[ 05.12.08] Gospel singer and songwriter Dottie Rambo died after her tour bus ran off the highway and struck an embankment while on her way to perform a Mother’s Day concert in North Richland Hills, Texas. She was 74.
Six other people were on the tour bus when it crashed at about 2 a.m. on May 11 a couple miles east of Mount Vernon, Mo., reported the Associated Press (AP). The remaining passengers were transported to a Missouri hospital with moderate to severe injuries, according to early AP reports.
Authorities said they were uncertain whether or not the accident was caused by deadly weekend storms and tornadoes in Missouri and Oklahoma that have made national headlines.
In a message posted on their Web site, Bill and Gloria Gaither called Rambo a beloved friend and gospel music legend.
“In this time of profound sadness, what a wonderful consolation it is to know that Dottie Rambo is face to face with her Savior right now, undoubtedly realizing that everything she wrote about Him is truer than she ever would have dared to imagine,” the couple said.
The gospel giant, who lived in Nashville, Tenn., influenced the gospel industry through her numerous songs, receiving a myriad of accolades for her accomplishments. Some well-known songs she composed included: “He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need”; “We Shall Behold Him”; and “I Go to the Rock,” which was recorded by Whitney Houston in the 1996 movie The Preacher's Wife.
She also composed for Elvis Presley, Barbara Mandrell, Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Dottie West, Pat Boone, Sandi Patty, the Oak Ridge Boys and many others.
During the duration of her career she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and was dubbed Songwriter of the Century by the Christian Country Music Association in 1994.
Dolly Parton also recorded some of her songs and received numerous awards for them. “I know Dottie is in heaven in the arms of God right now, but our earth angel will surely be missed,” Parton commented, according to the AP. “Dottie was a dear friend, a fellow singer, songwriter and entertainer, and as of late my duet singing partner.”
Rambo is survived by her daughter, Reba Rambo-McGuire.
Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.