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I liked this documentary for being thought-provoking. It is about a singer who played some Detroit bars in the 1970's, who came out with an album that did not sell, and who pretty much retired from what was a part-time career anyway.    More info at RottenTomatoes

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Unknown to him, his album caught on outside the U.S. -- in Australia and in South Africa. So, he was a well-known pop-star who did not know it.

 

Though a documentary, the movie has a slant, but I don't think that detracts from its basic value, which is to raise some questions: what is the nature of fame (at least in the arts)? what is the role of luck in success? 

 

Anyone else seen it?

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S'nerd:

Completely unbelievable that Rodriguez made no inroads in his own country. I think everybody in SA assumed he'd been discovered, recorded and distributed there, like all our other imported music - so you can imagine our bemusement to find out, only now, that his fame came from a pirated recording which made him famous here alone.

For many like me, he was a musical standard through our 20's. 

 

I caught only the end of the doccie on dishTV last week, but will look out for a repeat.

 

I have a sort-of theory that the most accomplished musicians are not the ones that make it. I've met or known quite a few, some who've moved over here from places like Portland, New York and parts of Texas, who played the lounge and club circuit there. 

(Not doing much better here, I'm sorry to say.) They'd be recognized anywhere in the world in the small jazz clubs, but never seem to crack that big record deal.

Is there such a thing as being too good? Is it right place, right time? is the potential audience for superb jazzmen, for example, too small for the record companies to bother about? All I can guess is that guys at the top of their talents need highly discerning listeners, and maybe there aren't many of those. 

Edited by whYNOT

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My girlfriend and I saw the movie in theaters and then she bought his album Cold Fact.  The music is quite good, and the story of the documentary is fascinating.  I didn't think it had too much of a slant; it certainly shows the gratifying elements of fame and success with his arrival in SA and the reception he gets there.  I quite enjoyed the movie.

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