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Rosie & the Originals

RIYL

Pre-Beatles pop rock, Lesley Gore, the Shang-ri-las

Inception

National City , 1960

Influences

Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Fabian, Sandra Dee

Discography

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In mid-December 1960, “Angel Baby” by National City-based Rosie & the Originals hit #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the charts for 12 weeks. Singer Rosie Hamlin wrote the lyrics while a 14-year-old student at Mission Bay High School. Hamlin was 15 when the band self-recorded the song at a San Marcos facility. “It was actually an old airplane hangar,” recalls Hamlin on her website. “The owner had airplane parts all over the place…he had a corner set up with recording equipment.”

“We took one of our 45s to Kresge’s department store in San Diego,” Hamlin recalls. “They had listening booths in their music section where you could preview records…we asked the manager to play our record, and see if he could sell it in his store.” A rep from Highland Records was in the store that day and the label soon signed the group and released the single.

However, Highland insisted that bandmember David Ponci get songwriting credit, since he was the oldest member. “I do not own the rights to the song,” says Hamlin, “but I did obtain the copyright in 1961. Now, I do get the B.M.I. [payouts] and part of the publishing.” This concession took over 20 years of lawsuits to obtain. “[I] got burned, like so many of our peers in those days,” says Hamlin.

Oddly, when "Angel Baby" was recorded for Highland, the band hadn't planned a b-side, so a new number called "Give Me Love" was recorded without Hamlin, featuring Bluford D. Wade on vocals. The b-side was still credited to Rosie & the Originals, with David Ponci as songwriter.

John Lennon cited Hamlin as one of his favorite singers in a 1969 Life magazine interview. He recorded “Angel Baby” in 1973 for an aborted album of classic cover tunes, although the track didn’t appear until his 1986 album Menlove Avenue (it also appeared on a posthumous Lennon box set).

By the turn of the 21st century, Hamlin was living in New Mexico, no longer making public appearances due to her ongoing battle with fibromyalgia.

Ocean Beach guitarist John Tafolla went on to join the Insights, who performed at the 1966 opening celebration of the OB Pier, as well as playing with the Mustangs (who opened for Tina Turner).

Rosie Hamlin passed away March 30, 2017 at the age of 71.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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