I conducted an interview with legendary Christian rock band DeGarmo and Key in 1988 as research for an article for Harvest Rock Syndicate. The interview has never been published until now although a few quotes were used in the article. Following are some quotes from the Dana Key from the 1988 interview. I will continue adding more quotes from Key and DeGarmo until I have transcribed the interview in full:
Dana Key on Mission Aviation Fellowship Video
Dana Key — “We blazed a lot of trails with the MAF video. We sent out 1,400 free copies of that video to churches. And now it’s for rent (laughs) – it’s for sale but to initially get it out to the public, we sent out 1,400 albums.
Eddie DeGarmo — “I just want to say, many churches were skeptical about rock bands, and when we put together this mission statement about MAF along with a Bible study program and some materials and tools that youth leaders could use to educate their kids about missions and what was going on worldwide, I think it gave Christian rock musicians as a whole, not just us, a more valid stand in those kind of serious things.
Dana Key — “It helped the casual observer to see something other than superficiality. You know what accusations that most people who hate rock ‘n roll have against Christian rock is that it’s real superficial – that the music overpowers the words. We’ve always said, ‘If you’ll come to a concert and stay for the whole concert, not just the first two songs, or if you’ll get the record and look at the Bible study that goes with the record, you’ll see we’re trying to communicate something with some strength and some depth.'” I think the MAF video had many opportunities where Eddie and I spoke and shared out hearts and shared the scriptures, that it made some people out there who were not necessarily anti-Christian rock, but borderline – it convinced them that there was depth in the message we’re trying to present to kids.”
“The other thing that we’re trying to do with the new video is we’re going to negotiate with one of the networks and try to air an hour special nationally, and that would help us with two things: It will help us let churches know that the video exists and it will also help us inaugurate a massive tour that we’re going to be starting real soon, actually, at the beginning of the summer, and it just kind of picks up steam through the fall. We’ll be doing almost 100 concerts between now and Christmas which is a pretty serious undertaking because our office is going to promote the majority of it, and that’s going to be pretty mutual for us. We normally don’t do that. We normally work with regional promoters. We will be working with regional people as representatives, but our staff is going to oversee the selection of all the states so we can do them in a more strategic way. Some of our touring sometimes is haphazard and it can be confusing, but we want to do a real massive tour this year, and this is the only way we can get all the details together and be in the right part of the country at the right time. So we’re looking forward to that.”
“There is something special going on with the DeGarmo & Key album that we hoped for, but we were still caught a little by surprise at the success of the new DeGarmo & Key album. I think a lot of it is that the scripture teaches that when you give to the Lord, He gives back, and we gave the free cassette away this year with the Bible study, and the Lord has just been giving back opportunities and resources financially. I just see a real outpouring of God’s spirit on our organization and in our ministry. We generally have about 50 kids a night in our invitations except for this year, and in 1988, we’ve averaged over 200 kids a night, so we could see as many as 20,000 kids get saved this year, which would be a dramatic increase over last year. We’re excited about that opportunity.”
Dana Key on on the Live Concert Video
Dana Key — “Our goal in the beginning, 10 years ago, was we wanted to reach kids with the message of Jesus Christ through rock ‘n roll music, and we felt that a video like this will go many places we can’t go.”
Dana Key on Teen Suicide
“To be really honest, we just didn’t want to talk about suicide or sing about it in concert. But it’s a problem that will kill 5,000 kids in America, and we finally have to say something about it.
Dana Key on D&K’s Vision
Dana Key — “We have two goals. One is to win kids to Christ and the other is to encourage Christian kids to walk closer to Christ. “We’ve always become a tool in people’s hands. We become a tract for people – a musical tract – and they take the song and give it to someone that they’ve selected from among their friends who needs to hear, and they pray about it and give them a cassette and hope it gives them the opportunity to win them to Christ.”
Dana Key of legendary Christian music pioneers DeGarmo & Key dead at 56
O, Say Can You See
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