Dottie Rambo is listed in the credits for the following albums:
|1973||Andraé Crouch & The Disciples||Live at Carnegie Hall||Songwriter|
|1976||The Rambos||The Son Is Shining||Vocals, Guitar|
|1982||Dottie Rambo||We Shall Behold Him||Songwriter|
|1983||Sandi Patty||More than Wonderful||Songwriter|
|1987||Vickie Winans||Be Encouraged||Songwriter|
|1993||Dennis Parker||The Missing Peace||Songwriter|
|1995||Aaron Jeoffrey||Aaron Jeoffrey||Songwriter|
|1998||Dino||Collector's Series, Volume Two||Songwriter|
Dottie Rambo was an American Gospel singer and songwriter. Rambo was a Grammy and multiple Dove award-winning artist. Rambo, along with husband Buck and daughter Reba, formed the award-winning southern Gospel group The Rambos. Dottie and Buck would divorce in 1994 and he would marry the couple's secretary Mae Kutz. Dottie penned more than twenty-five hundred songs, including her most notable "He Looked Beyond My Fault" and "Saw My Need", "We Shall Behold Him" and "I Go To the Rock". In 2000, Rambo was awarded the ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award. Her music is known for its poetic lyrics and cross-genre reaching melodies often dealing with themes such as heaven, Christian sacrifice, hurts, and the born-again Christian experience.
She was born Joyce Reba Luttrell in Madisonville, Kentucky at the height of the Great Depression. She was the daughter of Jerald Vernon "Chick" and Elizabeth Luttrell. According to personal accounts, she grew up in poverty and developed an early affinity for country music. She learned to play guitar while listening at night to the Grand Ole Opry on WSM radio in Nashville. At eight years of age, she started writing songs while sitting on a creek bank near her Morganfield, Kentucky home. She had the support of her mother and father, and by age ten she was singing and playing country music cover tunes on a local radio program.
At twelve years old, she became a born-again Christian and made a commitment to write and sing Christian music. The decision turned out to be pivotal in more than one way; it did not sit well with her father who gave her an ultimatum – give up Christian music or leave. She left home and went on the road, with her first engagement being at a church in Indianapolis, Indiana. She formed a trio called "The Gospel Echoes" and traveled throughout the midwestern and southern United States. "The Gospel Echoes" would consist of several members over the years including "Pat Green" and "Little Joe Hatfield".
In 1950, at age sixteen, she met Buck Rambo at a revival meeting she was holding with evangelist Jimmie Russell. They married shortly thereafter and began traveling and singing together after years of her traveling alone and living with the pastors' families. Finally, they created a group "The Gospel Echoes" and later with their daughter, Reba as "The Singing Rambos" and "The Rambos."
Through an introduction by the Happy Goodman Family, another gospel group, Rambo sang for the then-governor of Louisiana, Jimmie Davis, who was also a popular country and gospel music recording artist. Davis signed her to a writing contract with his publishing company, Jimmie Davis Music (BMI). She received a signing bonus of around $3,000, the most she had ever earned to that time. Though Jimmie Davis appears as a co-writer on Rambo's compositions during this time period she publicly stated he did not write any music or lyrics to her compositions but required a writer's share upon the publishing agreement. Jimmie Davis Music is now owned by Peer Music.
Throughout the 1960s her star began to rise mostly as a songwriter but also as a soloist and as the leader of “The Singing Rambos” she traveled internationally, including a 1967 trip to Vietnam to perform for American troops. While in Vietnam Rambo ministered in field hospitals The Kittyhawk and Ticonderoga. While in Vietnam the group was billed as the "Swinging Rambos" as the Government feared that a Christian singing group's safety could be at risk. US soldiers presented Dottie with a Viet Cong flag and other personal mementos from the war.
Her songwriting break and Davis’ company’s promotion of Dottie’s songs resulted in a Warner Bros. Records recording contract for her and The Gospel Echoes. After earning as little as $50 a week for years, often working day jobs to make ends meet, Rambo’s fortunes began to improve. Their records were selling and her songs were being noticed within the industry, with other gospel groups beginning to record them. In 1968 she won a Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance for her album It’s The Soul Of Me. Poor record sales for the Gospel Echoes caused the Warner Bros. label to release The Gospel Echoes. Warner Bros. saw something special in Dottie as a solo artist and asked her to sign on with an incredible recording contract for R&B music, Dottie declined and stayed with her love, Gospel Music. Dottie signed with Benson Records and their Heartwarming label of Nashville and maintained a long-term relationship with them.
Her dynamic vocal along with her ability to minister would find Rambo working with nearly every popular minister in modern history including Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, Kathryn Kuhlman, John Hagee, Jim Bakker, Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner, Paul and Jan Crouch, Paula White, Reinhard Bonnke, E. V. Hill, Pat Robertson, T.D. Jakes and more.
Rambo's Down By The Creekbank is one of the most successful Christian children's records in history, earning platinum record status.
In addition to her solo and trio recordings, Rambo has appeared on other artist's recordings including Jimmie Davis, Barbara Mandrell, Dickie Betts, The Dunaways, David Robertson, and Walt Mills.
Rambo reportedly wrote 2,500 songs. However, ASCAP and BMI only show several hundred registered titles in its online database to date. In the case of ASCAP, this disparity may be attributed to the possibility that all of a given writer’s titles may not yet have been uploaded to their database. She was nevertheless a prolific composer and her hits included "We Shall Behold Him", "Holy Spirit Thou Art Welcome (In This Place)", "I Go To The Rock", “Sheltered In The Arms Of God”, “I Will Glory In The Cross”, “He Looked Beyond My Fault”, “Tears Will Never Stain The Streets Of That City”, “For What Earthly Reason”, “If That Isn’t Love”, "Too Much To Gain To Lose" and many more. She also wrote many country music songs that would be recorded heavily by Jimmie Davis, Charlie Louvin, Rhonda Vincent, Hank Snow, and others.
Rambo's compositions have appeared on countless television series and specials including "Saturday Night Live" and "Dr. Phil". On BET's "Sunday Best", two of her songs were sung by the contestants ("I Go To The Rock", "We Shall Behold Him"). Movie soundtracks include "The Preacher's Wife" ("I Go To The Rock") and 2004's "Undertow" ("Sheltered In The Arms Of God").
Throughout her career, beginning with the sixties "Gospel Singing Jubilee", Rambo appeared on numerous television programs on virtually every Christian network as well as the TNN, PAX, and GMT Women's Entertainment channels. She had her own series, "Dottie Rambo Magazine" in the 1980s on TBN which was the No.1 rated program on the network for six years and has rerun on and off since.
Dottie Rambo's life has been the subject to countless biographic television specials from TBN (Portrait Of Grace), INSP (Inspirational Groundbreakers), BBC (White Gospel), GMC (Faith and Fame would be her last interview aired on television).
In 1987, Rambo suffered a ruptured disk which led to paralysis in her left leg. She underwent a series of surgeries that eventually reinstated limited mobility.
In 1992, Dottie's husband, Buck, left their marriage, they separated; finally, they divorced in 1994.
In the late 1990s, Dottie again performed in concerts, evangelistic meetings, and churches across the United States. In 2007, she performed nationwide and appeared in concert at country singer Dolly Parton’s Tennessee theme park, Dollywood.
In 2002 Rambo reentered the studio to record her first solo album in eighteen years. The result was the award-winning hit "Stand By The River". The title track a duet with Dolly Parton would go to the number one spot of the Christian Country Radio Chart as did it's follow up "I'm Gonna Leave Here Shoutin".
In November 2007, Rambo completed another studio album with the working title of "Sheltered". This album was released in September 2009 on Daywind Records. The project features 12 tracks including duets with Porter Wagoner, Mel Tillis, The Whites, and Lulu Roman. Upon completing this project, Rambo started another project that was to feature new compositions and music for a 2009 release. A tribute CD of artists from various genres of music is also being produced by her longtime manager, Larry Ferguson, and former assistant Chris Barnes.
Rambo had two grandchildren, Destiny McGuire and Israel Anthem. Her grandson, Israel Anthem is a Grammy-nominated director while her granddaughter writes and sings music.
In 2007, the Annalee Dolls company released a limited edition collector's "Dottie Rambo Anniversary Doll".
Rambo died on May 11, 2008, as a result of injuries sustained in a bus accident along Interstate 44 just outside of Mount Vernon, Missouri. She had just finished a performance at Calvary Life Church, Pastor Mark Maynard, in Granite City, IL. Rambo was en route to a Mother's Day show in Texas when the 1997 Prévost bus she was traveling in ran off the road, struck a guard rail, and hit an embankment. Rambo was pronounced dead at the scene. Rambo's manager Larry Ferguson and his family were injured in the crash as well as one of her road assistants, Chris Barnes. The 2 a.m. accident was reported as possibly being weather-related after severe storms had recently passed through the area. Later it was revealed that it was not weather-related.
Her funeral was held at Christ Church in Nashville, Tennessee on May 19, 2008. In addition to Dottie's family, there were many industry executives and artists which included country singers, Barbara Mandrell, Sandi Patty, Andrae Crouch, The Perrys, Larry Strickland, Linda Davis, and many others. Rambo was interred at the Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Nashville.
Upon Dottie's death, she left her ministry, The Rambo Evangelistic Association to her manager and caregiver Larry Ferguson, and her personal estate to her two grandchildren Destiny and Israel. Ferguson as well as Rambo employee Chris Barnes produced a tribute album of celebrities recording Dottie Rambo classics to be released in 2011.
Wikipedia contributors. Dottie Rambo. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. February 13, 2011, 05:11 UTC. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dottie_Rambo&oldid=413629213. Accessed February 17, 2011.