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Sony/Provident to Reissue Gospel Legend Dottie Rambo's 1968 Classic

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NEWS SOURCE: Tim Dillinger-Curenton
July 9, 2021

On Friday, July 30th, Provident Distribution/Sony Music will be re-releasing Dottie Rambo’s 1968 Grammy Award-winning album, It’s The Soul of Me, to all digital music platforms. The new digital issue of It’s The Soul of Me has been remastered from the original master tapes and will mark the first time in over a decade that the album has been made available to digital music stores and streaming services. Pre-orders open on July 9th.

In 1968, Dottie Rambo was one of southern gospel music’s fastest rising stars. Her compositions and The Singing Rambos’ unique harmony took them to the top of the Southern Gospel charts. With songs like “Remind Me Dear Lord,” “Mama’s Teaching Angels How To Sing,” “Come Spring” and “He Looked Beyond My Fault (and Saw My Need),” Rambo was in high demand not just as a singer, but as a songwriter. 

Her sound and approach to ministry was unique because her upbringing had been just as extraordinary. She’d performed on The Grand Ole Opry before the age of ten, but her subsequent conversion and commitment to gospel music forced her to leave home with her guitar, for a singular church engagement, at twelve. Rambo was an anomaly--a young female guitar player who wrote her own songs and evangelized. She found models in Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Martha Carson, two women who played guitar and sang.

Defying the segregated ways of the time, she ministered in both black and white churches throughout Kentucky, with a sound that blurred the lines between two different worlds. When The Singing Rambos began recording, they found popularity with both black and white audiences. In 1967, they sang at an integrated and inter-denominational revival in Alabama which served as the inspiration for It’s The Soul of Me. Producer Bob MacKenzie, who was bringing innovative ideas to the traditional world of The Benson Company, began planning with Dottie what Billboard magazine described as a first within the world of southern gospel: “integrated” sessions. “We deal in universals, not in dogma,” Rambo told Billboard in 1967 when asked about this then-controversial collaboration.

The album was recorded live at Nashville’s RCA Studio B with a rhythm section comprised of country music’s top session players including Weldon Myrick (Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson), Buddy Harman (Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Jr.) and Marvin Hughes (Johnny Cash, The Everly Brothers). Backed by Nashville’s Pentecostal Tabernacle Church of God In Christ Choir, with their then-pastor Jonathan Greer on the organ, It’s The Soul of Me made gospel music history when it was released in June of 1968, finding success in both black and white markets. It would take home the Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance in 1969.

Rambo would earn nine additional Grammy nominations throughout her career and win Dove Awards for both Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year in 1981 for “We Shall Behold Him,” and Traditional Gospel Song of the Year in 1997 for Whitney Houston’s recording of “I Go To The Rock.” She wrote hundreds of songs, recorded by the likes of Elvis Presley, Sandi Patty, Barbara Mandrell, Andrae Crouch, Dolly Parton, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Vickie Winans and many others. She was awarded the Songwriter of the Century Award from the Christian Country Music Association and the ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award. She died in a bus accident while touring in 2008.



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