Sunday, 3 January 2021

Rodriguez. Bigger than Elvis.

I wonder about the tears in children's eyes
And I wonder about the soldier that dies
I wonder will this hatred ever end?
I wonder and worry, my friend
I wonder, I wonder, wonder don't you?

"The first white anti-Apartheid movement derived [inspiration] from a few rock bands. Rodriguez was the first artist that actually had political content that was anti-establishment that got heard. ... By remote control, Rodriguez was actually changing a society." 
In the 1970s, Sixto Rodriguez was a superstar in South Africa where some of his songs became anthems of the anti-Apartheid movement (via) ... making him bigger than Elvis ... and where his music was "outlawed by the authorities and only played on pirate radio" (via). 
It’s the plaintive, yearning, totally honest-and-true way that Rodriguez sings, combined with his easy fingering on a six-string guitar, that touches the heart and mind. That’s why his music is said to have the political impact and cultural clout of the early Bob Dylan. (via)

Rodriguez grew up witnessing first-hand the oppression throughout the city (Detroit). What he experienced on the streets inspired his songs, and he began his musical career–or attempted to. During the day, Rodriguez was a hard-working laborer who worked in demolition and housing restoration, and by night he was a melodic, poetic messenger, a voice for the locally oppressed. (via)

photograph via, song "I wonder" via YouTube


  1. This is one of these songs. The song picks you up wherever you are.

  2. Such a great guy and a wonderful song! When I came across it a few years ago, I fell in love with it instantly. There is a fantastic movie about him (Searching for sugarman): , Stephan