Weekly SNDtrack: Sixto Rodriguez

By FT

In 2012 a Swedish documentary filmmaker, Malik Bendjelloul, made a film about an unknown 1960’s Detroit folk singer named Sixto Rodriguez.

With two little-sold albums in the early 1970s, Rodriguez was virtually unknown in the U.S. and aside from some brief touring in Australia he was all but forgotten pretty much everywhere else too.

However, unbeknownst to him, his music became extremely successful and influential in South Africa where, decades earlier, someone from the United States brought over a Rodriguez record. Bootlegs followed and his music spread like wild fire primarily because it became the soundtrack for the anti-Apartheid movement.

However, even in South Africa, the enigmatic Rodriguez was vertically unknown to his fans. So much so that most believed that Rodriguez committed suicide during a concert in the 1970s.

Searching for Sugar Man, details the efforts of two Cape Town fans to find out whether the rumoured death of their musical hero was true, and, if not to discover what had become of him.

In 2013 this story won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 85th Academy Awards.

Our pick for soundtrack for this week is Sixto Rodriguez.

Rodriguez – “Sugar Man”

Rodriguez – “Crucify Your Mind”

And here’s the Searching for Sugar Man trailer.

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