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Podcast: American singer-songwriter Rodriguez

By Josh Lemoine on September 7, 2017

This week on the show, we’re talking with the legendary subject of the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, folk singer-songwriter Rodriguez.

In the 1970s, Rodriguez was discovered in his hometown of Detroit, and many expected him to explode onto the American scene. Success never came, and Rodriguez eventually gave up on his career.

Meanwhile in the late 70s or early 80s, Rodriguez’s music got smuggled into apartheid South Africa, where he eventually became one of the most famous and revered musicians in the whole country. He was as big as the Rolling Stones or Elvis, maybe even bigger. However, a rumour that he had died spread throughout the country and became an accepted fact.

The documentary covers his rediscovery, and his triumphant return to South Africa. Rodriguez, now a “solid 75” years old, has a growing fan base around the world. We spoke with him about his early career, what it was like to step into fame after having lived a normal life, and what advise he has for young musicians.