Joyce “Dottie” Rambo was fatally injured early Sunday morning when the bus she was in ran off I-44 in southwest Missouri and struck an embankment.
She was pronounced dead at the scene by Lawrence County (Mo.) Coroner Don Lakin at 4:20 a.m., according to the Singing News Magazine.
“She was a giant in the gospel music industry,” said Beckie Simmons, Rambo’s agent.
According to southern gospelmusic.com, she was on her way to a Mother’s Day performance in Texas.
Country singer Dolly Parton said in a release that Rambo was a “dear friend.”
“I know Dottie is in heaven in the arms of God right now, but our earth angel will surely be missed,” Parton said. “Dottie was a dear friend, a fellow singer, songwriter and entertainer, and as of late my duet singing partner.”
A native of Morganfield, Rambo, 74, of Nashville, had written over 2,500 songs including gospel classics such as “We Shall Behold Him,” “I Go To The Rock,” “I Will Glory In The Cross,” “Sheltered In The Arms Of God,” “He Looked Beyond My Fault (and Saw My Need),” “Oil And The Wine,” “Tears Will Never Stain The Streets Of That City,” “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before,” “If That Isn't Love,” and “Build My Mansion (Next Door to Jesus)” to name a few.
Rambo was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.
“Dottie was one-of-a-kind,” said Hank Williams Jr. “I spent a little time with her recently at the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and she will truly be missed by the Nashville music community.”
Seven other people in the bus were injured and were hospitalized, according to a police report posted on several gospel music Web sites.
Her manager, Larry Ferguson, was also injured in the accident and suffered two broken legs as well as other injuries.
The bus driver, Ronnie Meadows, is in serious condition, and Ferguson and his wife and his two children are also hospitalized, according to the report. Chris Barnes, 22, Rambo’s Web master and Larry’s assistant, was in serious condition.
Rambo was on the way to a concert with LuLu Roman and Naomi Sego at the Fountain of Life Church in North Richland Hills, Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth area). Dottie gave her last concert at Calvary Life Church in Granite City, Ill., on Saturday, according to the Singing News.
Calvary Life Church Pastor Mark Maynard said she started the concert with “I’m Gonna Leave Here Shoutin’” and concluded with “We Shall Behold Him.” Throughout the evening she made many references to “going home.”
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Mike & Kelly Bowling, who are scheduled to perform at the Poke Sallet Festival on June 8, recently signed a record deal with Canaan Records.
The trio, which is comprised of Mike and Kelly Bowling and Jeff Snyder, saw their first radio single peak at No. 1 with “We Have A Savior.”
“Your Cries Have Awoken The Master” will be No. 2 for June in the Singing News.
“When I was a child, all I wanted to do was sing and play gospel music,” said Mike Bowling in a press release. “Canaan Records was the leading record company and there was nothing I wanted more than to be an artist on their label with all the other greats. I was a member of the Canaan Record Club, and I couldn’t wait each month to receive the featured project.
“A dream has came true when Kelly and I signed a recording contract with Canaan.”
For more information on Mike and Kelly, visit www.mikeandkellybowling.com. For more information on Canaan Records, log onto www.canaanrecords.com.
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The Gabbards will host their 16th annual homecoming at the Griffin Center Amphitheater in Falmouth on Aug. 7-9 at 7:30 p.m.
Mike and Kelly Bowling and The Gabbards will be singing on Aug. 7.
The Jay Stone Singers and Gold City will join The Gabbards on Aug. 8.
The concert scheduled Aug. 9 will feature The Kingsmen Quartet.
A love offering will be received.
For more information, call (859) 472-5853.
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Paul Lunsford can be contacted via e-mail at plunsford @harlanonline.net