Friday, June 27, 2014

A Classic Replay: D&K

We continue our Classic Replays of Flashback Friday with this post on DeGarmo and Key, which later became affectionately known simply as D&K. They are, with very little argument, the epitome of Classic and Class Act Rock and Roll. The original post is here. Enjoy.

In Our Journey into CCM's past, we now come to one of the bands that I have more than a passing knowledge of. While I knew of Daniel Amos and had listened to plenty of REZ, D&K is one of the bands that I got to experience live on multiple occasions.

Of Course to the newbie a quick translation may be in order. D&K stands for DeGarmo and Key. Eddie DeGarmo & Dana Key were childhood friends with a love of music. The band started in 1972, but it was another six years before they would come out with an album. Though they made their success in the 80's, they were popular enough at the beginning of the decade to make the Jungle Music List.

S: But I did manage to get some DeGarmo & Key This Time Thru.

L: Splendid! This Ain't Hollywood you know. You can't get any decent rock and roll out here. It's a beastly jungle.

In this short exchange two of Degarmo and Key's albums were referenced. Their Debut This Time Thru (1978) and their third release This Ain't Hollywood (1980). The Classic lineup, which existed for most of their existence was Eddie DeGarmo (Keys, Vocals), Dana Key (Guitar, Lead Vocals), Greg Morrow (Drums) and Tommy Cathey (Bass). 1978 Was a good year in Christian Music, with REZ, Servant, D&K all crafting their debuts and Petra in the midst of recording their third album, though Stardom would be three years away for them.

D&K's rise to the top would begin via the most unexpected of sources, at least from a Rock and Roll perspective. Pat Boone. (Kids, ask your grandparents). It was Boone's Lamb and Lion Records which gave the two Memphis kids their big break, and their first four albums were recorded on the label.

Stardom came with Power (actually Power Discs, a label of Benson Music), which released D&K's next seven albums. During this time the band shed their blues/folk/rock style for Arena Synth-Rock. Their second album on Power Discs, Communication (1984) included their most controversial song, Six, Six, Six. Released during one of the Congressional Investigations of Violence and Sex in Popular Music, the music video has the privilege of being, I think, the only Christian Video banned by MTV because, in the original, the Antichrist is engulfed in fire. MTV said they didn't know it was Christian. Anyway the video was edited and allowed to air.

DeGarmo and Key would  record eleven more albums before hanging it up in 1994 with the release of To Extremes. In their free time they even managed to start their own Record Label. You may have heard of it. It's Called ForeFront. While Toby Mac and Abandon are about the only ones currently left on the label, most of the big guns such as Skillet are on the associated Arden Records label. I give you Classic Rock at its finest.

In the Summer of 2011 at the Cornerstone Festival the Jesus Rally brought back reunions of the Legends of Christian Rock. Alas, a D&K reunion was not to be. June 6, 2012 Will mark the 2 Year anniversary of the Heavengoing of Frontman Dana Key at the young age of 56. A reunion will have to wait until the beyond. I close this post with D&K live on their reunion concert in 2007. Eddie, Dana, Greg, and the impeccably dressed Tommy Cathey will always be Rock Solid. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.