Dee Mullins kicked around Texan independent labels such as Pappy Daily's D Records before Shelby Singleton signed him to his Nashville independent SSS -- later Plantation Records -- in 1967, having Mullins sing the answer song "The Continuing Story of Harper Valley P.T.A." to the label's first big hit from Jeannie C. Riley. "The Continuing Story" provides the title for this 2009 compilation from Omni Records, a compilation that rounds up a generous 27 tracks that stretch all the way from 1959 to 1978, but focus on those hippie-era oddities from SSS and Plantation, pushing all 16 of those cuts toward the front. If any country music could be called psychedelic, this is it: Singleton surrounded Mullins with vocal effects, sitars, and fuzz guitars, creating genuinely odd music ranging from the eerie and unsettling ("I Am the Grass") to the absurd ("Beers"). Mullins is game to follow all these weird turns, and sounds as comfortable here as he does on the Texan honky tonk and poppy rockabilly from earlier in his career, or the soft balladeering from later. Mullins isn't necessarily versatile, it's more like he's malleable, ready to fit whatever the times bring him. As it happens, the '60s brought him some strangeness and they're the chief attraction here, not so much because they're terrific on their own merits, but rather because they're great period curious. The rest of the music here is good, generic country of its respective eras, and the whole package would have been slightly easier to appreciate if it was not sequenced seemingly at random.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Plantation Records was a country music record label of the 1960s and 1970s helmed by Shelby Singleton. The label is best known for Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 hit "Harper Valley PTA", which topped both the country and Billboard Hot 100 charts.
The label established Riley as one of the major country female vocalists of the late 1960s and early 1970s with a string of hits for the label and also topping the Billboard country album chart with the Harper Valley PTA album. Grand Ole Opry star Ray Pillow had light success on the label with one top 40 country hit in 1969. David Allan Coe's first two albums were on the Plantation label; Penitentiary Blues and Requiem for a Harlequin, before moving on to a major recording career at Columbia Records. Linda Martell became the first African-American female vocalist to record specifically for the country market, enjoying two top 40 country hits on Plantation in 1969-70 including the first hit version of "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" which peaked at #33. Other artists on Plantation included Harlow Wilcox and Dee Mullins.
After Riley left in 1972, the label declined, but it survived into the early 1980s. In the late 1970s the label signed a number of veteran country performers to the label including Webb Pierce, Jimmie Davis, Jimmy C. Newman, Hank Locklin, and Roy Drusky though few of these records charted. Broadway star Carol Channing also recorded two albums for the label in duet performances with Pierce, Newman, and Locklin.
Singleton established at least two other labels (SSS International and Amazon), and helped comedian Bill Cosby form a short-lived label, Tetragrammaton Records, in the late 1960s. He purchased Sun Records from Sam Phillips in 1969.
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