(CSC) 1. Dottie, how did it feel like to be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2006 by your dear friend Lily Tomlin?
I can't even tell you how special that was for me. I was born in Kentucky and left home at age 12 and my roots run deep in there. I still have a lot of family that live there and it's always special for me to go back home. But to have an honor like that, to be acknowledged by your home state that is very special, one of my biggest honors. Lily Tomlin is a wonderful friend to me, very dear to me and I can't tell you how much it meant for her to induct me. It really was like having the icing put on the cake with her being there. Her brother Richard and their friend Michael were able to be with us too, so it was very special.
(CSC) 2. Tell us about your sensational hit song "Stand By The River" a duet with Dolly Parton, and how did you decide to duet on that song with Dolly. I know she is a dear friend of yours!
My manager Larry Ferguson took me to see Dolly at one of her Christmas shows several years back at Dollywood and she and I hadn't seen each other in a while so it was like two school girls getting back together. She and I were talking and we decided to do this song together so Larry sent her a demo and somehow “Stand By the River” accidentally got put on the CD by mistake and she loved that one, so we did it. She was so right, it went number one first over seas, then later it went number one in the States a couple times on different charts and we won several awards and people just love it. I do too. Dolly just has a special gift; she just brings so much to the table with that beautiful voice and then when you look at her you just want to smack her cause nobody should have that much talent and be that pretty too. I love her and she has been very good to me, I saw her the other day and it was just like old school girls again. She is very real and loves people and I think that is why we get along so well. People say we act alike some and some say look alike some and I just say thank you, I will receive that! (Laughs)
(CSC) 3. What does it mean to you personally to be a Gospel singer?
I think of what I do as more of a calling than a career. I am not just a Gospel singer; I'm a writer but have done well in both. As a Gospel singer, I think we are held to a higher platform by the people, as far as our lifestyles, they are watched more and judged more and we can easily turn people away from God or the church by our actions. I try to love the people, tell them about the Lord without preaching at them or pouring something over their head or knocking them down. I just want them to know that I am real and they can be real, and if we disagree on some things that is OK too. I don't think people need to be beaten up from the pulpit and television so I just try to give people a positive message and hopefully they can forget about the wild kids at home smoking their weed or drugs (laughing) or tacky spouse and just have a moment of peace and let all that go while I'm singing for them.
(CSC) 4. Tell us about your cherished duet with Grand Ole Opry star Porter Wagoner that is going to be on your new album.
I'm very excited about the song I did with Porter. I've known him for many years and our family group used to do his show back when Dolly was still on his program. We recorded Sheltered in the Arms of God together and Porter comes in on the 2nd verse and does a recitation as I am singing the lyrics and it is haunting, sends goose pimples all down your arms when you hear it. You know we almost lost Porter a few months back and he is doing so well now and sounds better than he ever did, he sings so well. He really is a legend and I was honored that he would be on my album. I saw him not to long ago and he said that the song sure was getting a lot of play in his dressing room at the Opry, so I was honored that he was that excited about the song as well. At the end, he did a little ad lib saying, "Dottie, we've both been sheltered in the arms of God" and when he said that I told my producer Mark (Moseley) "don't you cut that!"
(CSC) 5. I understand that you were in attendance at the Academy Of Country Music Pioneer award ceremony this past June at the Tennessee State Museum to show your support for Dolly.
I had a great time. They invited me because Dolly was getting her award that night and of course I wanted to see her. Country music people treat me like a Queen and not that I expect or want to be, but they just are really respectful to me. Dolly and I were back stage talking and taking pictures and people wanted to get pictures between the both of us and it was just great to be there. Marty Stuart was host, I believe, and he has a great museum exhibit on display there and is a dear friend of mine, Porter of course was there to give Dolly her award, so I just was like a kid at Christmas seeing all my friends and people that I love and respect for their gifts.
(CSC) 6. What do you think of today’s POP culture?
I don't really care for all of it. I think some things are ok, I don't like all the vampire and gothic stuff that is so popular now, I guess if they are good kids and staying out of trouble it won't hurt anything. I try not to judge. Just keep some things to myself and stay out of trouble that way (laughing).
(CSC) 7. Tell us about your new album. What should the fans expect to hear from you this time around?
The new album is just about to wrap up. I don't remember how many songs we ended up cutting; I think we have 12 or more songs that fans voted for on the Internet. The songs are mainly my older songs that haven't been out in so many years. We have a little bit of every style on the record and several guests. The Whites, who I have loved for years and have recorded so many of my songs, do "New Shoes" with me, we did that song really bluegrass and it is one of the most fun songs to sing. Porter of course did the recitation on Sheltered and Mel Tillis did Remind Me Dear Lord with me, we of course couldn't give Mel a recitation c-c-c-c-could we? (Laughs) Oh, and Lulu Roman, from Hee Haw my dear friend who has lost over 150 or more lbs and looks gorgeous and still loosing sang “Holy Spirit Thou Art Welcome In This Place” with me. We have a little kid’s choir on “Who’s Gonna Teach My Children's Children.” I did “I've Never Been This Homesick Before,” “Tiny,” and so many other great songs. I'm really proud of this CD and I think everyone will like it. They loved our last CD Stand by The River and I waited a bit to long to release another project, so I have been getting fussed at by the fans.
(CSC) 8. What advice would you give to someone who is trying to make it in the music business?
I would say first off make sure you actually have talent or a god given gift then work hard at making the most of it. If you don't put work behind your talent, it doesn't matter how great you write or sing nobody will ever know anything about you. You have to work hard, get with the right people, love your fans, be loyal and just sing and work anywhere you are invited until one day you get to where you belong. If you start in this business in hopes of just being a Star, you could end up real disappointed. Go into the music because you love it and it's what you want to do with your life.
(CSC) 9. Dottie, you have been blessed to work with many wonderful singers, is there anyone you haven't worked with that you would like to?
I would love to record with George Jones; I think he has one of the greatest voices I have ever heard in my life. I would also like to do something with Loretta Lynn, I think us both being Kentucky girls and old friends we could do something really great. I love Emmylou Harris too. One day hopefully we can all do something together.
(CSC) 10. What advice would you give to someone who has lost their faith? How can one come back to Jesus Christ?(Dottie Rambo)
First, I would say to them, Jesus has never left you he is waiting on you. So many people say "well I gotta give this up before I come to Jesus or I got live this way". No, just come as you are, he knows what you need. I have a song that says He Looked beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs. He does exactly that. God isn't sitting in a library with a wall of sins and one sin on the top shelf is worse than one on the bottom shelf. Everyone makes mistakes, nobody is perfect and Jesus forgives, never changes, he takes us as we are and molds us to what we need to be. Don't think you have to have Jesus put your broken pieces together, just start all over and he'll make everything brand new.
(CSC) Once again thank you for your time. It was a pleasure to conduct this interview. God Bless you!