Rosie & The Originals were a 1960s musical group best known for their single, "Angel Baby." Fronted by lead singer Rosie Hamlin, the group produced two singles (including "Angel Baby") for Highland Records and, like many other artists of the era, ended up in protracted legal battles with their record label over royalties and credits.
Rosie Hamlin wrote the lyrics for "Angel Baby" as a poem when she was 14 years old, still attending Mission Bay High School in San Diego, California. When she was 15, she and some friends rented a recording studio in San Marcos, California to record the song. The resulting record had a very simplistic sound, and, in fact, was eventually slightly damaged from excessive playing, so the group was unable to find a record label to distribute it. Finally, bringing the master to a department store, they convinced a manager to play it in the listening booth of the store`s music department. The song received positive reactions from teenage listeners, and a scout from Highland Records offered the group a recording contract, under the condition that the company take possession of the master recording, and that David Ponci be named as the author of the song, as he was the eldest member of the group.
"Angel Baby" made its radio debut in December 1960, before the group had even received their contract. When the contract finally came, Hamlin found that she was ineligible to collect record royalties from the song because she was not listed as the songwriter. This led to the group`s break-up, and although Hamlin secured the copyright to her music in 1961, decades of battles over royalties followed.
After leaving Highland Records, Hamlin recorded a full-length album with guitarist Noah Tafolla for Brunswick Records and toured with the label`s other artists.
Hamlin and Tafolla married and had two children together, and in 1963, she retired from singing to spend time with her family. She returned to record singles in 1969 and again in 1973, performing occasionally throughout the 1970s and 1980s and more regularly throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In a 1969 interview with Life magazine, John Lennon named Hamlin as one of his favorite singers, and he recorded a version of "Angel Baby" in the mid-1970s.
In 2000, Ace Records released the album Angel Baby Revisited, with previously unreleased cuts and lost material.