She was born in Maysville, Kentucky, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. Her sister, Betty, and brother, Nick, as well as her nephew, George Clooney (Nick's son), all became entertainers as well; Betty sang in a duo with Rosemary for much of her early career.
Her father was an alcoholic and she and her brother and sister were constantly moving back and forth between her parents. Eventually she and Betty went to live with their mother, Nick with their father, when Rosemary was 13. In 1945 the Clooney sisters won a spot on Cincinnati's radio station WLW as singers.
In 1951 her record of "Come On-a My House" became a hit, her first of many singles to hit the charts.
In 1968 she was present at the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, with whom she was a close friend, and the event traumatized her life for years afterward. She had a nervous breakdown and serious drug problems.
Best known songs: