An Icon We Never Knew


Sixto Diaz Rodriguez is an American folk musician, born in Detroit. In most of his songs he takes a political stance on the cruelties facing the inner city poor.

In 1967 (under the name Rod Riguez) he released the single "I'll Slip Away" through the small label Impact. He did not produce anything for another three years until he was signed to Sussex Records; an offshoot of the Buddah label. It was after the move to Sussex that he changed his professional name to just Rodriguez. Rodriguez recorded two albums with Sussex—Cold Fact in 1970, and Coming from Reality in 1971. But after mixed reviews and low album sales he was dropped from the label, which later folded in 1975. 

After failing to make an impact in America, he gave up his career as a musician. However, although he was relatively unknown in his home country by the mid 70s, his albums were starting to gain airplay in South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Australia. After imported copies of his Sussex albums ran dry, an Australian record label, Blue Goose Music, bought the Australian rights to his back catalogue in the mid 70s. The label released his two studio albums plus a compilation album At His Best (featuring unreleased recordings from 1976 "Can't Get Away", "I'll Slip Away" (a re-recording of his first single), and "Street Boy"). Unbeknownst to Rodriguez, it went platinum in South Africa, where he achieved cult status.


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