The Hot Nuts started in North Carolina in 1955 as a high school band known as the Tops. As they developed their act at fraternity parties and such, they became very popular, and eventually changed their name to (Doug Clark and) the Hot Nuts. It was years before this underground “phenomenon” was introduced to the general public via vinyl.
The Gross label was truly an artifact of the 1960s. When Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts’ gigs reached near-legend status on campuses, the group’s records were put out on a special label basically designed as a vehicle for the group. Major record labels, or even major-wannabes like Jubilee/Josie, couldn’t afford to be associated with the group’s records, which went far beyond what was normally called “party” records at the time.