Hello, Sam The Sham is the stage name of Domingo Samudio, who was born on March 6, 1939 in Dallas, Texas. He is the leader of the rock and roll band…Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs. Members included Ray Stinnet, Butch Gibson, David Martin and Jerry Peterson. He joined the US Navy after high school. When he returned home he entered college, where he stayed for two years, studying classical music and played rock and roll at night to earn a few dollars. In 1961 Sam formed The Pharaohs, deciding on the name because of the costumes in Yul Brynner’s portrayal of a pharaoh in the epic movie, “The Ten Commandments”.
In 1963 Sam joined, Andy and The Nightriders. The group became the house band at The Congo Club, in Louisiana. It was during this time that Sam became, Sam The Sham. In June of 1963 The Nightriders went to Memphis, Tennessee and became the headliner at The Diplomat. In late summer, there were changes to the band line up and the members were Sam The Sham, David Martin, Jerry Patterson, Ray Stinnett…their band name was changed then to Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs. They added Butch Gibson to complete the line-up.
They recorded some records to sell at their club dates, to earn a some extra money. They recorded their first and biggest hit on the tiny XL Records label in Memphis. The record was originally released in 1964 on XL Records. MGM Records released the song in 1965, they were a major record label in the US. On April 3, 1965 Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs charted one of the most popular songs of the last 40+ years…WOOLY BULLY. The record was a huge success selling 3 million copies and climbing the Billboard Hot 100 to #2. The single remained on the chart for 18 weeks. The record became huge during the time that the American Pop charts were dominated by the British Invasion.
The group followed-up with two other hits in 1965…JU JU HAND charted at #26 and RING DANG DOO charted at #33. In late 1965, Martin, Patterson, Stinnett and Gibson left over a financial dispute. Tony Gerace, Frankie Carabetta, Billy Bennett and Andy Kuha were hired and became The Pharaohs. It was this new line up that recorded the groups second million-seller. On June 11, 1966 LIL’ RED RIDING HOOD made its Billboard Hot 100 debut. Their big hit record became a #2 hit on the Hot 100 and remained on the chart for 14 weeks. Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs follow with, THE HAIR ON MY CHINNY CHIN CHIN, #22 and HOW DO YOU CATCH A GIRL, #27 in 1966. They would have two more Hot 100 hits in 1967, but they would not reach the Top 40 again. Sam recorded some sides for MGM in 1967 and 1968 as Sam The Sham but did not chart on the Hot 100.
In a little over two years Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs charted 9 hit records and 2 million-sellers. David Martin on of the original Pharaohs died in 1987 at the age of 50. WOOLY BULLY is one of the biggest part songs of all-time and is as popular today as it was over 40 years ago. It is played on oldies radio and fills dance floors at dances, wedding receptions, or any special event. WOLLY BULLY is a classic. The song is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a song that helped shape Rock and Roll and was awarded a Grammy: Hall of Fame Award. A classic recording from the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”
Till the next time—Joe