goldentoadstools“Chuck Berry, strawberry, cranberry and dingleberry, baby!”

And so begins one of the most funked-up romps I’ve ever heard, this side of the Godfather Of Soul himself! Next to nothing is known about The Golden Toadstools, who originally released this one-off record written by Merlin Jones and Wayne Branham back in 1966. After doing much research I couldn’t come up with any information about who Jones and Branham are, who the group was or where they were from. All I could find is information about the record label that released this one of a kind record, which duly follows.

The record was released on the Minaret record label which was founded in Nashville in the early sixties by Herb Shucher, and then sold to Finley Duncan in 1966. Duncan leased the record to Shelby Singleton who re-released it in 1968.

Shelby Singleton ran Plantation Records (home of Jeannie C. Riley and the “Harper Valley P.T.A.”), and before that was a talent scout for Mercury Records responsible for finding hits by Paul and Paula (“Hey Paula”), Phil Phillips (“Sea Of Love”), The Big Bopper (“Chantilly Lace”), Bruce Channel (“Hey Baby”) and Johnny Preston (“Running Bear”). He purchased the legendary Sun label in 1969, the original home of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, to name but a few, and continued to mine their treasured vaults until his death in 1977.

This song came into my orbit via a 79-track soul and funk playlist called Funky Niblets, that was given to me by my cousin. I’ve had this playlist on my iPod for several years now, and like the record itself, I couldn’t find any other information about who made the playlist or where it came from. The b-side to this single is called “Weeping River.” I’ve never heard it…

Dead ends never sounded so good.