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Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs

Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs

These guys are soo great! Their songs were so upbeat and was the kind of music that mad a party. My favorite song by them is “Lil’ Red Riding Hood“.

Sam the Sham is the stage name of the American rock and roll singer Domingo “Sam” Samudio (born 6 March 1937, Dallas, Texas). Sam the Sham was known for his camp robe and turban and hauling his equipment in a 1952 Packard hearse with maroon velvet curtains. As the front man for The Pharaohs, he sang on a several Top 40 hits in the mid-1960s, notably “Wooly Bully” and “Li’l Red Riding Hood”.

After paying to record and press records to sell at gigs, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs wound up with the Pen label in Memphis. There, they recorded their first and biggest hit, “Wooly Bully”, selling 3 million copies and reaching No. 2 on the Billboard charts on 5 June 1965 at a time when American pop music charts were dominated by the British Invasion. It was awarded a gold disc.

Although “Wooly Bully” never reached #1, it lingered on the Billboard Hot 100 for 18 weeks, 14 of which were in the Top 40. It became the first Billboard “Number One Record of the Year” not to have topped a weekly Hot 100 and remained the only one for 35 years until Faith Hill’s “Breathe” and Lifehouse’s “Hanging by a Moment” in 2000 and 2001, respectively.

In 1967, three girls, Fran Curcio, Lorraine Gennaro, and Jane Anderson, joined as The Shamettes. The group traveled to Asia as Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs and The Shamettes. In late 1967, after Six-day War between Israel and Egypt, Sam changed to Sam the Sham Revue. In 1970, Samudio went on his own and issued an Atlantic album called Sam, Hard and Heavy that won the Grammy Award for Best Album Notes in 1972. The album featured Duane Allman on guitar, the Dixie Flyers and the Memphis Horns. He formed a new band in 1974. The early ’80s found Sam working with Ry Cooder and Freddy Fender on the soundtrack for the Jack Nicholson film The Border.

On August 28, 1959 in Dallas, Texas he married Louise Smith. They had one son named Dimitrius Samudio, who was born on May 28, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. They divorced on May 16, 1968 in Dallas, Texas.

Today, Sam is a motivational speaker and poet, and still makes occasional concert appearances.


One response »

  1. Wooly Bully! That was one great GIT DOWN dancin song! One could boogie all over the place to that one! Those were great days when there were school dances and dances at the city/county rec centers for teens & no one got shot or stabbed to death. A sorry situation these days for kids, unfortunately. There used to be a place called “Governor’s Hall” in the 1960’s that was located at the old State Fair grounds on Stockton Blvd where kids from all over town would go to dance & meet new people (ok, so there was a fist-a-cuff or two over a girl or something, but nothing like now). *Sigh* ~ Another fun memory! Thanks.



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