Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dottie Rambo: The Gifted Songwriter of the Twentieth Century (Part 14)

Dottie Rambo Speaks About Her Marital Problems With Buck Rambo (Part 1)



Dottie Rambo Speaks About Her Marital Problems With Buck Rambo (Part 2)



He Changed My Tears to Showers of Blessings



Love Letters



I'll Only Love Him Forever



Home Never Looked So Good to Me



By and By the Night Will Vanish



Home's Where the Heart Is



I've Never Been This Homesick Before



I Go to the Rock



As I mentioned in last Sunday's post, Buck and Dottie Rambo had marital problems for a number of years.  That started surfacing  in the late 60's in the midst of their successful singing career.  When she found out about Buck's unfaithfulness to her the first time, she retreated to a coastline and it resulted in the creation of one of her most popular songs, "Sheltered in the Arms of God."  I don't know how many times Buck was unfaithful to Dottie, nor is it necessary for us to know.  I'm certain there were numerous things that took place in their marriage that the public will never know about.  It's not even necessary that the whole public knows all the details about their failed marriage.  The reason why I'm mentioning this is because a number of songs were created as as a result of the turmoil Dottie experienced as a result of Buck's unfaithfulness to her.  I have heard of at least three accounts of Buck being unfaithful to her.  The last incident resulted in divorce in 1994.  When asked about the incidents Reba Rambo McGuire said she saw it taking place back when she was a teenager but at the same time she was wrapped up in her own world as well.  She said it was traumatizing to see it happen to her mother.  She said there were so many issues that it seemed a huge monster was created. 

I don't know how many songs were created as a result of Dottie's heartbreak.  I am aware of at least three songs which were "Sheltered in the Arms of God", "He Changed My Tears to Showers of Blessings" and "Love Letters".  I personally believe many more sings were written resulting from Dottie's heartbreak.  Some of the songs I believe that were created through this scenario were "This is My Valley", "I Go to the Rock", "I've Never Been This Homesick Before", "Home's Where the Heart Is", and "Home Never Looked So Good to Me."  I don't have any documentation to prove my point but I'm just surmising.  I've watched a number of YouTube videos about Dottie Rambo for the last three years so I've had time to contemplate her whole life story.  I could be wrong but that's just my opinion. 

Back in the 1970's, Buck was unfaithful to Dottie again.  I don't know the background behind all of the heartbreaks each time Buck was unfaithful.  However, on this particular occasion Dottie went to the Ozark Mountains for a week in Missouri.  She spent a week there.  She was in a cabin for an entire week.  She had been crying incessantly.  The doctor had prescribed her some pills to deal with her nerves.  She had brought her Bible and guitar to the mountains.  She was in huge despair.  She became so bitter through this ordeal that she was having trouble forgiving Buck.  She had intended to take her life at the cabin.  She said in her words that she hadn't felt the Holy Spirit for such a long time.  She said without the Holy Spirit's touch there's no purpose for her to continue living.  She cried out to the Lord and said she wanted to feel Him one more time.  She said through that trial the Lord broke through and spoke to her saying, "I'll change your tears to showers of blessings."  She later penned the song, "He Changed My Tears to Showers of Blessings."  She also said the Lord forewarned her the road would be rocky but she didn't know when.  Another song she wrote as a result of this ordeal was "Love Letters," which would be the name of her new album she recorded in 1977.

There's another incident that took place later where Dottie tried to take her life overdosing on sleeping pills.  I believe this took place after Elvis Presley died.  Dottie had already filed for divorce from Buck.  She was almost at the point of taking the final step to make the divorce final.  However, she didn't have the courage to go through with this divorce.  Since she felt trapped, she made the decision to end her life.  On one particular day, Dottie's family was in the office.  She was by herself at the house.  She made the decision that day to end her life.  So that night she wore her nice silk pajamas, fixed her hair, and took a whole bottle of sleeping pills.  She thought she had taken the phone off the hook, but there was still enough connection for it to ring.  As the pills were taking their effect, she felt herself descending down a dark tunnel, according to her words.  All of a sudden the phone rang and it was her friend whom she led to the Lord in 1968.  Her friend noticed something was wrong when she spoke on the phone and her speech was slurred.  Dottie wasn't supposed to answer the phone but in her stupor she forgot she was to leave the phone alone.  Startled at Dottie's slurred speech, her friend called the ambulance and the ambulance rushed to the Rambo's home.  Dottie was transported to the hospital and her stomach was pumped.  Dottie's doctor, who was the one who prescribed sleeping pills to her and had been counseling with her some, was weeping.  He said, "Dottie, you promised not to do this."  Dottie said, "If you and the Lord could get me out of this hospital, then I'll run all the way to Heaven."  I'm paraphrasing somewhat.  It was through that statement that I believe she might have been inspired to pen the song, "I've Never Been This Homesick Before."  I don't know if that's true, but it sounds plausible. 

In the aftermath of Dottie's suicide attempt, she was determined she wasn't going to try to take her life anymore.  This will all end eventually, but she was going to spend the remainder of her life serving the Lord.  She would never attempt suicide again.  Dottie finally made the decision to save her marriage and refocus her efforts on the Lord.  Buck had placed a gun to his head and Dottie took the gun from him.  They had a heart-to-heart talk and they would renew their focus on Christ.  So for the next several years she and Buck would sing together as a duet and make many appearances on TBN in the early 1980's, when they moved to California.  She would continue writing her songs as well. 

Dottie and Elvis


Dottie Rambo had known Elvis Presley for at least 18 years.  She and Buck Rambo had both been friends with Elvis, as well as several other gospel performers.  J.D. Sumner, formerly of the Blackwood Brothers and the Stamps Quartet, was good friends with Elvis.  Elvis, who was dubbed as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll", also sang gospel music on the side.  He would travel to Los Vegas and sing with J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet on a number of occasions, even up to his death.  I believe Buck and Dottie met Elvis around 1959.  I think it was at a Wally Fowler all-night singing.  Elvis would attend some of those gospel singings and sit in the audience.  Dottie and Buck over the years would travel to Los Vegas to visit with Elvis as well. It was said Elvis liked Dottie's songs.  Dottie said that Elvis was like a physical brother to her.  Elvis's mother Gladys died in 1958 and Dottie had a lot of similar qualities that his mother had, according to sources.  Whenever Dottie was having trouble in her marriage to Buck, she would call Elvis and tell lhim about the problems she was having, they would pray, and read poetry.  Right before he died, Elvis had agreed to record an album of twelve of her songs to help out with her finances at the time.  However, he only recorded one of her songs which was "If That Isn't Love."  He died shortly thereafter.  On the day that Elvis died, she was in her studio recording her latest album "Love Letters." 

Dottie said that Elvis made the statement that if he could do it all over again he would just sing gospel music.  However, the entertainment world had elevated him on a pedastal and he couldn't come off of it.  Elvis would later die a tragic death.

1 comment:

  1. Dottie Rambo's music has blessed my life since the sixties.
    I was blessed to hear the Rambos in concert.
    What a great anointing and blessing swept over that service when they sang.
    So sad about Buck Rambo that God let him be married to Dottie Rambo and he cheated on her.
    The greatest songwriter in the last over 100 years.
    May God have mercy on Buck Rambo for hurting the anointed and chosen vessel of God Dottie Rambo.
    I have to trust in God so I won't hate this person. And God in his wisdom and grace took her home and left him here. No it doesn't make sense but God is perfect..



    when they sang.

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