WHO WAS KEITH GREEN?Died at an early age
Keith Green was an American contemporary Christian music pianist, singer, and songwriter.
Keith Green - Early Life source from lastdayministeries.org
Keith Green was born in October 21st, 1953. Born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
Keith's mom had been a singer with the Big Bands, his dad a schoolteacher. Before he was two his mom said Keith had perfect pitch as he sang his baby songs. A year later his family moved to CA and settled into the newly developed orchards of the San Fernando Valley, just a short drive to Hollywood, which would play a significant role in Keith's future.
Keith’s parents made sure he learned how to play guitar and piano at a young age. He liked piano best, but got bored playing the long classical pieces. So instead of learning to read sheet music, he’d memorize each piece, then pretend to be site reading when his teacher was there. But his grandfather, who started Jaguar Records, the first rock and roll label, taught Keith how to play chords on the piano… and was he end of classical music for him. From that moment on Keith began writing and singing his own songs. He was only 6 years old at the time.
When he was 11 Keith signed a recording contract with Decca Records, singing his own songs. Although his pictures were in the Teen Magazines and his single had some minor success, the industry didn’t know how market with such a young artist. Keith was very disappointed and at 14, felt like a total failure, a 'has been' which was very difficult for someone who had been groomed all his life to be a pop star.
Keith was 15 the first time he ran away from home. He started a journal that very day and for years as he looked for musical adventure and spiritual truth, the wrote his journey down. Keith had a Jewish background, but he grew up reading the New Testament. He called it "a confusing combination" that left him deeply unsatisfied. His journey led him to drugs, eastern mysticism, and free love.
When Keith was 19 he met a fellow seeker/musician named Melody. They were inseparable and got married a year later -- now he had a partner as his spiritual quest continued. Then when he had nearly given up hope, Keith found the truth he had been looking for. He now was 21 and never looked back.
Keith Green - Early Life
Green was signed to Contemporary Christian music label Sparrow Records in 1976 and worked on the album Firewind (1976) with Christian artists 2nd Chapter of Acts, Terry and John Michael Talbot, and Barry McGuire. Prior to Keith's signing with Sparrow Records, and two years before the release of No Compromise, Tommy James, of Tommy James and the Shondells, recorded "Don't Wanna Fall Away from You," composed by Green, for his 1976 Fantasy album titled "In Touch".
His first solo project, For Him Who Has Ears to Hear, was released in 1977 and topped the charts. His second solo release, No Compromise, followed in 1978. In 1979, after negotiating a release from his contract with Sparrow, Green initiated a new policy of refusing to charge money for concerts or albums. Keith and Melody mortgaged their home to privately finance Green's next album, So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt.
The album, which featured a guest appearance by Bob Dylan, was offered through mail-order and at concerts for a price determined by the purchaser. By May 1982, Green had shipped out more than 200,000 units of his album – 61,000 for free. Subsequent albums included The Keith Green Collection (1981) and Songs for the Shepherd (1982).
When his music was carried by Christian bookstores, a second cassette was included free of charge for every cassette purchased to give away to a friend to help spread the Gospel.
Keith Green - Cause of Death
Along with eleven others, Green died on July 28, 1982, when the Robertson STOL-modified Cessna 414 leased by Last Days Ministries crashed after takeoff from the private airstrip located on the LDM property.
The small two-engine plane was carrying eleven passengers and the pilot, Don Burmeister, for an aerial tour of the LDM property and the surrounding area.
Green and two of his children, three-year-old Josiah and two-year-old Bethany, were on board the plane, along with visiting church planters, John and Dede Smalley and their six children.
Green's wife Melody was at home with one-year-old Rebekah and six weeks pregnant with their fourth child, Rachel, born in March 1983.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the crash was caused by the pilot in command (PIC) allowing the aircraft to be loaded beyond its operating limitations.
Keith Green - Honors
On November 27, 2001, Keith Green was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Melody Green and their daughters attended to receive the honor for Keith.
Also, On April 3, 2006, Green was honored with the ASCAP Crescendo Award at the 28th annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards presentation dinner. His widow, Melody Green, was present to receive the award for her late husband.
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