DARLENE BROCK grew up in a small Indiana town known primarily for the automobiles it produced in the ’20s and ’30s—the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg. Desiring more freedom and adventure than a small town afforded, she left home two weeks after her high school graduation and began her foray into the workplace. Holding a short-term office job at a local church, Darlene quickly discovered at the age of eighteen that perhaps she wasn’t “church” material. She was then hired at a very political and influential law firm as a receptionist. This big Indiana city law office exposed her to the world of politics and provided her with a raw, in-depth perspective into the legal profession. This experience ultimately piloted Darlene toward a growing conviction that she needed more purpose in her life. Although she wasn’t at the time “church” material she desired something more than the “success” she observed that was attained through power, wealth and influence.
It was then that she left the political and legal world behind, moved to live and work in a Christian commune located in northern Ohio. She headed a girl’s home, which was part of a community social service initiative that took in indigents and runaways. The girls in the home ran a cleaning company, grew their own food, and participated in intense Bible studies. Leaving a highly political office environment to join the young communal mindset of the time, Darlene discovered the fulfillment and purpose she desired, yet rejected the narrow and legalistic side of that lifestyle.
Upon that realization she returned to Indiana to oversee a retreat center and summer campground. It was there during a Music Industry Retreat Darlene met her future husband, Dan R. Brock who was in attendance. Later on a road trip with a friend to Nashville, she met up again with Dan. It was then he offered Darlene her first job in the music industry. Accepting the position she then relocated to Music City, Nashville, Tennessee.
The following year, Dan and Darlene married and moved to Oklahoma City. There they founded Brock & Associates, their own personal management and booking agency representing early Christian rockers Petra and DeGarmo & Key.
The genre of Contemporary Christian Music was in its infancy, and the Brocks were pioneers in a new frontier. Expanding their business led to the formation of Creative Concerts, the concert promotion arm of B & A. Darlene led this venture where she traveled and produced concerts throughout the U.S., learning how to adapt and build relationships with a diverse array of individuals in equally diverse cities. It was in Oklahoma during that busy time that both of her daughters were born.
The Brocks moved back to Nashville in 1987 and continued to manage several acts through their company. It was in 1988 ForeFront Records was launched in the kitchen of their Music Row management office. Dan began the label with partners DeGarmo & Key and producer Ron W. Griffin. Darlene immediately served various capacities within this young company while continuing her role as co-manager to Brock & Associates’ artists.
In 1990, when Dan became President and CEO of ForeFront, Darlene began her solo flight in personal management with DC Talk and Geoff Moore & the Distance. Success in that role included multiple Grammy and Dove nominations and awards for her management clients, as well as awards for videos produced by Darlene. At the same time she served as COO of ForeFront, overseeing employees and business interests at this growing multimillion dollar record and music publishing group.
Darlene’s daughters grew up while she worked full time in her various business roles. They were exposed to all aspects of the music industry, from traveling to concerts with her, attending awards programs, to rollerblading outside of the edit bay when she was producing music videos. In reviewing those full and sometimes frantic years Darlene is found to say. “Of all the jobs I accomplished the one I find to be most rewarding with lasting benefits is the the job of mom”.
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