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Keith Green

Keith Green (1953-July 28, 1982) was an American gospel singer from Sheepshead Bay, New York[?]. Green is perhaps best known for his slogan "No Compromise" and the song "Your Love Broke Through", written with Todd Fishkind[?] and Randy Stonehill. That song has been covered numerous times by artists including Stonehill, Phil Keaggy, and Debby Boone[?].

Green took to music at a young age, and his talents were noted by major newspapers by the time he was only eight years old. Following a performance of Arthur Laurent[?]'s The Time of the Cuckoo[?], the Los Angeles Times[?] wrote that "roguish-looking, eight-year-old Keith Green gave a winning performance," one that "stole the show". Green went on to play "Kurt Von Trapp" in a major production of The Sound of Music.

At the age of eleven, Green became the youngest person ever to sign with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) when he published, recorded and released the song "The Way I Used to Be".

In his eary teens, with more than 50 original songs under his belt, Green was signed to Decca Records. Decca had plans to make Green a teen-idol, regularly getting the young man featured in fanzines like Teen Scene and on popular television shows like The Jack Benny Show and Steve Allen's show. Time Magazine called Green "a prepubescent dreamboat".

By his mid teens, Green became heavily involved in drug use, eastern religion, astology, and mysticism. Green converted to Christanity in the early 1970s. Green married his wife Melody in 1973. It was around this time that the newly married Green couple became friends with Bob Dylan, who attended the same church.

The Greens began an outreach program to California by purchasing seven homes to provide housing and care for prostitutes, drug addicts, and homeless people. Eventually, this outreach program relocated to Linsdale, Texas[?], where the Greens founded Last Days Ministries.

Green began to release a series of albums in the new Contemporary Christian music market in 1977. Two years later, he would shock many in the industry by refusing to charge money for concerts or for albums. He insisted that his new label, Sparrow Records[?], let him out of his contract. The Greens then mortgaged their home to privately finance the album So You Wann Go Back To Egypt? (featuring his friend Bob Dylan), which was then offered through mail-order and at concerts for "whatever you could afford". As of May of 1982, Green had shipped outmore than 200,000 units of his album - 61,000 for free.

Green was killed on July 28, 1982, when the small plane he was traveling in crashed. Green had been flying visiting friends around the Last Days Ministries compound. Two of Green's children, three year old Josiah, and two year old Bethany, were also on board the plane, as was pilot Don Burmeister, and friends John and Dede Smalley and all six of their children. All passengers were killed in the crash. Crash investigators determined that the plane was nearly 500 lbs. overweight with 12 passengers and only 6 seats.

In 1992, several artists joined together to rerecord many of Green's most well known songs for a tribute album called No Compromise: Remembering the Music of Keith Green, on Sparrow Records. Artists contributing to that record included Charlie Peacock[?], PFR[?], Susan Ashton[?], Margaret Becker[?], Michael Card[?], Rich Mullins, and Russ Taff[?]. BEC Records[?] released a second, more modern, tribute record Start Right Here: Remembering the Life o Keith Green, in 2001. That tribute was produced by Derri Daugherty and included performances by MxPx, Joy Electric[?] and others.

On November 27, 2001, Green was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.



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