Angel Baby by Rosie & the Originals, a US smash in the summer of 1960, is regarded as one of the most memorable 'oldies' of all time. Released on a small LA label, Highland, it propelled Rosie Hamlin, a shy 15 year-old San Diego schoolgirl into the national spotlight, creating all sorts of problems along the way. The immediate result was a move to the larger Brunswick label which put out her follow-up, Lonely Blue Nights. This also saw some chart action and lent its name to a 12- track Brunswick LP, an extremely rare collector's item. There were a couple of further 45s released on Highland (stockpiled by that company prior to Rosie's move to Brunswick) followed by a one-off 45 on the Globe label funded by her then manager - a wrestling promoter! This single (dating from March 1962), featured members of the as yet unknown Cascades (Rhythm Of The Rain), performing backing vocals.
By 1963, Rosie had married her sweetheart, Noah Tafolla (formerly of the Originals) and retired from the business to complete her education and raise a family.
It wasn't until 1969, that she made a comeback, recording an album's worth of material, most of which appeared on Ace's first Rosie & the Originals compendium (Ace CHD 738). There are a lot of you out there who are a little bit in love with Rosie & the Originals and this release proved so popular that it has spawned this companion volume which mops up the remaining six Brunswick titles (the first six having appeared on the initial volume), both sides of the ultra-rare Globe 45 and a one-off single on the Wax World label from 1973.
In 1987 an a cappella single coupling Angel Baby with Dedicated To The One I Love purporting to be by Rosie & the Originals appeared on the specialist Starlight label. However, Rosie Hamlin was not involved - nor was she aware of its existence until recently. Aiming to set the record straight, Rosie & the Originals recorded their own a cappella versions of these two songs which are heard here for the first time together with a pleasingly eclectic selection of originals and 60s classics.
Rosie & the Originals are a working band with their own official website and a manager who has looked after them for three decades. Rosie continues to record in the old style with occasional concessions to modernity and she still doesn't sound a day over 18. The release of this beautiful new package loaded with photos from Rosie's personal album means that her entire output is now available through Ace serving to enhance the curious legend of Rosie & the Originals.
By Ramon 'Big Chilli' Vasquez
(Low Riders of East LA)