Sixto Rodríguez (also known as Rodríguez or Jesús Rodríguez) is an American folk musician based in Detroit, Michigan. His music career initially proved short-lived with two little-sold albums in the early 1970s and some brief touring in Australia. Unbeknownst to Rodríguez, however, his work became extremely successful and influential in South Africa, where some of his songs served as anti-apartheid anthems. In the 1990s, determined South African fans managed to find and contact him. Their story is told in the 2012 Academy Award winning documentary film Searching for Sugar Man, which helped revive Rodríguez’s career and gave him a measure of fame in his own country, at 70 years old.
Both Cold Fact (1970) and Coming from Reality (1971) are fantastic studio albums with beautiful, poetic lyrics. I can’t believe they weren’t hits among the folks who bought records by Bob Dylan, Neil Young and the Beatles in the 1970s. Both Rodríguez albums were re-released in 2012. I think Rodríguez’s “Cause” is one of the greatest songs of all time. And Searching for Sugar Man is a heartwarming movie that tells the incredible true story of Rodríguez, a remarkably humble man and the greatest 1970s rock icon who never was.