Searching for Sugarman, Rodriquez documentary finally released


Sixto Rodriguez

Legends rarely disappear. But Sixto Rodriguez that did just that.

A singer from 1960s and ’70s Detroit, Rodriguez (whose surname is also his performing title), had some of the lyric quality of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, but a voice like James Taylor. Cold Fact, his debut album, layered his aching voice over Motown horns and strings.

Though there was plenty of buildup, Cold Fact never became a hit in the United States. But bootlegged copies made the album — and the singer — a legend in a South Africa in ferment over apartheid.

Then the short, sensational career of Rodriguez ended in spectacular fashion. Rumors of a grotesque death abounded; one even suggested the singer set himself alight onstage one night, burning to death before the crowd.
A new documentary called Searching for Sugar Man explains what really happened. The film’s director, Malik Bendjelloul, says the saga of Cold Fact was shrouded in mystery from the very start.

Rest of the story from NPR

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