Hardrick Rivers: A Man Of Our Times!
A service celebrating the life and legacy of this internationally renowned saxophonist, band director and educator will go forth Monday, March 21, 2022 at the Natchitoches Events Center, 750 Second Street, Natchitoches, LA 71457 at High Noon. The casketed remains will lie in state from 9:00 a. m. until service time. Cremation will follow the celebration.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Hardrick Rivers Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Bank of Montgomery, Account 40909041.
The crisp season of fall was pleased to have brought forth the birth of our incomparable Hardrick Rivers. He was a gift to his parents, Elijah King and the late Melba Rivers September 12, 1956 in the Powhatan Community. As he developed, matured and shared his talents in the musical arts , he became a gift to the entire community and beyond. His creator sounded the final call of Taps March 10, 2022 while he was a patient in the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center. Hardrick’s final earthly song had ended.
He accepted Christ as his personal Savior in Alexandria, LA at the tender age of seven. In the later years, he affiliated with the First Methodist Church of Natchitoches, LA. He was a baptized believer.
At the young age of 13, this multi-talented adolescent began playing music under the tutelage of a well-known Blues artist, the late Overton Owens (“Dr. Drip Drop”). He concentrated on formulating his own unique sound on the saxophone and exhibited his new vibe through becoming a part of the Mustangs, and then through a band he founded called the Lighthouse Crew. As he matured musically, he became an integral part of the Rivers’ Revue Band. One of his loves was the monthly jam session with some of his favorite colleagues at Roque’s Grocery and Pool Hall on Carver Avenue in Natchitoches. An outgrowth of these musical sets was the Roques’ Blues Band.
Our beloved Hardrick was a graduate of Allen High School. In 2001 following a decade of employment with construction sprinkled with weekend gigs, this industrious young man earned a degree in Music from Northwestern State University where he became an instrumentalist with the school’s Jazz Ensemble for two semesters. This formal credential prepared him for the awesome task of developing a great band as a Music Instructor at Coushatta High School in Coushatta, LA.
Read about Rivers’ Coushatta and Red River High School connection HERE.
Shortly after earning his degree, he was awarded with the professional compliment of being inducted into the Louisiana Folk Life Center’s Hall of Master Folk Artists.
2003 marked the year of his teaming with B. B. Majors Blue Band and they toured Italy playing various blues events and venues.
Hardrick’s community of Powhatan recognized the statesman-like qualities he had and elected him as their Mayor in 2020 where he brought a spirit of progress to that settlement. He was the sitting Mayor at the time of his passing.
The year of 2017 brought another signal honor—his being honored as a Louisiana Tradition Bearer at a ceremony at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum in Natchitoches. Known as a “SAX MAN” and Blues Band Leader, Hardrick was a versatile musician that truly enjoyed performing.
This memorable gentleman was preceded in death by his mother, Melba Rivers, five siblings: Pamela Revels Johnikin, Deondre King, Elijah King, Jr. and Elmer King.
Those who will long cherish his legendary lifetime of memories include His wife Pamela Rivers, His Children Donna Conday, Douglas (Kesha) Conday, Renee (Marlon) Brown, Melba (Bruce) Rivers, Hardrick (Petula) Rivers Jr., Tiawana Rivers, Joy (Vantrey) Dove, Charles (Hannan) Dove, and Justin Dove.
24 Grandchildren; Cedric Conday, Derick (Antriece)Turner Jr., Bre’Anna (Brandon) Perkins, Semaj ( Murphy ) Morman, Douglas (Yasmeen) Conday Jr., Derion Winder, Rodney Robinson, Bruce Smith III, Ladaijha Rivers, BrittNee Smith, Justice Robinson, Braeden Smith, Destiny Adkins, Alexis Rivers, Darin Adkins, Kaiden Conday, Marques Conday, Faith Conday, Jeremiah Rivers, Layla’ Cook, Kyla Cook, Brielle Monroe, Judah Cook, and Charles Dove III.
6 Great Grandchildren; Logan Tademy, Nova Owens, Mason Morman, Aiyanna Turner, Aeden Zoberbier
14 siblings; Charles Guiden, Deondre King, Carolyn King, Calvin King, Corrundulet King Sheard, Charlesetta Collins, Lee Crockom, Darrell Crockom, Latonia M Crockom, David Crockom, Kenneth King, Frank King, Leslie Crockom Mims, and His Ex-wife and Coparent Ms. Violet Rivers
His Friend and fellow musician since Childhood Ganey “Pop” Hymes
Countless Band members and musicians that have shared the stage and formed unforgettable friendships and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, additional family and friends including Alvin King.
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