Rodriguez’s thought to be unsuccessful music career has actually been prosperous in South Africa. Before 1997, there was immense amount unknown of album sales. A lawsuit has been filed in defense of Rodriguez to acquire his deserved royalties.
Sixto Rodriguez is a mysterious singer-song writer from Detroit, Michigan. He released several albums in the 70’s and 80’s that failed to be lucrative. In 2012, the film “Searching for Sugar Man,” directed by Malik Bendjelloul, uncovered his success and brought about many speculations. Two fans went on a mission to track down this perplexing artist and consequently won several academy awards and brought back the artist’s relevancy.
According to the New York Times, a lawsuit had been filed by Harry Balk in Detroit last friday, in search for the royalties of an estimated half a million album sales. The recipient of that money is very ambiguous. Gomba Music is disputing against Interior Music for copyright infringement, fraud, and wrongful interference.
In 1966, Motown executive, Harry Balk, argues that he signed Rodriguez to a five year contract. Clarence Avant, also a Motown executive and his producer at the time, had Rodriguez use a different name that cancelled out that contract. The name used on the release of the albums was “Jesus Rodriguez” which is actually Rodriguez’s brother.
This seventy one year old, American folk musician, is not letting these unresolved issues get in the way of his career’s revival. Although he is interested in finding the answer to what happened, Rodriguez is not directly involved in the case and is out performing and touring the world.