Dottie Rambo, 1934-2008

Dottie Rambo was killed last night when her bus was caught in a tornado in Oklahoma crashed near Mt. Vernon, Missouri. The details are very sketchy (from her schedule it looks like she was traveling from Granite City, Illinois, outside of St. Louis, to Texas, a trip that would have taken her through the path of last night’s storms. Later: the Missouri Highway patrol report doesn’t indicate if weather was a factor in the crash). There may have been other deaths among the people traveling with her, and pretty clearly there are some critical injuries. But whatever the particulars, it’s a devastating loss of a great American songwriter only compounded by the harrowing way she had to die.

News reports: Yahoo news; Springfield News-Leader; New York Times. Local North Texas news video; Nashville Tenneseean; Singing News roundup of video and related news.

Update: Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve been thinking about this all afternoon. The last time I saw her perform was at NQC a few years back. She was with Gerald Crabb and they were talking about songwriting for a while and then they sang for a while. This from my NQC report at the time:

Rambo is a funny, generous woman with an easygoing stage manner won from a lifetime of performing and writing. And she’s an astute student of the creative temperament and mind, remarking insightfully about the cycle of ebb and flow of spiritual influx that can take over a writer’s life if he or she is totally immersed in the work of creation. Rambo and Gerald Crabb sang “Tears,” and it didn’t really matter that the song was way too high for everyone (as Rambo wasted no time in saying and repeating often). It was great to watch and listen to Rambo take complete and utter control of the stage while she was on it … holding the audience captive to her wit and wisdom and self-deprecating charm (“I’m up here in my teeny-bop outfit, my jeans and spangles … I’ll never be old ya know”). And at the end of “Tears,” I laughed out loud to hear her call the ending (“Take it to the 4, boys,” she told the band). What a delight.

Indeed. I’ve heard many songwriters I know – successful, renown people whose songs, to most ears, might not sound anything like Rambo’s style – say often and loudly that Dottie Rambo was the reason they wanted to be a songwriter. In fact, Rambo could easily be credited with inventing the art of the country gospel song and was an important pioneer of the Christian anthem as well.

She wrote songs with immediately relatable tunes: Just start singing anything you can remember of “Tears Will Never Stain” or “Behold the Lamb” or “I Will Glory in the Cross” and see if you don’t go immediately to the emotional place the song is headed. And she effectively trademarked accessible, yet also richly imagined and deeply thought out, gospel music imagery – perhaps most memorably, “Sheltered in the Arms of God.”

“So let the storms rage high, the dark clouds rise, they don’t worry me …” The song probably will, for many good reasons, feature prominently in memorials and tributes and eulogies to Rambo throughout the coming days and weeks.

But for myself today, I’ve kept coming back to “If That Isn’t Love.” The song’s chorus famously celebrates love’s durability, of course. But when I think about how Dottie Rambo’s life ended on a starless night somewhere by the side of the road, perhaps not alone, but certainly required, as we all are, to meet death by ourselves, I reflexively feel the pull of the chorus’s plaintive melodic strain, a refrain that I’ve always felt to be at least partly a lament for the reversals of fortune and other passages of suffering – any event or stimulus, really, that throws us back on absolutes, and when or if those fail, to the unimpeachable truth of the heart’s experience and the soul’s knowledge:

If that isn’t love,
The ocean is dry;
There’s no stars in the sky,
And the sparrow can’t fly!
If that isn’t love,
Then Heaven’s a myth;
There’s no feeling like this
If that isn’t love.

The consolations of Christian love matter most for her, she seems to say here, because they survive, even if we don’t. At least that’s what I hear in this song as I listen to it today through the filter of its author’s death.

I have no idea what Rambo was thinking when she wrote this song, but it bespeaks the enduring force of her art and the power of her imagination as a songwriter that she created songs that people are instinctively drawn to, that we reach for at certain important or momentous times in our lives. How beautiful, bittersweet, sad, and for us as her survivors, how blessedly fortunate, that she leaves as her legacy a king’s ransom worth of songs that will be a deeply felt consolation to those mourning her loss.

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Comments

  1. Robert wrote:

    What a tragedy! I hope it is not true. Maybe we can confirm this soon. I will try and find out for sure.

  2. Marty Funderburk wrote:

    I just received word that Dottie and the bus driver were killed when the bus went over a deep embankment. Larry Ferguson, her manager, is in critical condition. His wife suffered a shoulder injury and the kids are fine. Keep them all in your prayers.

  3. RF wrote:

    Such a tragedy. My prayers to the Rambo family.

  4. Scott Spangler wrote:

    Not to doubt Marty, but the information I read from the Missouri State Police say that only Dottie was killed in the accident. It is stating that the bus driver and Christopher Barnes(I think he’s the product manager) were seriously injured, and the rest (Larry, his wife and 2 kids) were all moderately injured.

    Regardless, this is a tragic loss for not only southern gospel music, but considering all the friends Dottie had in secular music as well, this is a loss that will be felt throughout all genres of music.

    My prayers are that God sustain Dotties family, as well as all those connected with this.

  5. joe wrote:

    Wow. I’ve been a huge fan for 40 years and this is a tremendous loss. Sure, some of her styles were a bit eccentric, but she had a very tough life in many ways. I suppose that’s partially what made her such a great songwriter and communicator.

    A line from one of her most beloved songs (Sheltered in the Arms of God) comes to mind… “I’ll fall asleep and wake in God’s new heaven.” Rest in peace, Dottie, and thank you for the music.

  6. Michael wrote:

    My prayers are with the family and friends.

    Let us all remember that God’s timing is not good but rather perfect. It’s not always for our human understanding though.

    Appreciation to Dottie for giving of her heart. Another great line…”down on my knees, I learned to stand.”

  7. bob miller wrote:

    What a terrible tragedy………..she was one of the finest songwriters gospel music ever knew. We all mourn her loss.

  8. Judy wrote:

    Chirs Barnes, the guy who did the product table is also in critical condition also. From what I have heard, Larry has not regained consciousness. I will try and contact Beckie again later today for any updates.

  9. Alan wrote:

    Our music has indeed lost a beloved friend and icon. Her songwriting legacy will live on as long as there are Christians on earth. A long time ago, she was a kind encourager to me, and to anyone who was fortunate enough to cross her path. My prayers and deepest sympathy are with her family, and I will continue to pray for those injured. As updates are available, I sure hope they’re posted here.

  10. Joel Lindsey wrote:

    When I heard the news early this morning, I thought surely it must be a mistake.
    She was, in my opinion, the greatest gospel songwriter ever.

    Such a sad, sad day.

  11. Judy Brannin wrote:

    Jusy talked with Beckie, good news is that Larry & Chris are awake and talking, but still in ICU. Still no good news on the driver. It was apparent that Dottie died instantly, as she was thrown from her bunk and her neck was broken. I have been unable to talk with Judy {Larry’s wife, as of yet}, but the boys are fine, and she has an injured shoulder, maybe a broken collarbone.

    BTW, the NQC showcase you spoke of was one I did with Gerald & Dottie.

  12. Mike McIlwain wrote:

    While I rejoice that Dottie is in the place where “Tears Will Never Stain the Streets of That City” I feel a great loss. I have listened to Dottie’s songs all of my life and have been greatly touched by most of them, especially “Tears Will Never Stain,” “Sheltered in the Arms of God,” and “He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need.” There were many other songs she wrote that were also a blessing to me. Her perseverance in the face of many trials in her life have been a great encouragement to me in my journey here on this earth and in the ministry.

    It was so good to see Dottie get back to performing in the past few years. May God bless and strengthen the Rambo family during this time and may the Lord use this event to allow her many friends outside of Christian music and Christianity to have another chance to hear the life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus.

    I will miss Dottie, even though I did not personally know her. However, her songs will live on and continue to be a great blessing to the church and to the world.

  13. Edie wrote:

    The hospital in Springfield has Larry Ferguson listed in critical condition.

  14. TJT wrote:

    Dottie truly experienced the meaning of “We Shall Behold Him” this morning. My heart goes out to Reba and Dony and the grandkids. I am sure it was very hard for
    Naomi and Lula to continue on this morning
    with the concert in Texas. Larry, Judy, Chris and the kids are in my prayers. Gospel
    Music lost a Grand Lady this morning.

  15. Brett wrote:

    No the bus driver isn’t dead.

  16. Roger wrote:

    Another Gospel Icon gone to Glory. What an inspiration to us songwriters. Singing News bloggers reported it on the forums only to have their posts removed until Singing News put out their own story which of course is only viewable if you are a subscriber.

  17. Realistic wrote:

    Dottie’s songs are priceless, and so was she. To think she wrote both the lyrics and melody to the greatest majority of her songs — songs recorded by people like Whitney Houston and Elvis. Here are a few of my favorites from her incredible ministry:

    I Go to the Rock
    Bring All Your Needs to the Altar
    I Will Glory In The Cross
    He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need
    He Ain’t Never Done Me Nothing But Good
    If That Isn’t Love
    Sheltered In The Arms Of God
    For What Earthly Reason
    I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before
    I Call Him Lord

  18. Rick wrote:

    Re:#16: Phil, I sang “Build My Mansion” this morning in church and found out the news this evening. Southern Gospel has lost a great lady and a great songwriter. I became a Rambo fan when I was 14 (I’m now 52.) Dottie’s songs saw me through many times of near despair and her family’s music blessed me, along with countless others. My condolences to her family in their time of loss.

  19. Phil wrote:

    to think we had a soloist in our church singing “If That Isn’t love”…..then to come home and check this blog to find out she has passed away…..

    God Be With the Rambo Family….

    Love you Dottie!!

    Phillipians 4 V13

  20. Sissey wrote:

    Over on singingnews it states only Dottie was killed in the crash. Has anyone confirmed that the bus driver (Ronnie Meadows) was killed.

    Dottie was a wonderful woman. This is such a great loss for the Gospel indutry.

  21. Rick wrote:

    Sorry. I meant to respond to message #19.

  22. Nathalie Gray wrote:

    I am watching TBN here in Jamaica, West Indies only to see the news streaming across the screen that Dottie has gone to be with the Lord. She has been a blessing to me and I surely will miss her. May the Lord keep her family during this time of grief.

  23. Adam King wrote:

    I’m speechless. While I rejoice in Dottie’s ultimate realization of her salvation as she stands before her Heavenly Father, my heart is indeed heavy as I mourn our loss.

    I had the most wonderful opportunity of sitting with Dottie during a stormy night on a Templeton cruise in November 2006. I was serving as an accompanist to Geraldine Ragan and our product table was near Dottie’s. She, Larry, Geraldine and I (and of course, Ricky) had a great time together admist the rocking ship.

    I’m forever grateful that the Lord allowed me to personally tell that Godly saint how much she was loved and how much her ministry has meant to me throughout my life.

    Heaven just keeps getting sweeter every year!

  24. Lisa wrote:

    My prayers are with the families of all involved in this accident. Can someone PLEASE help me confirm the status of the bus driver Ronnie Meadows? I just met him 2 weeks ago at the place where he parks his bus in Joelton. We talked for quite a bit. This news saddens me, and I just want to know what happened to him.

    Be blessed everyone.

  25. Videoguy wrote:

    According to storm reports to the National Weather Service:

    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/080510_rpts.html

    it appears that the storms had moved well into MS, AL, and GA at the time of the accident (2:19 AM).

    Use this chart to convert UTC to local time:

    http://hurricanes.noaa.gov/zulu-utc.html

    I’m no forensic meteorologist, but it would appear that the accident was not caused by weather - directly, at least. Historical radar data won’t be publicly available for another couple of days. Details will probably come out before then, anyway.

  26. Keith wrote:

    While I never had the chance to meet Dottie, I feel as though I know her. Her lyrics are part of the fabric of my life, my heritage. I agree with Joel Lindsey’s assessment: she was the best songwriter ever.

    This does bring up an interesting point. Songwriters have the incredible opportunity to pen words and compose melodies that become deeply personal to the general public. It’s not about whether or not the songwriter is a performer (as has been debated back and forth on here recently), but rather the quality of the song itself. A song that ministers to the heart and soul becomes part of the listener’s life journey. Valleys, victories, and answers to prayer are often connected to a lyric and a songwriter. And, those songs are never forgotten.

    And, that’s the case with Dottie Rambo’s songs. Because of my sentimental attachment to the lyrics, I feel this evening as though a family member has died.

  27. Peggy Rippy wrote:

    I was so shocked to hear about Dottie Rambo . I saw her in concert last night and it was great. Im praying for the rest of the people. She now is in heaven singing around the throne of GOD with the angels.

  28. Judy Brannin wrote:

    The driver is NOT dead, but in critical condition at this time. Larry is stable and supposed to have surgery in the morning, Chris is still critical, but somewhat alert. Judy has been released, but is staying with her boys at this time. The boys are more or less just bruised, nothing serious. But an overnight stay is good. They ALL need our prayers now very much.

  29. Radioguy wrote:

    Considering all the pain she’s been through in the last several years (emotional and physical) I’m sure she’s glad to be in heaven with her Saviour. However those of us left behind, family, friends and fans are going to miss this amazing woman.

  30. LW wrote:

    Gospel Music royalty is not resting in the arms of God! What a remarkable woman. What a blessing she has been to so many with her music. My heart goes out to the family and the rest who were on the bus.

  31. Tim Eutin wrote:

    There goes a lady of class, style and a heart for God. She lives on in her music and thank God she left a lot of music for us!

    (Its funny how when something like this happens that the normal criticisms and sparring that are the heart of this site just seem so unimportant.)

  32. Amir Larijani wrote:

    Videoguy: I disagree. Even though the storm likely had passed, the wind was likely very substantial. A large bus like that, with a strong, random wind gust, is a prescription for disaster.

  33. Doyle McAlister wrote:

    We are so saddened by the loss of this precious Saint of God! Pam and I are praying for her family and friends. Rest in the Lord sweet Dottie!

  34. thom wrote:

    She has found sweet rest at last.
    No more tears, no more pain, no more sadness, no more sickness, no more loss.
    What a sad day for us, but a glorious day of celebration for Dottie as she finally Beholds her Blessed Savior face to face.

    Rest is peace, Dottie.

    - Thom Rawls

  35. SGFAN65 wrote:

    What a tragic loss of a dear precious lady. My first memory of singing was her song “Build My Mansion” at an early age of 6 years old - some 37 years ago - and my ALL TIME FAVORITE OF ANY SONG - ANYWHERE - is “Sheltered in the Arms of God”. How much sweeter it means to me today. Most likely they were all asleep on the bus at the time of the accident - and Dottie - fell “asleep her - but awoke to God’s New Heaven - sheltered safe within - the arms of God !”

    Our love and prayers to all of the family members connected by this loss. Larry especially - as he has been her right hand for so many years now. God be with you all !

  36. Melissa wrote:

    I loved Dottie Rambo and will continue to love her songs she will be very missed.
    I pray for Larry and Judy and the boys and all they will be going through as well.
    Larry it’s been nice talking to you and look forward to getting together with you. thanks for staying in touch by email..Have enjoyed visiting on the phone with you too.
    Blessings and pray for quick recovery. I
    know your family will miss Dottie everyone will.

  37. J wrote:

    A Great lady that we will miss you. God speed Miss Dottie.

  38. LuckyDog wrote:

    I never had the privilege of meeting Dottie, nor working with her. It would have certainly been an honor.

    She is, without doubt, one of the most influential songwriters in southern/county gospel music history.

    This tragedy reinforces the impact Dottie has made on countless lives through her songwriting.

    As a less-accomplished (to say the least) songwriter, I can only hope to have a song or two that reaches people the way DOZENS of Dottie’s songs have.

    Long after those who knew and loved Dottie have passed on themselves, her music will be touching people and changing lives. What a legacy! Well done, Dottie!

    Thank you for your personal touch to countless lives!

  39. Dan Keeton wrote:

    I can tell you from much bus driving experience. If there was any wind gusts at all, You can be wide awake and have complete control of the bus and a wind gust will send you into another lane. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

    Our prayers are with everyone.

  40. Joe wrote:

    Doug-

    I just scanned through all of the posts quickly, and think I can say that, appropriately enough, they were all about Dottie.

    But I wanted to say that your eulogy of her, and your summation of her songs, viewed from a spiritual standpoint (as you did), is maybe the finest thing I’ve read from you in the almost 3 years I’ve been here reading.

    Fantastic stuff. Worth reading many times. Thanks.

    And to Dan Keeton (post #39)- hi, friend! I’m the guy who sang your song (”Telling the Old Story”) opening for the DMB’s in western PA, without knowing it was YOUR song…and you were sitting there, listening to one of your songs being publicly performed for the very first time. Remember??!!

    Best wishes for your new quartet!

  41. Marty Funderburk wrote:

    I just want to extend my deepest condolences to my my friend Reba Rambo McGuire and her family. She lost her dear mother on Mother’s Day. I cannot begin to imagine what she is feeling. Let’s all remember them in our prayers.

  42. Derek wrote:

    I have precious memories of Dottie Rambo! I met her once at a Gene Higgins event in Nashville. I had paid my fees to be a part of it and sing on the “showcase.” I’ll never forget it. Dottie Rambo came out and sang two songs, then introduced me on stage. I walked out on stage and gave her a hug before I started my first song. It was a priceless moment…though cheesy perhaps to some, it will forever be a precious moment to me. My prayers are with everyone involved in this tragedy. We can’t bring Dottie back, but as David said, we can be ready to go where she is!

  43. Brad wrote:

    I only met Dottie one time. It was about a year ago. My mother had been wanting to see Dottie in concert and I saw that she was going to be in the area. So, for Mother’s Day, I bought two “artist circle” tickets that included a meet and greet after the concert.

    A couple of years earlier I had taken a Nashville number system class and one of the songs that I charted was “I Call Him Lord”. I took the book with me the night of the concert and when we finally got up to chat with Dottie, I asked her if she would mind autographing the page with all of my little notes on it. I mentioned to her that I thought it might be funny if she also wrote a note about what a “wonderful” arrangement that I had created out of her song. She busted out laughing and sat down and thought for a second and then with her Sharpie wrote on the top of the page: To Brad, What a great arrangement this is. It sound like you wrote this yourself. Love, Dottie Rambo

    It’s hard to believe that happened a year ago, and now she’s gone. But the world is a better place for having her here and I’m glad that I got to meet her.

  44. TJT wrote:

    Received an update from Reba and Dony’s (dottie’s daughter) web-site, the funeral for Dottie will be 1 p.m Monday May 18th. Location has not been annouced yet. Please continue to pray for them, as they make the final arrangments.

  45. Brian wrote:

    I just saw this on the Dottie Rambo site. Whoever made this decision needs to have their taste questioned. To capitalize on this event, is utterly sickening. I have no issues with tribute albums, but do put something like this up within 24 hours by Daywind, et al. Tacky tacky.
    http://www.dottierambo.net/index2.htm
    and
    http://www.dottierambomusic.com/

  46. Rev.Wendell Hilderma wrote:

    We here at Fresh Fire Ministries will miss Sis. Rambo. I meet Dottie many years ago
    in Pensacola,FL We the Hilderamn’s And McDuff’s know that She is now Beholding
    the one she loved and worship.

  47. Casual Observer wrote:

    Brian (#45) I just visited both of those links you posted and see nothing but the death announcement and a brief statement about the funeral. Not sure what you’re considering “tacky” about either of those. And from what I can tell, those sights are posted and maintained by Aaron Crisler/Judy Nelon Group and GospelMusicUpdate.com - Daywind has nothing to do with it (they weren’t her record label).

  48. quartet-man wrote:

    #47, I think they are referring to the ad for the upcoming CD, Sheltered. I don’t know if it were already in the works or not. I presume it might have been or else they put together a cover quickly.

  49. Casual Observer wrote:

    That project has been in the works for a long time. Porter Wagoner performed on it back before he died last November.

  50. wackythinker wrote:

    Casual Observer is correct. That cd is not a tribute, but rather a project that had been in the works for some time. I heard the deal with Daywind had only been inked Friday, and that it was simply to soon for Daywind to make an announcement. It looks like Aaron Crisler put that info on the website early Sunday.

    I think we ought to look before we leap.

  51. wayne kerr wrote:

    (#47)
    If you want to see tacky, go to ebay and type in Dottie Rambo’s name. Some “genius” already has a magnetic memorial ribbon available for sale. A few of them at that. I noticed them on there yesterday. THAT, my friend, is tacky.

    Lord, thank you for the gift you gave us in Dottie. Thank you for trusting her with her talents and for using her as a tool to express your love and hope to us.

  52. wayne kerr wrote:

    I just went and double checked the ebay site in reference to those horrible magnetic ribbons in memory of Dottie. It appears that someone must have got some conviction, or a threat from a lawyer, because they are gone. Praise the Lord!

  53. NoNamePerson wrote:

    The Album had ALREADY been advertised on Dottie’s site and on her MySpace as coming out soon. So this was not just done. I think the reason it was included was because its a beautiful photo of her.

  54. Granny wrote:

    Well, speaking of tacky…in the arrangements for Dottie’s funeral at Christ Church on Monday, the end of the announcement gives the public the information where to send a contribution to help offset the expenses of the funeral. You would think that at this point in her life, the family would not have to make available to the public ways to help with the funeral expenses. Even the average Blow Joe in the local newspaper does not make a play for expense money unless it is unusual circumstances and the family is without funds. Well, perhaps the family was just wanting to include everyone that wanted to be a part. I do feel for their loss since it was sudden. Dottie was having her chance at traveling and ministering again after so many years with back problems.

  55. Pat Cola wrote:

    Gifted music birthed from a deep commitment that withstood the the trials of life - lifting a sweet fragrance of praise worship. She has joined the heavenly chorus. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord…..to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the family.

  56. Lisa Vargas wrote:

    I have been a Dottie Rambo/Rambos/Reba McGuire fan since I was 10 years old. I would sing their songs in my bedroom. Some of my favorites were, “Keeper of the Well, “Reserection Day” just to name a couple. Even at such a young age Dottie and her family ministered to my heart. I will forever be greatful that the Lord placed them on this earth to do just that. I will be praying for the missing of this beautiful lady but I do know that it is a wonderful event to go home to be with our Lord!! We are so lucky to have had her!!!!!

  57. quartet-man wrote:

    I don’t know this for sure, but with all of the medical expenses Dottie was sure to have accrued (especially if she had no insurance) perhaps she is in deep hock. I don’t know, I am sure her songs made a lot of money, but it is hard to tell.

  58. D. Ann Bailey wrote:

    #54 - I don’t know what the finances may be - I do know that at Jim Hamill’s funeral it was revealed that not only had medical exspenses depleted all their savings the house had a mortgage his wife did not have the ability to pay. I know this has been true of others in SGM as well.

    I know you think 2500+ songs published surely there is $$ there. But consider if you will the fact that many songwriters do not recieve the royalties they should if they receive any on many of their songs.

    Also consider the numerous health issues and hospital stays Mrs. Rambo has had in the last 5 years alone and what those hospital bills would run for her if she was uninsured or under insured. Many people in SGM are not insured - mostly health but at times health and life insurance are lacking. If that is the case the funds may not be there for even funeral expenses.

    I don’t know their need but if there is truly one there and people want to do something this would be the best way to honor this lady. Give her a decent burial without leaving the family buried in debt.

    I do not doubt, when looking at all the times she has been under a doctor’s care and in the hospital, there is very probably a real need here. If you disagree that is certainly your option.

  59. Eddie Adams wrote:

    I have been a fan of the Rambos for years. The first record I bought in the 70s was “Build My Masion, Nex Door To Jesus.”

    God bless you Dottie for your hard work and sweet inspiration. You have made a better Christian atmosphere for every one who listens to your songs, well done!

    Posted 14 day of May 2008, 6:20 pm

  60. Glenn wrote:

    We have lost so many of the greats in the last ten years or so. All of us in our lifetime will remember with great affection Glen Payne, George Younce, Vestel Goodman, Jack Hess, James Blackwood, Hovie Lister and many more. I think the great thing about legendary songwriters like Dottie Rambo, is they will be remembered throughout a lot of lifetimes.

  61. Helen Andrews wrote:

    My heart felt prayers to the Rambo family. Her songs ring out even more beautiful now as we picture her in the arms of Jesus of whom she wrote so many wonderful songs.
    She no longer sees the “Father standing att the door.” She has entered in and is at the table of which she wrote. How I envey her. Rest Sweet sholdier of the cross.
    Helen Andrews
    Fresh Approach Ministries
    Nashville, TN

  62. SGM FAN wrote:

    Dottie Rambo had a truly remarkable talent for creating the “hook” in a lyric. She was an “artist” in the truest sense of the word. What made her truly great was that her music was theologically sound. SGM has known no finer lyricist and earth’s loss is no doubt heaven’s gain. To Dottie’s family and close friend’s, we know that God has welcomed her into His arms.

  63. SGM FAN wrote:

    For those concerned about the appeal for Dottie’s funeral expenses:

    So many of you attend church each week, drop in your $5 or $20 and go out and eat a $20-$50 lunch in your “Sunday Best.”

    I remember days on the road when we were given a “love offering” and were told with a knowing smile that sometimes it “is more love than offering.” People aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is. That’s true in life….why would church be any different?

    I remember well as late as the early 80’s getting a call from Glenn Payne asking if his Cathedrals could possibly stop by our church on their way through and sing for $500 and be able to sell records.

    All this to say that no one should judge Dottie Rambo’s success on an assumption that by “this stage” she should be well off.

    The “holy people” are very willing to leave holes in the pockets of true servants of the Lord and reward “show time” SGM by paying huge ticket prices and packing colliseums.

  64. Tony C wrote:

    RIP Dottie. Your music will continue to inspire us. I created a tribute in her honor. Please add memories, photos, videos that you may have so that her legacy lives on.

    http://respectance.com/Joyce_Rambo

  65. sc wrote:

    She was the most prolific writer of our day. Her songs will live as long as the world turns.

  66. Jim2 wrote:

    Great writeup by Beverly Keel of the Tennessean on Judy Nelon’s gospelmusicupdate of the funeral. hopefully you can find it on one of these links - www.Tennessean.com
    www.TuneInMusicCity.com

  67. Shirl Skipper wrote:

    I was only 16 when I first met and heard the singing Rambos in Dubach,La having moved to this area from West Texas She sang and preached at a Pentecostal church I was so amazed at this beautiful Godly woman She had a real impact on my life at a young age I own alot of her recordings and love trying to sing her songs My heart and prayers go out to her daughter and family members.

  68. J.C. wrote:

    The song I have thought of with regard to these events is “I’m Gonna Leave Here Shoutin’ “. Part of the lyrics are:

    I don’t want nobody weeping
    When I draw my final breath;
    I’ll fall asleep in the Cradle of Love, and never feel the sting of Death;
    So send me a “Hallelujah!” when I finally reach my Goal,
    ‘Cause I’m gonna leave here shouting when my time comes to go!

    I’m gonna leave here shoutin’ when I head for the Promised Land,
    If I’m too feeble to praise the Lord, I’ll lift up my dying hand;
    Angels (will) bear me over on wings white as snow;
    Yes, I’m gonna leave here shoutin’ when my time comes to go!

  69. greg g wrote:

    as a little boy of 12 yrs and up mama bought the singing rambo record,and i memorized every song on that album,and later on i sanged them 100s of times in my ministry of 20yrs and i saw god move thru those songs,thank you 1000 times dottie for those wonderful songs that will go with me to my grave,grieved in lake charles, gg.

  70. love Dottie wrote:

    We already miss her.

  71. marylee wrote:

    I heard Dottie and her family sing on the Trinity channel, the night before the
    terrible wreck.
    They were a gifted family sent from God.
    I have some of her music books and I
    will think of her each time I play them.

  72. deloris myers wrote:

    i was very devastated to hear of Dotties death, i did not know about it till after i had gotten home from church that morning.And it was just a coincident that i gotten up and sung the song that morning on Mother’s Day, ‘Ma Ma’s Teaching Angels How To Sing.Now Dottie is also Teaching Angels How To Sing.I sure will miss her very much.

  73. lipsensaun wrote:

    hey my grandma loves Dottie’s music! I’ve heard some of her music myself and i think they r very good! because i am a christian and i love gospel music especially Dottie’s!

  74. Lenore Costa wrote:

    my prayers go out to the family. I grew up listening to Dottie Rambo and I loved Tears Will Never Stain the Streets of That City!! I loved watching her with all her Homecoming Friends and now she is home with all the other homecoming heroes. Thank you Dottie for such wonderful music!

  75. Nina Robison wrote:

    Dottie was very close to my heart. She was one of my favorite Gospet Singers. When I last seen her at the National Quartet Convention I wanted to take her picture. She said I could and why didn’t I get in it with her. I was so excited to have my picture taken with a great lady like her. I will miss her much. My prayers are with Reba and the family. God Bless.

  76. Billy Read wrote:

    Just a few lines for this wonderfull lady, who from heaven can read now!! Miss you Dottie!………………………………………….At the dawn of the morning, sun beams dance across the skies!The birds begin their singing, as the mountians reply!Sweet music from the heavens, bring peace beyond compare! Their brightly shinning faces,their voices solf and clear!….(Love you always Billy)

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