Rosetta Hightower

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Rosetta Hightower
Birth name Rosetta Jeanette Hightower
Also known as Rosetta Hightower Green
Born (1944-06-23)June 23, 1944
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died August 2, 2014(2014-08-02) (aged 70)
Clapham, London, England, U.K.
Genres R&B, pop
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Associated acts The Orlons

Rosetta Jeanette Hightower (June 23, 1944 – August 2, 2014) was an American singer, and the lead singer of the 1960s girl group The Orlons.[1] 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.[1] 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)[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5][6] She released numerous singles and at least two albums. In 1971, she was a backing vocalist for John Lennon's "Power to the People".[7]


Rosetta Hightower Green died in Clapham, London, on August 2, 2014, aged 70.[8] Her son, Ian Green, Jr., works as Paul Oakenfold's main co-producer and remixer.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b The Orlons. Billboard. June 30, 1962. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  2. ^ Today's Top Talent. Billboard. April 6, 1963. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  3. ^ Ochs, Ed (July 13, 1968). Soul Sauce. Billboard. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  4. ^ Album Reviews. Billboard. May 17, 1969. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  5. ^ Intl Singfest In Belgium. Billboard. July 11, 1970. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  6. ^ US Captures Belgium Finale. Billboard. August 1, 1970. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  7. ^ Blanet, John, ed. (2005). John Lennon: Listen To This Book. Paper Jukebox. p. 350. ISBN 0-9544528-1-X. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  8. ^ "In Memory of Rosetta Hightower Green", Facebook; retrieved August 21, 2014.