We watched a documentary the other night, and it was such a fascinating story that I have to tell you about it.
One of the things that made it interesting to us is that a part of it takes place in South Africa, and having been there made it all the more entertaining. But even if you've never been to South Africa, this movie is so worth watching.
The movie is called "Searching for Sugar Man". It was released in 2012, and it won the Best Documentary category at The Academy Awards for that year.
Sixto Rodriguez was a young Detroit musician in the late 1960's and early 1970's. He recorded two albums, one in 1970, and one in 1971. Both albums sold very few copies in the United States and he was soon dropped from the label.
As the 70's wore on, Rodriguez dropped out of the music scene and became a construction worker.
But unbeknownst to him, the two albums that had bombed in North America were slowly gaining cult status in South Africa as bootleg copies were distributed to radio stations there.
All through the 1980's, his popularity in South Africa grew. It's difficult to imagine, but in that country he was more popular than Elvis Presley. There were even rumors that he had died on stage and that's why he only made the two albums.
Eventually, in the late 1990's as use of the internet became available, two South African fans decided to see if they could find out the facts about the mystery musician known as Rodriguez. And they tracked him down, where he was still working construction and living in a dumpy old house in Detroit. The man had no idea that he was famous.
In 1998, they brought him to South Africa where he performed six sold out shows to thousands of fans who wouldn't stop screaming for 20 minutes to allow him to play. Like I said, in South Africa he was more famous than Elvis.
The movie is so good at explaining how incredulous the story is. Stranger than fiction and too weird not to be true. We highly recommend you watch this movie...I'm positive that you'll enjoy it.
Available on DVD or download at Amazon.com