Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Rosemarie Timothy Aurro Yuro, 4 August 1941, Chicago; d 30 March 2004) Pop singer. Moved to Los Angeles as a child and sang in her family's Italian restaurant, finding a blues influence to add to her Mediterranean heritage, so that some listeners thought she was black. She signed to Liberty and first recorded in 1959, having 11 mostly minor Hot 100 entries 1961-5 with writer/ producer Clyde Otis, the biggest being the first, the throbbing ballad 'Hurt': it was in the charts for 12 weeks, reaching no. 4 in 1961, and was ubiquitous on jukeboxes and radio. 'What's A Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You)', 'Gotta Travel On' and 'Down In The Valley' (which didn't chart) also evinced a soulful sound.
At Liberty she met Willie Nelson, then a successful songwriter who was having his first important recording sessions, and adored his music. She covered his 'Permanently Lonely' and 'Are You Sure?' and sang duets with him on his 'Did I Ever Love You?' and 'There's A Way'.
Singles on Mercury '64-6 and Playboy '75 missed the Hot 100; she had a hit in Holland in 1980, but she lost her voice that year and had several operations on her throat.