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August 11, 2017
Rodriguez, the legendary singer-songwriter known only by his surname, is a self-taught guitarist. He began performing in bars and clubs around the city of Detroit in the 1960s, as the city suffered postindustrial urban decay. It was there that he recorded two studio albums, Cold Fact in 1969 and Coming from Reality in 1971 released on Sussex records. These recordings went unnoticed in the U.S. and Rodriguez eventually turned his efforts elsewhere, earning a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Wayne State University, running for political office and working construction and factory jobs to support his family.
In the mid-1970s, his music gained airplay in Australia and New Zealand. He has since toured there several times, to play festivals, arenas & theaters. He released “Rodriguez Rocks – Live In Australia “ in 2016 on Light in the Attic Records and completed a multi-city tour of Australia in December of 2016.
In the late 1990s, South African fans finally sought him out, leading to the unanticipated renaissance of his music career. Their story is told in the 2012 Oscar award-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bendjelloul , which has given Rodriguez a new measure of fame in the U.S. with his music and story now reaching audiences worldwide. The film has been aired multiple times on PBS and public TV worldwide and is available on DVD and streaming TV.