New Bedford native Ralph Tavares of the musical group Tavares has died at 79

NEW BEDFORD – Ralph Tavares of the musical group Tavares, originally from New Bedford, has passed away. The singer would have been 80 years old this Friday, December 10.

His cause of death has not yet been released.

The Grammy-winning soul group starred Ralph Tavares and his four other brothers, Antone Laurence “Chubby” Tavares, Perry Lee “Tiny” Tavares, Feliciano Vierra “Butch” Tavares Jr. and Arthur Paul “Pooch” Tavares.

In 1975, the brothers released their hit “It Only Takes a Minute”. A series of hits followed, including “Heaven Must be Missing an Angel” and “More Than a Woman”.

They were inducted into the Cape Verdean Museum Hall of Fame in 2006.

Ralph Tavares, far right, of R&B group Tavares, was from New Bedford.

Ralph Tavares worked on the New Bedford and Fall River fields for over 30 years and retired in 2015.

“He was rehearsing and always playing,” said Quinn Feno, deputy chief justice officer at Fall River. He worked with Tavares in the courts of New Bedford and Fall River for approximately 12 years in total.

From the archives: Tavares always groovin ‘

“We became best friends outside of the courthouse,” Feno said. The two often texted and got together monthly, and on Veterans Day or occasionally visited Foxwoods.

Quinn Feno worked with Ralph Tavares for many years while Tavares was a court officer in New Bedford and Fall River.

Quinn Feno worked with Ralph Tavares for many years while Tavares was a court officer in New Bedford and Fall River.

“He was very humble, but he would love to tell us stories about Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder or the Bee Gees,” Feno said, adding that the stories were “unreal” but that Ralph Tavares had never bragged about his celebrity. “They just played at Myrtle Beach in October.”

Grammy and other accolades for Tavares

Tavares won a Grammy in 1978 for the single “More Than a Woman” on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, which won Album of the Year.

The group was nominated for a Grammy in 1982 for their single “A Penny for Your Thoughts”.

The group had six gold and two platinum albums, a Grammy Award and fans around the world when, in 1984, Ralph Tavares stepped down.

The Bristol Community College Reunion Show

In 2014, the group performed a reunion show at Bristol Community College.

While his brothers sang on stage at the BCC, Ralph Tavares waited in the shadows, right next to the stage. It was to be the surprise of the concert. After all, he had left the group 30 years earlier. But at first, he wasn’t so sure he wanted to make the reunion performance.

More archives: Tavares Brothers still on tour in the United States and Europe

“I wasn’t sure if I would fit in,” he said in a Standard-Times article covering the concert. But this performance was for his parents.

“Tiny kept asking me,” he said, but after so many years out of the group he wondered if it would be better not to be seen and heard.

Then he thought of his parents, of the people who encouraged him and his brothers to use their voices, who loved him unconditionally, who sparked a passion for music in countless children.

“This genre struck a chord,” Ralph said.

Locals remembered Ralph Tavares on Twitter.

Standard-Times digital producer Linda Roy can be reached at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter at @LindaRoy_SCT. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times.

This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: New Bedford-born Ralph Tavares of Tavares group dies aged 79

William N. Fernandez