Rosie & The Originals were an early 1960s doo-wop group from San Diego led by Rosalie "Rosie" Mendez Hamlin (July 21, 1945 - March 30, 2017) best remembered for the oldies classic, "Angel Baby" (1960). Formed in 1960, the group members also included David Ponci, Noah Tafolla, Tony Gomez, Carl Von Goodat, and Alfred Barrett.
Born in Klamath Falls, Oregon and raised in Anchorage, Alaska before moving to California, Hamlin came from a musical family and sang in her first band at age 13. "Angel Baby" began as a poem Hamlin wrote at 14 about teenage love which she later set to music. By 1960, Hamlin, then only 15, had formed Rosie & The Originals and recorded "Angel Baby." The group recorded the song independently on a two-track machine and convinced a San Diego department store to play it in its listening booths. The response from customers was highly favorable, which attracted the attention of Highland Records who signed the group.
Rosie & The Originals made their national debut in late 1960 with "Angel Baby," which became a Top 5 hit on both the R&B and Pop/Rock charts. "Angel Baby," which has been covered by numerous bands and artists over the years, was cited by John Lennon as one of his favorite songs. Hamlin also had a minor hit in 1961 with "Lonely Blue Nights" (credited to Rosie formerly with The Originals).
Rosie & The Originals were honored in 1995 by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's as part of its exhibit on One Hit Wonders.
- Rosie Hamlin describes the making of "Angel Baby" in an interview with classicbands.com.
- Rosie Hamlin discusses "Angel Baby" and other recordings (with and without The Originals) in a three-part interview by colorradio.com from 2003 which aired on KVMR-FM in Nevada City, CA.
- Billboard Magazine remembers Rosie Hamlin.
- For more information on the history of Rosie & The Originals, visit the group's official website.
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Rosie And The Originals
- Angel Baby 1960
(This song later also became a hit for Angelica (1992).)
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