ralph rivera tribute

Doug Massey And Marty Pay Tribute To Late Ralph Rivera

Ralph Rivera Death

Doug Massey and Marty have paid tributes to their late friend, Ralph Rivera who recently passed away. On a lengthy Facebook message, Doug and Marty talked about the late Spartanburg SC Music Artist, reminiscing how they all rolled togther in their old school music days.

The message posted via Doug Massey‘s timeline includes a picture they took ways back when the world was in black and white. The text reads below…

“Facebook Friends. Today is truly a sad day. I am passing along a posting late yesterday by Marty Harrison about the death of Ralph Rivera. Ralph was such a wonderful person. In the early 70’s when I managed the Thunderbird Lounge on Pleasantburg (later became the Phoenix), Tom Moore, the owner heard about a band named Anthem who was booked at the Holiday Inn, Heron Cr., Spartanburg, and he asked me to drive over, check them out and see if I could arrange for them to play at the TBird. My future wife who was about 14 at the time, Kathy, and I drove over and spent the evening enjoying the music and was successful in booking them for the TBird. As you know, Anthem was the house band at TBird and Phoenix for many years and then Ralph & Marty developed and the rest is history. In the early 70’s Ralph dated my sister and he came to our house for Thanksgiving dinners and my Dad used to rib him all the time about his hair, the fact that he had never eaten sweet potato casserole, and much more. He became a wonderful friend. Today my heart breaks for Marty, the other members of Anthem, and all of his friends, family and followers. May he RIP.”

The continuation of the message is a Tribute to Ralph Rivera by Marty.

Marty’s Tribute:

The Day The Music Died.

It’s with profound sadness I report that Ralph Rivera, my friend, brother and musical partner of over 40 years, passed away peacefully this afternoon in the arms of his loving wife, Brenda, after a long, courageous and very private battle with cancer.

Ralph was a most amazing man; blessed with the talent, creativity, charisma, sense of humor and good looks most of us mere mortals only dream of but his kind heart and humble, caring nature eclipsed it all.

I could and probably will write for days about those wonderful, happy years we spent singing, playing and laughing for a living. For now, I’ll just quietly remember and give thanks for my friend.

After 48 years, the lyrics of Don McLean’s American Pie have a whole new meaning for me. Godspeed, Big Brother.