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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2008 Jan White
500 words


By: Jan White

Gospel singer/songwriter Dottie Rambo, age 74, died early last Sunday morning when strong winds blew her tour bus off a Missouri highway and into an embankment.  Seven others traveling with her were injured – two of them seriously.

Some may not know the name, Dottie Rambo, but anyone who knows Gospel music will know her songs have touched many hearts through the years.  Her musical legacy of over 2000 songs includes older classics such as “Sheltered in the Arms of God” and “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before,” along with newer classics such as, “We Shall Behold Him” and “Behold the Lamb.”

Born in Madison, Kentucky during the Great Depression, Dottie, (given name Joyce Reba Lutrell), began playing guitar and singing on local country radio.  Her musical talent was evident even then and her father hoped she would go on to sing on the Grand Ole Opry. 

At age 12, Dottie gave her life to Christ and chose to sing for Him the rest of her life.  She met Buck Rambo at a revival meeting, they married when she was 16, and the couple began traveling and singing in churches.   Buck and Dottie had one child, a daughter named Reba, who is also a singer/songwriter.

Dottie wrote Gospel music that others heard her sing and these groups began recording her songs.  “The Happy Goodman Family” introduced her to then-governor of Louisiana, Jimmy Davis, who paid her $3000 to publish and promote her songs. 

Dottie Rambo won a Grammy in 1968 for Best Gospel Album.  Whitney Houston recorded Dottie’s song, “I Go To The Rock,” for the movie, “Preacher’s Wife.”  Rambo’s songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and last year Dottie recorded a duet with Dolly Parton.

Perhaps Dottie Rambo is best-known for writing a song to the tune of “Danny Boy,” at the request of Governor Jimmy Davis.  She had started writing a song about the grace of God in 1970, but was unable to finish it.  Then her older brother, who was battling cancer, was told he only had weeks to live.  Dottie sat by his bedside, read the Bible, prayed for him, and asked if he’d given his life to Jesus.            

Eddie reminded her of his addiction to alcohol and drugs and time spent in jail.  He couldn’t understand how the Lord could accept a person like him.  Dottie replied, “The Lord left the 99 to bring a lost sheep like you back to the fold.”  Their conversation inspired her to finish, “He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need.”  She returned to the hospital later that day and sang it for Eddie.

Just before he died, Eddie accepted Christ’s forgiveness.  He asked his sister to sing that song at his funeral.  He whispered to her, “When I get to heaven, I’ll wait for you at the Pearly Gates so we can enjoy heaven together.”  Dottie Rambo’s now with her brother and beholding her Lord “face to face,” (1 Corinthians 13:12).


"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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