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SoundTRAX: "Searching for Sugar Man"

Musician Rodriguez is photographed walking.
Light in the Attic

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

We were saddened to hear yesterday of the passing of Sixto Rodriguez— or simply Rodriguez, as he was known professionally.

You'd be forgiven for not recognizing his name. His unfortunate anonymity was one of the reasons the acclaimed 2012 documentary Searching for Sugar Man came to be.

While Rodriguez hailed from Detroit, he had virtually no success in the U.S., yet had a significant following in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

Two South African fans (Stephen Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom) had heard rumors that Rodriguez had taken his own life and as very little was known about the artist, they were determined to find out the truth.

Their quest was documented by filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul and resulted not only in the discovery that Rodriguez was very much alive, but it led to a musical second act that finally gave the artist his due.

The doc would go on to win a slew of awards, including an Oscar for "Best Documentary." It's currently streaming on Max and I can't recommend it highly enough.

The soundtrack features songs from Rodriguez's 1970 debut album Cold Fact and the follow-up, Coming from Reality, which was his final studio release.

So let's celebrate his life and legacy with a song from that first album for today's SoundTRAX, shall we?

From Searching for Sugar Man, it's Sixto Rodriguez with the title's inspiration, "Sugar Man."

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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