The music world is in mourning this week after Rose Hamlin, known for her hit song “Angel Baby” passed away. She was 71 years-old.
The New York Times reported that Hamlin’s group, Rosie and the Originals, scored only one Top 40 hit, but it was a very memorable one. “Angel Baby,” a bittersweet song of teenage love, reached number 5 on the Billboard singles chart in 1960 and was later covered by artists like John Lennon and Linda Ronstadt.
When Lennon recorded the song in 1973, he included the introduction, “This here is one of my all-time favorite songs. Send my love to Rosie, wherever she may be.”
Born in Oregon in 1945, Hamlin wrote “Angel Baby” when she was just 14 years-old, though she did not initially receive a songwriting credit for it. In an essay on her website, Hamlin lamented that David Penci, a guitarist in her band, was listed as the writer of the song and that she struggled for years to get the credit she deserved for it.
“We were musicians and not businesspeople,” she wrote. “We got burned like so many of our peers in those days.”
Hamlin is survived by two sons and four grandchildren. Rest in peace, Rose Hamlin!