It’s always fun to have music from the girls of doo wop and always a great story when people set out on their own for an enterprise. A young Rosie Hamlin, who went to Mission Bay High School in San Diego, California, wrote a poem about her boyfriend. It was based on “Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)” by the Penguins. She was from a family that loved music and joined up with friends who hung around the house. The Originals including Noah Tafolla (whom Rosie later married), David Ponci, Tony Gomez, Carl Von Goodat, and Alfred Barrett. The song went to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960 and stayed on the charts for 12 weeks, well into 1961. Part of the charm of the song is its simplicity and unsophisticated recording. (They used a two-track machine in a recording studio in an abandoned airline hangar.) And part of the legend is that they did some of their own public relations by getting permission from a Kresge’s in San Diego to allow listeners shopping for records to preview the song. This is where Highland Records discovered them. The B-side is “Give Me Love,” with vocals by Bluford Wade.The song is a juke box favorite. John Lennon said that Rosie was among his favorite vocalists, and he recorded a cover of “Angel Baby.” The song is certainly one of the favorite golden oldies.
Rosie Hamlin was born Rosalie Méndez Hamlin in Klamath Falls, Oregon, in 1945. She lived in Alaska for part of her childhood and then the family moved to California. Hamlin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Rosie Hamlin passed away in March this year at the age of 71.
Fast cars, fast motorcycles and slow dancing with the girl you love. Those were the best of times.