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Rosie & The Originals

Rosie & the Originals are one of the best-remembered one-shot artists of the early rock era, getting to number five with their 1960 single "Angel Baby." A slow, simple, and primitively recorded and executed doo wop-shaded ballad, it was distinguished from countless other records of the sort by 15-year-old Rosie Hamlin's unnaturally high, thin voice, which got higher-than-high on the periodic wordless "ooh, ooh-oohs" that served as the record's primary hooks.

The single's gotten more notoriety than might be expected considering that the group never had another Top 40 hit. John Lennon cited Rosie as one of his favorite singers in a 1969 interview in Life magazine, and recorded the song in the mid-'70s for his Rock 'n' Roll oldies collection, although that track wasn't issued until the mid-'80s. In an essay in Rock Almanac, Mark Sten even described the song as "generating a robot mantra devoid of embellishment or variation, the perfect underpinning for Rosie's piercing, disembodied-siren vocal. With 'Angel Baby,' rock had regressed as far as it could, some nameless dread loosed within the collective Top 40 mind had run its course and spent itself in a lost mournful wail. 'Angel Baby' was the final moonlit flowering of rock's medieval phase, paean to a purity and innocence on longer possible in the real world."

The band certainly had no thoughts of inviting such intellectual commentary when they formed in San Diego in 1960. Unable to find a recording studio in San Diego, they cut "Angel Baby" in a barn-like building in the farming town of San Marcos, with a radically different B-side, "Give Me Love," with a vocal by Bluford D. Wade. The group had trouble interesting Los Angeles labels in the song (a Hamlin original) until they convinced a department store manager in San Diego to play it. This attracted attention from kids in the store and a record distributor that happened to be there at the time. Through him they got the single "Angel Baby" released on Highland, and at the end of 1960 it shot up the national charts.

Although Rosie & the Originals recorded a few more tracks, they broke up almost immediately after "Angel Baby" made the charts, in a dispute over the terms of a recording contract they were considering signing. In 1961, Jackie Wilson's manager, Nat Tarnopol, got Rosie a contract with Wilson's label, Brunswick. Brunswick did put out a follow-up single, "Lonely Blue Nights," which made number 66, as well as an album and another single, billing the artist solely as Rosie for all the releases. In the meantime Highland put out a couple of Rosie & the Originals 45s with tracks to which they had the rights.

"Angel Baby," however, was one of those accidents of timing and unique material that couldn't be repeated, and none of Rosie's subsequent recordings -- which, like "Angel Baby," were usually simple pop/rock ballads with a doo wop feel -- could recapture the magic. Hamlin did make another single for the Globe label before leaving the music business to raise a family with her husband, Noah Tafolla, who had been leader and lead guitarist of the Originals. She did some tracks with producer Doug Salma in 1969 in a more updated doo wop/girl-group style that remained unreleased until 1999, when the Ace compilation The Best of Rosie & the Originals was issued. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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This song made me love and appreciate oldies.
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devo4ever
why does this song speak to me ? An old 75 yr. old woman. love it.
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what a really great old time love song,still sounds really today.tony
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Rosie home girl luv u mija ur song angel baby member house party in San Diego I'm from Logan big ESE bless u. papafred




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This song I dedicated it to my first born Cheyenne Charlene Amaya-Torres born on 9/21/1993, I'm so proud of my baby girl, mama will forever love you pinchi!
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this is the JAM!!!
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THIS IS ONE SONG I DONT LIKE
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Lean on me a is a great song
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Angel baby..Rosie & the originals
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Those great teen years.
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Just love doowo.������
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Whoo-hoo, I love u, etc!!! What a TOTALLY COOL SONG this was......... i s . . . . . . . . . . e t c . . . . . . . . .
takes me back 2 "them thar Days"!!!!!
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Ah the chicano national anthem! I will always love this song!
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Omg! "Angel baby" wow when I was a little girl I would sing this it was n still is my favorite song man brings back memories
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Love this song forever.
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Uuuuuuuuuhhh ~ j u s t how are Rosie & the Originals like James Brown??? =-O :-D :-! Just wondering... . . . . . . . .
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Orale
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Firme...
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The best.....so many good memories,
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Firme rola. ...
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THE BEST EVER ANGEL BABY
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I remember this one!!!!
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Beautiful song
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bobmorales44
One of the greatest of all time!!
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This song is so sad and will be dedicated to my mom
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One day a guy will dedicate this to me :'o or vice Vera > <
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ROSITA IS A CHICANA FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFAS Q.VO!!!
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Love it
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gaona_v
i seriously love this song
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I want to sing to my crush but don't know if she likes me
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This Song Is Beasutiful ��✌
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❤This song reminds me of ma jefe & ma mamasita!
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My daughter n I's jam ❤
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Omg my jam
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Love this song
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God this is just the song ...proud to be a chicano
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I loved this . I sang it over and over again . I feel Uncle Jessie
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hey vegasboy-iv6 9 add me on mocospace so i can get at u
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Reminds me of san diego
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It was 1958'.I was a little kid,And I remember my Uncle Jesse brought this 45 home,and played it over and over for hrs.
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The begining to CHICANO OLDIES!
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i love da oldie it brings me too da old days
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dweart3344
Chula Vista Teen Club 1959
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This was the opening song in the 70's for KBCO's FAC, Friday Afternoon Club
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the max.
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Remember dancing to this at the lunch hour dances in Huntington High. What a blast from the past. I love it!!!!!1
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What a great song
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THE BEST
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thge best
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ONE OF THE GREATS BACK IN THE DAY

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