By Robert M. Marovich
In June 1981, just months after winning her first Grammy for co-writing and performing on an all-star gospel album called The Lord’s Prayer, Christian singing star Reba Rambo appeared at the Anaheim Convention Center in California for a solo live recording. The product, Lady Live, came out the following year and garnered Rambo yet another Grammy nomination, one of nine in total for the singer thus far. Remastered from the original tapes, the album is being reissued in digital form July 30.
On Lady Live, a crew of veteran musicians support Rambo with a groove rooted firmly in bass-dominated late ‘70s disco-pop. It’s a crossover sound as comfortable on the Christian stage as on American Bandstand. As such, Lady Live exemplifies the era’s freewheeling contemporary Christian music scene, a multicultural mélange that took the saccharine out of church music by giving it robust infusions of Andrae’ Crouch and Walter Hawkins.