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The Pepper Bough

Oldies fans mourn loss of their “Angel Baby”

Erick Inzunza, Reporter

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Rosalie “Rosie” Mendez Hamlin, lead singer of the oldies group, Rosie and The Originals passes away at age 71. On March 30, Hamlin passed away in her sleep in Belen, New Mexico. She had undisclosed medical issues the past few years, which kept her from singing.

Rosie Hamlin is an idol and is a common name to anyone who listens to oldies. When Hamlin was only 15, she sang a hit song that reached No. 5 on the national charts. High school gymnasiums played the song across the country and couples slow danced to it. The song, “Angel Baby”, was first written as a love poem from Rosie, to her first love.

Hamlin decided to sing the song and her friends pushed her into a makeshift recording studio in a San Marcos hanger. After 30 attempts, they had their first demo. As they struggled to find a record company to distribute the song, they finally convinced a San Diego store owner to play the song over the speakers. Luckily, a scout from Highland Records was there and offered the group a recording contract. Before the contract was even official, the song made it’s radio debut on November 1960. Issues arose when Rosie wasn’t labeled the songwriter of the No. 5 hit, “Angel Baby”, because she couldn’t receive royalties since she wasn’t credited as the author of the song. Soon enough, the band broke up but the song lived and still lives, as many people’s favorite love song.

Hamlin had a major impact on the role of woman. She was the lead singer and former songwriter of the No. 5 hit, which gave women the thought of going for their dreams instead of conforming to what society wanted them to be. Not only did she aspire many women, but she also aspired many people of the Chicano community, because she comes from Mexican descent. Till this day, many people in the Chicano community play her song and others like “Lonely Blue Nights”.

On March, 30, 2017, we lost the voice of an angel. Rosalie “Rosie” Mendez Hamlin, will forever live in our hearts.

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Keeping Colton High School informed and entertained since 1917
Oldies fans mourn loss of their “Angel Baby”