johnny Cash, DeGarmo & Key, Golden Gate Quartet, and Bill “Hoss” Allen into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame on January 24, 2011.
From the GMA’s official press release:
From coffee houses to MTV, the legendary Christian rock duo of DeGarmo & Key did more than just leave their mark on the world of gospel music – they changed the very face of it.
Friends since the first grade, Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key grew up together in Memphis, Tenn., listening to “old blues guys” performing street-side on egg crates and apple boxes. At the age of 16, Eddie and Dana landed their first record deal. It was shortly after this record deal that the friends were brought to Christ, and the direction of their lives and careers took a sharp turn.
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. The duo created some of the first in-roads into the world of Christian music videos and was the first contemporary Christian artist to be aired on MTV. Inspired by the work of Larry Norman, the group consistently made it their goal to get their music and the message of the Gospel to those who did not know Christ, expanding the world of Christian music beyond the boundaries of their day. 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 gave away over 150,000 copies of their D & K album to unsaved youth.
DeGarmo and Key disbanded in 1995, but both Eddie and Dana continued to influence gospel music through their roles as executives – together the two co founded Forefront Records with Dan Brock. Today, Eddie continues as an executive in his role as President of EMI CMG Publishing, while Dana served as pastor of The Love of Christ Church, which he founded in Memphis. Dana Key passed away on Sunday, June 6, 2010.