Ralph Rivera obituary, death: Beloved Ralph Rivera Spartanburg SC of Anthem band has passed away after battling cancer.
He died in the arms of his loving wife, Brenda.
Ralph Rivera death was announced by his half of Anthem – Marty Harrison who wrote in a tribute on Facebook:
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.
Ralph Rivera obituary, death: Ralph Rivera Spartanburg SC Anthem band
Another touching tribute:
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.
Yesterday I lost a special person. In the 70s I performed and traveled for seven years with the band Anthem. Ralph Rivera was the lead singer and the talent and personality that helped us build a large base of devoted followers.
I literally spent every day for seven years with Ralph and I am so grateful for that. He exuded a gentle warm spirit with a humor that lifted everyone in his company. I feel so fortunate that I was able to see Ralph in his last days and tell him how much gratitude I owed him.
I enjoyed the thrill of a musical career that may not have happened without him. I even met my dear wife Donna while traveling with Anthem.
This is a beautiful song that embodies Ralph’s gentleness and speaks to his brilliance as a song writer. Ralph, I love you and miss you so much my dear friend.
Ralph Rivera has passed away. Fans of the local music scene remember him as half of Ralph and Marty. Before that they were members of the band Anthem. Here is a clip of Anthem, with Ralph singing.