He emerged from late-1960s Detroit as a ready-for-mythologizing troubadour, boasting a voice like Cat Stevens and a songwriting style reminiscent of Bob Dylan. He went by the name Rodriguez — just Rodriguez — and, chances are, you’ve never heard of him.
That’s because, despite his considerable talent, and despite earning the respect of those in the industry who worked with him on his two long-forgotten studio albums, Rodriguez’ music career never took off with the American public.
For that, you can blame his painful shyness (he was known to perform with his back to the audience) or you can write it all off to some sort of poor planetary alignment. Whatever the reason, Rodriguez – the fascinating subject of the irresistible and inspirational “Searching for Sugar Man,” part music documentary, part quest, part homage to artists everywhere — had for decades been merely a footnote in American music history.