As reader requests have kept this feature alive, this week’s ten on ten will compile the ten best recordings of one of the most influential artists in Southern Gospel music history; the Rambos. Some would argue that point but how can one argue the influence Dottie Rambo’s music has had on Southern Gospel music over the course of nearly 50 years. Her compositions are Southern Gospel standards and some of the most beloved songs of this genre.
Compiling this ten on ten feature was more difficult than one would think. Every Rambos album has at least one (to today’s standards) mega Dottie Rambo song. When the dust settled, these are the ten I chose as the Rambo’s best.
The ten best Rambos albums are as follows:
- There Has To Be A Song (1975)
- Alive!…And Live At Soul’s Harbor (1974)
- This Is My Valley (1969)
- Naturally (1977)
- Soul In The Family (1972)
- An Evening With The Singing Rambos (1968)
- Live (1971)
- The Soul Singing Rambos (1968)
- The Real Thing (1970)
- Gospel Ballads (1967)
- I want to start this ten on ten feature by congratulating Buck Rambo’s selection as 2012 member in to the Southern Gospel Music Hall Of Fame. I know Reba Rambo McGuire will be a future member alongside her mother and father.
- The pinnacle of the Rambos discography is their 1975 recording There Has To Be A Song. Two of Dottie’s greatest compositions are found on There Has To Be A Song; “Tears Will Never Stain The Streets Of That City” and “I Call Him Lord”. The recording also gives the listener “He’s Ready To Come, I’m Ready To Go”, “Jesus”, “Give Them All To Jesus”, “Harbor In The Time Of Storm” and “Another Mountain, Another Valley”.
- Alive!…And Live At Soul’s Harbor ranks #2 among the group’s ten best. Even though the songs on the recording are all found on various studio recordings, it was nice hearing them done in a live setting. An impromptu, unfinished version of “Tears Will Never Stain The Streets Of That City” is a real treat.
- This Is My Valley won the first ever album of the year at the Singing News Fan Awards in 1970. Ranked #3 among the group’s ten best, this album contains “This Is My Valley”, “Sheltered In The Arms Of God”, “One More River To Cross”, “If That Isn’t Love”, “Pray My Way Back Home” and “Kind Shepherd” as highlights. ”Sheltered In The Arms Of God” being another one of Dottie’s greatest songs.
- One of the best Rambos albums, that came toward the end of their career was the 1977 recording Naturally. Ranked #4, Naturally contains “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before”, “Any Moment We Could Sail Away”, “Follow The Leader”, “Midnight In The Middle Of The Day”, “He Was The Talk Of The Town”, “He’s Already On His Way” and “Holy Spirit, Thou Art Welcome”.
- The group’s other Live recording (1971) ranks #7. Again, even though the songs are all featured on various studio recordings, the live version of “In The Valley He Restoreth My Soul” on this album is brilliant. Also getting live versions of “The Holy Hills”, “No Lock On My Mansion Door”, “Sheltered In The Arms Of God” and “Oh What A Happy Day” is another reason this album deserved a place among the group’s best.
- The Rambos released two albums on the Heart Warming label in 1968. Both recordings landed in the top ten. The Soul Singing Rambos ranked #8 and An Evening With The Singing Rambos ranked #6. More of Dottie’s best are found on these two recordings. They include “He Looked Beyond My Faults”, “I Just Came To Talk With You Lord”, “Don’t Take My Cross Away”, “I’m Gonna Leave Here Shouting”, “The Holy Hills” and “Too Much To Gain To Lose”.
- The forgotten gem in the Rambos discography is their 1972 recording Soul In The Family. Ranked #5 among the ten best, this album contains one of Dottie’s best songs that you never heard. ”It Will Pass” is usually not mentioned when folks are listing Dottie Rambo’s best songs, but it should be. This song closes out a really strong album with power. One of my personal favorite Dottie Rambo songs.
- With the Rambos extensive discography here are several albums that didn’t make the top ten but deserve honorable mention: Sonshine (1973), Come Spring (1966), Sing Me On Home (1973), The Son Is Shining (1976) and Yours, Until He Comes (1974).
- In addition to the songs already mentioned you also have such greats as “Come Spring”, “When I Lift Up My Head”, “Mama’s Teaching Angels How To Sing”, “I Won’t Ask For More”, “Sailing Toward Home”, “March Around The Throne”, “Until He Comes”, “New Shoes”, “King Of Kings”, “Just In Time”, “Stand By The River”, “I Will Glory In The Cross” and “Behold The Lamb”. Truly, a legacy like no other left to Southern Gospel music from the pen of Dottie Rambo.