Later covered by Bog Mouth Billy Bass....
So I learned. Al Green apparently earned more royalties from Billy than any other source. According to a Financial Times article:
In the late 1990s, Gemmy Industries, a Dallas-based manufacturer of novelty toys, began work on an animatronic singing fish. The company rejected the initial model as “hideous”. A more lifelike version, designed with the help of a taxidermist, was approved and went into production. The original Big Mouth Billy Bass delivered two songs, Bobby McFerrin’s ‟Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, and the apposite “Take Me to the River”. The identity of the session singer who crooned it over a plinky keyboard backing is unknown.
Simultaneously irritating and funny, Big Mouth Billy Bass was a massive success and “Take Me to the River” was heard in high places. The Queen kept one on the grand piano at Balmoral and was most amused; Tony Blair was also a fan at No 10. Mob boss Tony Soprano battered another thug with the fish in The Sopranos, and Motörhead singer Lemmy kept one in damp conditions: the bathroom of his Los Angeles home. Gemmy shipped an estimated $100m-worth of the $25 toy in 2000 and it is still being made (a version enabled with Amazon’s Alexa device recently went on the market, just in time for Christmas), with nostalgia apparently now a factor in driving sales after a long period when the fish was considered utterly passé, even by novelty toy standards.
Green, now a celebrated preacher, and Hodges, who died in 2014, both said they made more money from the toy version of “Take Me to the River” than any other.