Music history is littered with artists who have nearly made it and then dropped out never to be seen again. One such artist was Sixto Diaz Rodriguez better known as Rodriguez. He made 2 albums in the early 1970s "Cold Fact" and "Coming Back From Reality". Sales were poor and he was soon dropped by his label Sussex Records (an offshoot of Buddah). Disillusioned he left music and scratched a living in the construction industry.
The songs of Rodriguez had been political in nature and often focussed on the struggle of the poor and powerless. Slowly his music began to gain airplay in countries such as Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. This culminated in a 1976 compilation which went platinum in South Africa. All of this was completely unknown to Rodriguez at the time. However, he eventually was tracked down and this resulted in some live shows in Australia in the early 1980s but again he slipped back into obscurity and worked in demolition.
Eventually in 1998 his daughter discovered a website devoted to him and this lead to a South African tour where the full extent of his popularity in the country finally hit home.
Following these tours rumours of his death became widespread often focussing on how he had died, rather than if he was actually alive or dead. Film makers set out in the 2012 documentary "Searching for Sugarman" to discover once and for all what really had happened to Rodriguez?
We won't spoil the surprise if you haven't seen the film yet but you can find out for yourself as the film is showing at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff 17 th - 24 th August and the DVD will be out at the end of November. We doubt you will see a more fascinating or heart warming story this year.
Cold Fact (1970)
Coming From Reality (1971)