4Ever Songs: Rodriguez ‘Sugar Man’

Thanks to the 2012 award-winning documentary Searching For Sugar Man, the story of Rodriguez is now a familiar one. The Detroit-based singer-songwriter releases two albums on the LA-based label Sussex Records in 1970 and 1971, respectively, which then somehow find their way to South Africa as imports long after the US versions have been deleted. Thousands of copies get bootlegged and the music touches a chord, not least because the anti-racist sentiments of some lyrics translate well to the anti-apartheid movement. Even anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko apparently owned copies, and you can’t ask for a better endorsement than that. Yet nobody knows who or where Rodriguez is. Rumors spread that he’d died in some spectacular way, and a few fans set out to discover the truth…


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