The Rambos – “Yours, Until He Comes” (1974)

by | Feb 8, 2023 | LP Review, Reviews

1974 was another very busy year for the Rambos, as they released 3 new albums this year (2 through the Benson Company and 1 independently). The first release of the year would be this unique album, “Yours, Until He Comes”, which would be one of their most diverse albums up to this point. Produced by Bob MacKenzie and string arrangement provided by Bill Pursell, the album credits 8 musicians along with 10 more on strings. Featuring 5 songs from Dottie’s pen and 3 from Reba’s, it’s a very unique album featuring a plethora of sounds and styles, and the Rambos excelled at making each song an experience filled with emotion, creativity and deep truths.

I always felt the cover shot was ingenious. Featuring individual framed pictures of Buck, Dottie and Reba sitting under a light on a desk with a set of books behind them and the words to the title song sitting on the desk created a cool and unique cover shot. The back cover has all the credits as well as all the lyrics to each song, which is something I love to see. The clever cover matched the clever music contained in the grooves of the record, which contained some of the best work the Rambos had recorded so far.

With its dark and suspenseful piano into, the title song, “Until He Comes” starts the record off in dramatic fashion. This is one of my all-time favorite songs that Dottie had written, and the song was totally different from anything else at the time. Featuring Dottie on the first verse and Reba on the second, the song is written as an encouragement for those walking through a valley…“until He comes I’ll love Him, though I may not see, my broken heart and bitter tears are good for me, and the darkest valley may be left to walk before I’m home, but I’ll take it to Calvary until He comes.” One can only imagine the journey Dottie took in order to write this song! It’s not one of their biggest hits or best-known songs, it was a dramatic and dynamic power ballad that resonated with a lot of people, myself included. The Ruppes enjoyed success with the song as well and it was one of their most powerful songs to hear them sing in concert.

The country sounding, “The Garden of My Heart” is one of my favorite Buck features and I love the imagery Dottie paints in this wonderful lyric “walk through the garden of my heart, calm the storm Lord, lest the pretty roses fail to bloom again, make the raging wind a gentle breeze let me feel your sunshine please, Lord walk through the garden of my heart”. I love the steel guitar and strings on this song and it’s a wonderful prayer in song that leads perfectly into the soulful, contemporary feel of “Because I Feel It”, which was written by, and features Reba. I will admit, it took a long while for this song to grow on me, but the more I’ve listened to it over the years, the more I like it. It’s very different for the Rambos and has a distinct 70’s groove to it, and it allowed Reba to really shine both vocally and as a songwriter.

The upbeat novelty tune, “New Shoes” is next, and the song still remains one of Dottie’s most popular songs, and it is Southern Gospel to the core. Charting briefly toward the end of 1974, Dottie always shined brightly on this fun, infectious tune when performing it in concert. It radiates that old Rambo sound with its guitars and lilting piano fills. The song saw a great comeback when Mississippi based group, Paid in Full, enjoyed some excellent chart action with the song in the early 2000’s, and it’s still one of those classic tunes that people continue to record from time to time.

Reba wrote the black gospel stylings of “A New Song to Sing”, which wraps up this side. Here we get a good dose of the “Mahalia Jackson” version of Dottie, as her and Reba both share solos on the verses, and it’s just a fantastic song. It’s one of those forgotten gems that I wish someone would dust off and record; the right group could really make this a big song, if it’s done right.

Starting off the second side, Reba performs a unique contemporary arrangement of the classic hymn, “Amazing Grace”. The song actually starts out with some rather dark undertones, but then shifts into more of a black style, before ending with a more traditional feel to it. The song allowed Reba to really flex her vocal skills and creative muscles, but if I am being honest, it’s not my favorite arrangement of this hymn. I highly respect the creativity within the arrangement and I do realize there was/is an audience that enjoys this particular style, as they added it on their forthcoming live album which was released later on in the year.

The first time I heard the song, “Touched With His Love”, I was absolutely struck by the message in the song. With its dramatic orchestrations and featuring an excellent performance by Buck, the song challenges those who may try to deny the existence of God, by asking those naysayers, “how can you change the hearts of millions, who’ve been touched with His love?”. Much like the title song, it was very different from the average Southern Gospel song at the time and it’s one of my favorite songs from this album. This is another song that I would love to see someone bring back today.

With its simple intro featuring the juice harp, “Sacred Treasures”, written by Reba, has that familiar old Rambo sound and nostalgic feel, before the tempo picks up for one of my favorite Dottie Rambo treasures, “My Song is New (My Story’s Old)”. Though it’s a pretty simple song, I love how the song builds with intensity on the verse and then backs off when it comes around to the chorus. It’s a gem of a song and it too, would be a great song for someone to bring back.

Ending much like their last album did, the recording concludes with, “Bless His Holy Name/Holy, Holy” which is a mini medley of praise that worked very well in a church environment. While not nearly as robust as the medley from their “Sonshine” album, it’s still very effective in leading a congregation into praise. The Ruppes did a cover of this medley on their 1997 “Seasons” recording and they did a phenomenal job with it, and I actually prefer the Ruppes rendition over the Rambos.

The Rambos, along with their forward-thinking producer, Bob MacKenzie, created a musical montage of unique styles and sounds that was very different from the average Southern Gospel recording at that time. Dottie and Reba wrote some outstanding material for this album, and this represented some of their best work so far. You could akin this album to that of a stunning portrait bursting with deep hues and vibrant colors, all blending together and creating a beautiful and one-of-a-kind masterpiece that speaks to the very heart and soul of those who take the time take in its exquisite beauty and splendor.

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James Hales

James Hales

James is a lifelong fan of Southern Gospel Music. Being exposed to the music through his dad's record collection as a 7 or 8 year old boy in the late 70's, James grew to love the music of the Happy Goodmans, Kingsmen, Inspirations, Rambos, Florida Boys and others. James has been a staff writer for Absolutely Gospel since 2000 writing music reviews and various articles, and he has contributed to Musicscribe and for several years as well. James also writes for his own music page on Facebook as well, via James' Music Page (


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