Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 7:59 am
Detroit singer-songwriter Rodriguez has finally found the fame that had eluded him for more than four decades. In the early '70s, he achieved cult status in South Africa, while at home, he remained virtually unknown. His public obscurity sparked rumors that he'd killed himself, but while he was alive and well, he'd retreated from music, earning a philosophy degree while working as a demolition man.
Searching for Sugar Man is a film documentary which chronicles the efforts of two South African fans trying to piece together information about Rodriguez's life. They finally find the folk-rocker doing manual labor, unaware of his music's profound popularity abroad. In this World Cafe session, you'll hear from Rodriguez himself, as well as the producers of his records, the people who found him and the director of the documentary about how it all happened.
This edition of World Cafe originally aired October 18, 2012.