Rodriguez: Forgotten in America, exalted in South Africa

A singer from 1960s and ’70s Detroit, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez had some of the lyric quality of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, but a voice like James Taylor. Cold Fact, his debut album, layered his aching voice over Motown horns and strings.

Though there was plenty of buildup, Cold Fact never became a hit in the United States. But bootlegged copies made the album — and the singer — a legend in a South Africa in ferment over apartheid.

Many stories had circulated that he had killed himself a long time ago, but his first album had become a kind of anthem against apartheid for many in South Africa.

Searching for Sugar Man documentary (VOSTFR)

When Rodriguez did his first performance in South Africa, the crowd went crazy. His first words on stage: « Thanks for keeping me alive  »

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Hate Street Dialogue (Round Table Knights Edit)
Old African Music

Hugh Masekela – Bring Back Nelson Mandela (1987)

The curious beauty of African music is that it uplifts even as it tells a sad tale. You may be poor, you may have only a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but that song gives you hope. African music is often about the aspirations of the African people, and it can ignite the political resolve of those who might otherwise be indifferent to politics.

Nelson Mandela

Bring him back home to Soweto!

cartoon - Mandela

See also: Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom