Artist Catalog

Rosetta Hightower

Born: June 23 1944
Born in: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
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Rosetta Hightower

Rosetta Jeanette Hightower (June 23, 1944 – August 2, 2014) was an American singer, and the lead singer of the 1960s girl group The Orlons. She was born in Philadelphia.

Her primary fame derived from being the lead singer of The Orlons, the prime American girl group who scored several Top 10 US hits between 1962–1964, including "The Wah Watusi", "Don't Hang Up", "South Street", and "Not Me". In early 1962, The Orlons provided back-up vocals on Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time" (#2 pop, #1 R&B). That spring, they recorded "The Wah Watusi" which, in July 1962, made it in the Billboard charts to the #2 spot. Around the same time, they recorded back-up vocals on Dee Dee Sharp's second hit, "Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes)" which went to #9. The follow-up to "The Wah Watusi", "Don't Hang Up" reached #4 pop and #3 R&B in the fall and winter of 1962. The Orlons' first major performance was at New York's Apollo Theatre with The Crystals, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, Chuck Jackson, Tommy Hunt, and Gene Chandler. In 1963, they had hits with "South Street" (#3 pop, #4 R&B) and "Crossfire" (#19 pop, #25 R&B).

Hightower left the group in the late 1960s to pursue a solo career in the UK. She joined the ranks of the then-popular female session singers who backed many hit songs. This group included Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan, Kiki Dee, and Sue and Sunny. She recorded with Joe Cocker on his With a Little Help From My Friends album.

Moving permanently to England in 1970, Hightower married musician-producer Ian Green. She represented the US in Belgium for the first international singing contest ever held. She released numerous singles and at least two albums. In 1971, she was a backing vocalist for John Lennon's "Power to the People".