Richard Fay “Buck” Rambo, patriarch of the gospel music family, The Rambos, died Sunday (Feb. 21) in Palmetto, Florida, at the age of 84. He was surrounded by his wife Mae and family members.
He was born in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, son of Noah Burton Rambo and Mary Irisilda Rambo. Buck was married to Mae Kutz Rambo on April 1, 1995.
Buck Rambo’s career spanned 60 years and includes many accolades including numerous Grammy and Dove Award nominations. He became a Christian in 1949, went into full-time ministry in 1954, and in 1960, he started a Gospel singing group, The Gospel Echoes, which later became The Singing Rambos with daughter Reba and her mother Dottie.
He was one of the first Board members for the Gospel Music Association and a founding father of the Gospel Music Hall Of Fame. In the early ‘60s, Buck was a member of the Board of Directors for the National Quartet Convention. In 1964, Buck sang for over a million people at the first Washington For Jesus Rally. He is author of the book, The Legacy of the Rambos, and was on the first Gaither Homecoming video.
The Rambos were asked to go to the Strategic Air Command Bases in 1966 and went on a six-week tour of our northern outposts in Greenland, Newfoundland, Labrador, and Iceland entertaining the United States’ troops. In February of 1967, because of the tremendous response to the Arctic Tour, they embarked on a six-week tour to Vietnam to sing for the U.S. military forces there. This was a life-changing experience for The Singing Rambos. They also participated in concert tours for the military several times in Europe and ministered in over 16 different countries doing live concerts and television, including a concert with the Holland Symphony where they sang for 350,000 people.
In 1968, The Singing Rambos began working in television. They were a huge part of the early beginnings of the 700 Club, PTL Network, TBN Network, and The Gospel Singing Jubilee–a weekly television show featuring popular gospel singing groups of that era.
After The Rambos disbanded in about 1994, Buck continued to travel and minister with his wife, Mae, for the next several years doing concerts in churches and as a missionary in many countries, with his latest trip being to Costa Rica in 1999. In retirement, Buck spent his time visiting hospitals, nursing homes and praying for the sick as well as painting beautiful stills. He toured occasionally with Rambo McGuire and was a featured soloist on their projects, Rambo Classics and Dove-Award winning Grassroots Rambos.
His wife Mae Rambo stated, “Today the greatest man on earth passed from this life to his Heavenly home to touch the face of God. Buck had the most amazing time walking through this life on earth, but he is now celebrating in the light and presence of our Lord. While he was preparing to leave this world he could indeed say, ‘It is well with my soul.’ Buck had a huge heart and when it stopped beating it broke ours. I know with time that my memories will bring a smile more quickly than tears, and I was honored and blessed to be his wife for almost 21 years.”
Survivors include his wife Mae, daughter Reba Rambo (Dony) McGuire, grandchildren Israel Anthem McGuire, Destiny Rambo McGuire, Dionne (Scott) Dismuke, Dyson Dismuke, sister Hilda Bullock, brothers Donald (Betty) Rambo, Jackie (Shirley) Rambo of Dawson Springs, KY, sister-in-law Anna Jo Rambo of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and brother-in-law James Ausenbaugh.
Arrangements are forthcoming and being handled by Williamson Memorial Home in Franklin, Tennessee.
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