Sixto Diaz Rodriguez has been rescued from American obscurity by the crate-digging culture. (I love when that happens.)
Born in Detroit to Mexican immigrant parents, Rodriguez – whose stage name is simply “Rodriguez” – was a folk-rock singer and songwriter who got a major-label deal during the twilight of the Golden Age of Hippies.
In 1970, Rodriguez put out an album called “Cold Fact,” co-produced by legendary Detroit session man Dennis Coffey. The following year, Rodriguez released “Coming from Reality.”
These records didn’t sell.
By the mid-’70s, Rodriguez had dropped out of the music business. But in a quirk of fate, his two LPs started getting radio play in South Africa, Rhodesia, Australia and New Zealand.
Rodriguez’s music got so popular, he toured Australia in 1979 and 1981.
It wasn’t until 1998 that Rodriguez discovered how huge he was in South Africa. He has been touring overseas ever since.
Meanwhile, in 2002, an Irish DJ named David Holmes stumbled upon the “Cold Fact” LP in a New York record store. Holmes put the track “Sugar Man” on a CD compilation, thus introducing Rodriguez to U.K. listeners.
Now, “Cold Fact” has been reissued by Light in the Attic Records, a Seattle-based boutique label. And “Sugar Man” is available as a FREE MP3.
Click here to hear “Sugar Man” on my Vox blog. (It’s flashbacky.) To download it, click the song title below.
“Sugar Man” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store