Monday, February 1, 2010

Gospel Legend Charles Key Passes Away

Charles Key age, 83, born April 15, 1926 passed away peacefully at his home on January 29, 2010. Charles was an original member of the Harmoneers Quartet, joining the gospel group in 1944 after his high school graduation and remained as their pianist for many years. As a member of the Harmoneers, Mr. Key was on contract with RCA Victor records using his dignity with keyboard skills as a superb accompanist. After his retirement from professional gospel music, Charles continued to share his musical talent in the Atlanta, GA area appearing for 17 years on the weekly television program "Warren Roberts Presents", as the pianist for The Heralds Quartet, and accompanist at many local congregations. Charles Key was dedicated to his Sunday school class, the Business Men's Bible Class of Briarlake Baptist Church where he was the pianist for the class for over 20 years. Charles was the recipient of many awards in the music industry: Grand Ole Gospel Reunion Living Legend Award (1995), Piano Roll of Honor (1998), Inductee to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame (2002), Inductee to the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame (2004), and Inductee into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame (2006). Charles is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Geneva (Gene) Key, brother, John Key of Waco, TX, sister, Fannie Mayfield of Etowah, TN, and devoted family friend, Charles Waller. Funeral services will be held Monday, February 1, 2010 at 2:00 P.M. at Briarlake Baptist Church, with Dr. O.E. "Buddy" Burton officiating. Interment will be at Cave Creek Cemetery in Roane County, TN on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 2:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Southern Gospel Music Association ( Key didn't showboat when he played the piano. "His job", he said, "was to accompany the singers. To let them shine."

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