#2: Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind by the Peppermint Trolley Company

City: Guelph, ON
Radio Station: CJOY
Peak Month: July 1968
Peak Position in Guelph #4
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #20
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #59
YouTube: “Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind
Lyrics: “Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind

In 1966, the Peppermint Trolley Company was a group formed in Redlands, California. There was a band named the Mark V which had been together since 1962. It consisted of members Danny Faragher, Jimmy Faragher, Steve Hauser, Dave Kelliher, Brad Madson and Dick Owens. They teamed with producer Dan Dalton, who urged the band to change its name. The Peppermint Trolley Company’s name was proposed by Jimmy Faragher and chosen by a committee of the Mark V band members. The Peppermint Trolley Company’s debut single was “Lollipop Train”. The song was co-written by P.F. Sloan and Steve Bari. It was another song passing on advice to those lacking insight into interpersonal and societal issues. “Lollipop Train” was a Top 20 hit in Chico (CA) in October 1966. When the group called it quits in February of 1967, Danny and Jimmy, along with Dalton, decided to continue recording under the “Trolley” name. The PTC would now be a duo consisting of Danny and Jimmy Faragher. Danny played trombone, marxophone, and melodica.

The group released singles that were variously psychedelic rock, baroque rock and sunshine pop. In the summer of 1967, the Peppermint Trolley Company had a minor hit with “It’s A Lazy Summer Day” in a number of radio markets in California, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Another single release, the Beach Boys influenced “She’s The Kind Of Girl”, was a Top 30 hit in the fall of ’67 in  Dallas and Panama City (FL). The B-side “Little Miss Sunshine”, owed its inspiration to sounds by the Turtles. It was a Top 50 hit in Worcester (MA).

By March 1967, the Faragher brothers were joined by drummer Cassey Cunningham. There were a few temporary additions to the lineup. It looked like Patrick McClure would be a solid addition. But in September 1967, McClure left the band. He was replaced by Shades of Difference bandmate Greg Tornquist. At the time Tornquist was in college. In the process of the Faragher brothers and Casey Cunningham selling Greg Tornquist on the idea of joining the Peppermint Trolley Company, the four of them drove to La Jolla to visit some mutual friends. In La Jolla they went for a swim, resulting in Danny and Greg being arrested for skinny dipping, and spending the night and the better part of the next day in jail. Danny recalls, “We awoke to the strains of ‘Born Free’ being piped into the cell. The common experience made us bond even more…Greg told me inside that he’d decided to join the band.” The Peppermint Trolley was now a four piece.

In May 1968, the group released a self-titled album. Billboard said of the album “This new group offers a bright sound that sometimes crosses into folk . . .” The liner notes mostly consisted of the song lyrics to each track. About the group the Acta Records liner notes stated: “The Peppermint Trolley Company is more than a group of four talented boys named Danny Faragher, Jimmy Faragher, Cassey Cunningham and Greg Tornquist, who have developed a singing and playing style all their own. Even more meaningful is their youthful philosophy which they express through lyrics of their compositions. Here then is the character of The Peppermint Trolley Company.”

Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind by the Peppermint Trolley Company

The band’s most successful single was “Baby You Come Rollin’ Cross My Mind”. It was written by guitarist and singer-songwriter Jessie Lee Kincaid. Born in 1944, Kincaid began playing guitar at age 12 around 1956 when his uncle, legendary 12 string guitarist and Folkways recording artist Fred Gerlach gave him his first guitar.

Jesse studied with Ry Cooder, and Rev. Gary Davis. At age 20 Jesse met fellow singer/guitarist Taj Mahal in Cambridge, with whom he performed as a duo. In 1965, with Ry Cooder, they formed the band Rising Sons and were signed to Columbia Records. Kincaid has recorded “Baby You Come Rollin’ Cross My Mind” as a single. But Capitol Records stopped promoting it just as it was starting to get some attention. The Peppermint Trolley Company manager, Dan Dalton, pitched it to the group. Dalton recalls, “When Capitol took Jesse’s record off the market, I said to the Trolley, ‘This is a hit song. Let’s do it.’ And the guys just didn’t want to do it at first. So I said, ‘I’ll give you each 50 bucks. I just want to use you guys as musicians.’ They agreed, and we cut the track, and [while we were recording it] we all realized it was just sounding wonderful. The band then recorded the vocals, coming up with the harmony parts on the spot. It was pure magic.”

The single started getting airplay in a few Wisconsin radio markets in February 1968. It became a huge hit in Louisville, Kentucky into the spring. By late May it was getting airplay in just over half the states in the USA. It saw its best charting peaks in local radio markets from late June into early August 1968.

Danny Faragher comments on the buzz around the group. “Suddenly we were doing television appearances… ‘Boss City’, ‘ Ninth Street West’, Dick Clark’s ‘Happening ‘68’; sharing the billing with artists like Ike and Tina Turner, The Four Seasons, Brenton Woods, Merilee Rush, The Troggs, and the Iron Butterfly. It was a heady time.” At a concert in suburban Cleveland on August 2, 1968, the Peppermint Trolley Company shared the stage with Gene Pitney, The Box Tops, Jay and the Techniques, The 1910 Fruitgum Co., and The Amboy Dukes.

“Baby You Come Rollin’ Cross My Mind” peaked at #3 in Louisville (KY), #5 in Buffalo, #6 in Beverly (MA), #7 in Dayton (OH) and Denver, #10 in Jacksonville (FL), Pittsburgh, and Springfield (MA), #13 in Boston, #14 in Detroit and #16 in Los Angeles.

“Baby You Come Rollin’ Cross My Mind” was covered on albums by Brian Hyland, Glenn Yarbrough, and the Burrito Brothers’ John Beland.

The followup single was the baroque pop tune “Trust”. “Trust” won critical praise and a “Top 20 Pop Spotlight” pick in Billboard. In the summer of 1968, “Trust” got Top 30 airplay in a number of radio markets. It charted most successfully as a minor hit in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Florida. But that was it. In early 1969, the psychedelic pop tune of over five minutes in length, “Beautiful Sun”, was a #4 hit in Redwood Falls (MN). Their last single of note was a pop cover of the Tom Paxton song “The Last Thing On My Mind”. In the style of the Byrds, the single got little notice outside California and Georgia. However, it was a Top 40 hit in Tasmania. One more single titled “New York City” failed to chart.

Danny Faragher writes about an unusual development in the groups’ life. “In early ‘69 the band got the opportunity to record the theme to a new television show in development. Greg – “We went into Dan’s office above a Chinese restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. Dan Dalton played us a tape of guy just speaking the words, ‘Here’s a story, of a lovely lady . . .’ The recording didn’t really have the melody, or even the instrumentation. We arranged it, and I can remember making up chords for it. We worked on the vocal parts too. I remember being excited about it because it was a union gig, so that meant we were getting paid. I remember thinking, ‘This is the dumbest idea in the world for a TV show. Nobody will buy this!’ Little did I know; The Brady Bunch is still in syndication!”

In 1969 the group split up. This was due to tensions with their manager. Danny Faragher reflects, “Rightly, or wrongly, we felt the ball had been dropped. We’d had a hit record, and here we were, not a penny to our names, living in a small house in Echo Park without a refrigerator. Besides, we were feeling confined by the name and the image. Pop music was changing rapidly, and we sensed that the West Coast harmony sound had run its course. Groups like the Association, the Mamas and Papas, and even the Beach Boys were in decline. The Beatles were getting back to a more rootsy sound, and the Stones had just released ‘Beggars’ Banquet’. We were listening with fresh ears to our old 45’s from the Fifties and Early 60’s. We wanted to rock a little harder, so we just walked away from it all.”

By 1972, the Faragher brothers, Cunningham and Tornquist had formed a rock band called Bones. The Faragher Brothers recorded a minor 1979 hit titled “Stay The Night”.

In 2009, The Peppermint Trolley Company released a CD titled Beautiful Sun. The music reviewer Dusty Groove gave it a positive review. “These guys … baroque one minute, sweet the next…There’s always a fresh sense of musical surprise! — – far more complicated than regular California pop of the time… a timeless quality that’s possibly better discovered from the perspective of the 21st century than the era it was released!”

Looking back, Greg Tornquist states, “1968 was a time of momentous change for this country, politically. [As a result] we were a pretty serious group, lyrically. And yet, we were just kids. Not only were we happy to be playing music together and living together, we were also very important to each other in understanding the times that we were living in. Dealing with Vietnam and the draft . . . We were real brothers.”

February 16, 2024
Ray McGinnis

The Peppermint Trolley Company,” dannyfaragher.com.
Trust“, The Peppermint Trolley Company, Upbeat, 1968.
The Peppermint Trolley Company, “Robin Hood & the Sheriff,” Beverley Hillbillies, October 4, 1967.
The Peppermint Trolley Company, “Trust“, Mannix,
The Peppermint Trolley Company, “Theme to The  Brady Bunch,” ABC, 1969.

Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind by the Peppermint Trolley Company
CJOY 1460-AM Guelph (ON) Top Ten | July 5, 1968

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