Rose Hamlin, a One-Hit Wonder With ‘Angel Baby,’ Dies at 71


Rose Hamlin of Rosie as well as the Originals, circa 1970.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Rose Hamlin, whose hit song “Angel Baby” was covered by singers including John Lennon as well as Linda Ronstadt, died March 30. She was 71.

Her daughter, Debbie Cray, announced the death on Ms. Hamlin’s website. She did not say where Ms. Hamlin died or what the cause was, however she said of which Ms. Hamlin lived in fresh Mexico as well as of which she had not performed for many years “because of health concerns.”

Ms. Hamlin’s group, Rosie as well as the Originals, had only one Top 40 hit, however the idea was a memorable one. A bittersweet song of teenage love recorded in a converted airline hangar in 1960, “Angel Baby” reached No. 5 on the Billboard singles chart in January 1961 as well as remains a mainstay of oldies radio.

Lennon was one of the song’s biggest fans. He recorded the idea in 1973 at the sessions for his album “Rock ’n’ Roll,” although the idea was not released until 1986, on the album “Menlove Ave.” His recording begins that has a spoken introduction: “This particular here is usually one of my all-time favorite songs. Send my love to Rosie, wherever she may be.”

Rosalie Hamlin was born in Klamath Falls, Ore., on July 21, 1945. Her family moved to Alaska when she was a child as well as then to Southern California.

She was 14 when she wrote “Angel Baby,” which was released on the modest Highland label, however she did not initially receive songwriter credit. She wrote in an autobiographical essay on her website of which David Penci, a guitarist in her band, was listed as the writer as well as of which she struggled for years to get credit for the idea.

“We were musicians as well as not businesspeople,” she wrote. “We got burned like so many of our peers in those days.”

Ms. Hamlin also wrote about her pride in being included in an exhibit about one-hit wonders at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She said she was the first Latina on such a list, as well as the first to appear on Dick Clark’s television show “American Bandstand.”

In addition to Ms. Cray, Ms. Hamlin is usually survived by two sons, John Sanders as well as Joey Tafolla, as well as four grandchildren.

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