Some sad news for South African music lovers, Danny Rivers a #1 recording artist in the 60’s suddenly died this week at the age of 72. Danny’s family and friends, are all still in a state of shock as they try to come to terms with Danny sudden death.
Thank you for the good times we had, making memories. Time alone with you and the quietness of your touch. For the times we’ve talked and the honesty of your thoughts. For the times in the mornings, watching the sea and Wales together. For the times in the night when you were there, so that I didn’t have to dream of having you close. I am already missing you terribly, but where you are now, is a much better place, a place without hurt and pain. And most importantly…….. Thank you for letting me love you!! This is not goodbye but just “So long until we meet again”. Stephanie (Danny’s Wife)
Danny has been living in semi retirement in Gansbaai in the Cape up and until his passing. He never gave up on his music and continued playing music and entertaining his fans all his life. He once attended a performance of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and commented, that it was such an honor to have been in the same space as all his Country music heroes, it was a highlight for him to have been at the Grand Ole Opry. When returning to South Africa, he said, “It was such an honor, it felt like it was a dream that never happened’.
“Hawk, (That’s what I always called my Dad, as he was always watching me like a Hawk and he always replied “I’m just watching out for you my child”) I love and miss you every second of every day. You were the most awesome Dad and you are irreplaceable. We had grown so much closer over the last years and I thank God for that.” – Tanya (Daughter)
Danny had many hit’s in his career, some being, “You Don’t Have Very Far To Go”, “Pretty Woman”, “Woman”, “I Can See The Light”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Of You”, “Mary Mary”, “Someone To Give My Love To”, Danny performed across the entire South Africa and neighboring countries with his band known as, “Danny Rivers and the Savages” His biggest hit, “Pretty Eyes” reached the #1 spot on the South African Springbok Top 20.
“To my King (Oupa always called me his princess) My life on earth will never be the same, my heart will always have an empty space which can never be replaced. I thank God for having you and will treasure our precious memories forever. Until we meet again my Oupa” Angie (Grand Daughter)
Danny Rivers played with many musicians during his life and made many friends during his long music career both as a musician and in his private life, that it would take a few articles to mention all there names here. However the following two links http://www.rock.co.za/files/savages_index.htm and http://www.rock.co.za/files/drivers_index.htm will show many of Danny’s former band members when Danny was the #1 Rock artist in South Africa.
“Danny used to play at Club Bella Napoli in Hillbrow with my brother in the late sixties early seventies. I can still recall having to get dressed up in an evening gown those years to go to a club with my Mom and my Brothers. It was very different then, but somehow much more exciting and fun. I actually still have Danny’s record, now on CD, it brings back so many memories, I will miss him.” Sandy Hattingh (Niece)
Danny’s music career was not without controversy as the financial exploitation of artists and their struggles to retain ownership of their compositions in South Africa was no different from abroad. Local artists as Danny rivers discovered that written contracts were not always a legal guarantee for financial reward. Despite a written contact, Danny never received any royalties for his composition “Restless Heart”, recorded by Charles Jacobie in 1967.
“Danny we miss you so much. We still wanted so badly to hug you and say goodbye, but it was not meant to be. I for one will always remember the concern you showed towards me, your little Sister. You emitted so much love that you will always be in our hearts, dear Brother. Until we meet again” Ansa and Jasper (Sister and Brother-In-Law)
“Dad, you have graduated and can now sing in Heaven’s choir. ‘Till we meet again! Love you.” Angie (Daughter).
It is rumored that there are new recording of Danny made recently so we may even get to hear Danny’s voice over the radio again soon. Danny Rivers was an excellent singer and could sing any song you could think of and in any genre. He was also a very versatile musician and could play various instruments, his favorite was naturally the 12 string guitar. If new music does surface by Danny it is very likely that he may chart again. It is also a well-known fact that his favorite music genre was, Country Music.
“Forever is too short an expression to measure the impact you made on me and all those you came in contact with. Eternally loved. Dearly missed. ” Jean(Grandson).
“He was a man of integrity and stood up for his morals. Always a good example without even intending it. I am looking forward to making music with him in the clouds one day! Love you oupa.” Michael (Grandson).
Danny’s is survived by his wife Stephanie (who also sang and played bass with Danny in various bands through his career), their daughters Tanya Ilse Vorster Angela Bernice du Plessis. Granddaughter Angela Bernice Giovannoni and Son-In-Law Carlo Giovannoni and Great Granddaughter Daniella. Tanya’s sister’s sons Michael and Jean du Plessis. Grandsons of Jean du Plessis is Shiloh and Tao.
What a sad passing:
“I was honored to make music with Danny and we shared a lot of learning new songs together. I joined his band for a while, then he joined our band, the KCR band, and although his forte was guit, he actually handled the keyboards pretty well for us. He was a very good muso and had an excellent ear for finding the ‘right’ chords. We actually worked together for a while as well (day jobs) so we became even closer. I know that there are a lot of our old work-colleagues out there that will feel sad as I do, once they hear the news. To Stephanie, the kids and grandchildren: look to God as the true Comforter and hold your heads high- this was a respected individual. Your husband, Dad, Granddad and my friend has left a proud legacy that has inspired and is envied by many. Also take comfort that he will be remembered and his name and songs will live, and re-live, forever. And to Danny I say: Thanks for the music memories –rest in peace buddy.” Herman Holtzhausen
Note from WHISNews21: This article will stay open for another 30 days in memory of “Danny Rivers”, as new comments come in they will be published on this page to commemorate a true South African Legend.
Photo credits of Danny Rivers and the Savages courtesy of the “South Africa’s Rock Legends” web site, all pictures have been enhanced by WHISNews21.
SERVICE DETAILS TO BE HELD IN GAUTENG FOR DANNY RIVERS
Service Date: 12 September @ 12h00
Address: Corner of Camborne Street and Tellewarren Street, New Redruth, Alberton.
Church: Hervormde Kerk, Alberton West. South Africa
For more on Danny River’s music career please visit this link
http://www.rock.co.za/files/drivers_index.htm and http://www.rock.co.za/files/savages_index.htm