Lee Daniell, 83: Baritone for "The Ambassadors"

"God's Gonna Getcha For That."

In mid-1970s, The Ambassadors, a Southern gospel quartet, recorded a hit with its rendition of  the song. Lee Daniell sang baritone for the Atlanta-based singing group. He joined in the late 1960s  after a stint with The Songmasters,  another local quartet at the time.

He didn't leave the Songmasters due to any animosity, said Archie Westof Roswell, who was a member of the group. He simply moved on.

While with the Songmasters, Mr. Daniell wrote a song the crooners cut for an album. "My Loving Savior," didn't  blaze the charts like "God's Gonna Getcha for That," which friends and relatives say almost cracked the top 10 on the Southern Gospel hit list.

Still, it was high-quality, said Mr. West, who has a copy of the album that contains the song.

"{Lee} could blend in and fill in the gaps that needed to be filled," he said. "He had a voice that blended well, and he did a great job."

The Ambassadors were popular from the 1960s to the late 1990s. The group traveled the gospel quartet circuit in the Midwest and  the Southeast. It performed in county and state fairs and churches.

At their height, the singers performed at the Grande Olde Opry and the Texas Jubilee, an annual concert held in Tyler, Texas.  They retired in 1996.

Jimmy Helton of  Copperhill, Tenn., used to get The Ambassadors to perform at Temple Baptist when he was choir director at the church in Blue Ridge.  He eventually became the group's lead singer.

Mr. Daniell, he said, had a responsibility besides singing: He handled the quartet's business affairs.

"What he told people, they could take to the bank," Mr. Helton said. "That's the kind of fella he was."

Son John L. Daniell Jr.of Villa Rica remembers attending concerts that extended beyond cut-off time. A two-hour show could go on for three. Fans wanted to hear the music.

"I do remember an all-night singing at the municipal auditorium downtown," he said. "I was a youth. That's what we did on weekends, and it's how he showed his faith."

Mr. Daniell suffered from kidney disease and had been on dialysis the last 10 years. He didn't qualify for a kidney transplant because of his age. He underwent dialysis three days a week, five hours each time.

On Sunday, John Lee Daniell of Douglasville died from complications of kidney disease at his home. He was 83. The funeral will be 1 p.m. today at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Hiram. Gene Davis Funeral Home in Mableton is handling arrangements.

Mr. Daniell was a 1943 graduate of West Fulton High School. After graduation, he joined the Navy  and was stationed on the U.S.S. Wyoming for two years during World War II. He operated two businesses in metro Atlanta -- Central Plumbing Supply Co. and Mableton Marine.

His hobbies included bass fishing and bowling. Both paled when compared to his love for southern gospel, said a daughter, Bonnie Daniell of Grayson.

"I can remember them practicing in a circle singing," she said, "and I would stand on a chair between them. It's something I will never forget."

Additional survivors include his wife of 62 years, Charlotte Morgan Daniell of Douglasville; another daughter, Linda Lammof Marietta; another son, Jim Daniell of Augusta; 14 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.