Rodriguez

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez (also known as Rodriguez or as Jesus Rodriguez) is an American folk musician, born in Detroit, Michigan on July 10, 1942. He was named ‘Sixto’ (pronounced seex-tuh) because he was the sixth child in his family. Rodriguez’s parents were middle-class immigrants from Mexico, who left in the 1920s. In most of his songs he takes a political stance on the cruelties facing the inner city poor.

Career

In 1967 (under the name Rod Riguez) he released the single “I’ll Slip Away” through the small label Impact. He did not produce anything for another three years until he was signed to Sussex Records; an offshoot of the Buddah label. It was after the move to Sussex that he changed his professional name to just Rodriguez. Rodriguez recorded two albums with Sussex—Cold Fact in 1970, and Coming from Reality in 1971. But after mixed reviews and low album sales he was dropped from the label, which later folded in 1975.

Post career fame

After failing to make an impact in America, he gave up his career as a musician. However, although he was relatively unknown in his home country by the mid 70s, his albums were starting to gain airplay in countries like South Africa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), New Zealand and Australia.

After imported copies of his Sussex albums ran dry, an Australian record label, Blue Goose Music, bought the Australian rights to his back catalogue in the mid 70s. The label released his two studio albums plus a compilation album At His Best (featuring unreleased recordings from 1976 “Can’t Get Away”, “I’ll Slip Away” (a re-recording of his first single), and “Street Boy”). Unbeknownst to Rodriguez, it went platinum in South Africa, where he achieved cult status.

With a new buzz around Rodriguez, in 1979 he toured Australia with the Mark Gillespie Band as support. Two shows from the tour were later released on the Australian only album Alive—the title being a play on the rumours caused by his public obscurity that Rodriguez had died years ago. After the ’79 tour he returned to Australia for a final tour in 1981 with Midnight Oil before quietly slipping back into normal life.

Recent success

In 1991 both his albums were released on CD in South Africa for the first time. His fame in South Africa was completely unknown to him, until 1998 when his eldest daughter found a website dedicated to him on the internet. In 1998 he played his first South African Tour. A documentary about the tour Dead Men Don’t Tour: Rodriguez in South Africa 1998 was later screened on SABC TV in 2001. Later he played in Sweden before returning to South Africa in 2001 and 2005.

In 2002 his signature song, “Sugar Man”, was added to DJ David Holmes’ mix album Come Get It I Got It, gaining Rodriguez airplay again on Australian radio station Triple J. “Sugar Man” had previously been sampled in the song “You’re Da Man” from rapper Nas’ 2001 album Stillmatic. In 2007 he returned to Australia in April, to play the East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival, as well as shows in Melbourne and Sydney. His song “Sugar Man” was in the 2006 film Candy, starring Heath Ledger. Cornish singer-songwriter, Ruarri Joseph, covered Rodriguez’s song ‘Rich Folks Hoax’ for his third studio album. There has also been a film made about his life titled, Looking for Sugarman. Rodriguez now continues to tour in various countries. South African band Just Jinger has also made a very popular cover version of Sugar man. His albums Cold Fact and Coming from Reality were re-released by Light in the Attic Records in 2009.

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival hosted the premiere of Searching for Sugar Man, from Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, detailing the efforts by two fans to see if his rumored death was true – and if not, to discover what had become of him. The Simon Chinn and John Battsek produced documentary went on to win the World Cinema Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award, World Cinema Documentary.

~ from Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

    From the 1970 album Cold Fact
    cold fact

  • Crucify Your Mind
  • Forget It
  • Hate Street Dialogue
  • I Wonder
  • Inner City Blues
  • Only Good for Conversation
  • Rich Folks Hoax
  • Sugar Man
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