Rosetta Hightower

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Rosetta Hightower (born June 23, 1944 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American singer,and the former lead singer of the 1960s girl group The Orlons.[1]

Rosetta's primary mark was the lead singer of The Orlons, the prime US 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.[1] At the same time they again provided 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)[2] and "Crossfire" (#19 pop, #25 R&B).

She left the group in the late 1960s to pursue a solo career in the United Kingdom. Rosetta joined the ranks of the then-popular female session singers who backed many hit songs.[3] This group included Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan, Kay Garner, Kiki Dee, Liza Strike, and Sue and Sunny. In 1971, Rosetta was one of the backing vocalists for John Lennon's Power to the People.[4] She also recorded with Joe Cocker on his With a Little Help From My Friends album two years before.[5]

Moving permanently to England in 1970, Rosetta married musician producer Ian Green. Before leaving for England, Rosetta represented the US in Belgium for the first international singing contest ever held.[6][7] She released numerous singles and at least 2 LPs. Her grandparents were Curtis Robert "Cutt" Hightower and Louise Moss Hightower of Augusta, Georgia. Her father was Charles Zendell Hightower, the brother of the late James T. Hightower.

She currently lives in South London. Her son is Ian Green, Jr. who works as Paul Oakenfold's main co-producer and remixer.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Orlons. Billboard. 30 June 1962. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Today's Top Talent. Billboard. 6 April 1963. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Ochs, Ed (13 July 1968). Soul Sauce. Billboard. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Blanet, John, ed. (2005). John Lennon: Listen To This Book. Paper Jukebox. p. 350. ISBN 0-9544528-1-X. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Album Reviews. Billboard. 17 May 1969. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Intl Singfest In Belgium. Billboard. 11 July 1970. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  7. ^ US Captures Belgium Finale. Billboard. 1 August 1970. Retrieved 30 December 2010.