Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs
Discography: Albums, Cassettes & CDs

 

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Each LP, Cassette, or CD title is followed by the year of its release, record label, and catalog number.
Each song title is followed by the name of its composer and timing, if available.

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Wooly Bully

(LP) 1965 MGM E/SE-4297
(LP) 197-? Polydor 20MM 0442 (Japan)
(LP) 197? MGM 2486 269 (France)--Variant track listing with 12 songs from the U.S. LPs "Wooly Bully," "Their Second Album," and "On Tour."
Wooly Bully (Domingo Samudio) (2:20)
The Memphis Beat (Lee-Addington-Reynold) (2:09)
I Found Love (Jackie Wilson-Alonzo Tucker) (2:50)
Go-Go Girls (David Martin) (2:13)
Every Woman I Know (Crazy 'Bout An Auto) (William Emerson) (2:17)
Haunted House (Justin Tubb) (3:10)
Juimonos (Let's Went) (Domingo Samudio) (2:30)
Shotgun (Autry DeWalt) (2:50)
Sorry 'Bout That (Stan Kesler-Gary McEwen) (1:55)
Gangster of Love (John Watson) (2:18)
Mary Lee (Domingo Samudio) (2:23)
Long Tall Sally (Johnson-Penniman) (1:45)

Liner Notes:

Wooly Bully makes Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs one of the hottest acts in the country and those wild Middle Eastern costumes they wear for all their in-person performances makes them the most colorful group in the land. The impact of the outfits is more than evident on the full-color cover of this album.

In spite of the Middle Eastern ring to the name of the group, all of the members are from the southern half of the United States.

Sam's real name is Domingo Samudio and he's from Dallas, Texas. He's a Navy veteran who attended Arlington State College in Texas and developed an interest in music and began to work semi-professionally while in school. He sang and played a rented organ with many groups in and around. his native Dallas, and finally purchased an organ of his own and went on the road.

After gigging around some time, he joined a friend's group, then based in Louisiana, and took on the name Sam The Sham. In Memphis, Sam's friend took sick and Sam took over the band. He re-christened the outfit Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs and went out to convert unbelievers to the soul-stirring mysteries of his concept of the Memphis sound.

Dave Martin, the bass-playing Pharaoh, is the only member still working with the Pharaohs from that original group. Besides Dave, the current group is composed of Pharaohs Ray Stinnet, guitar; Jerry Patterson, drums; and saxist Butch Gibson. The boys tour the country in a shiny black hearse. Sam says the vehicle is as practical as it is unconventional. The hearse is perfect for carrying Sam's organ and the instruments of all the Pharaohs.

So, since Wooly Bully is your kind of music, prepare yourself for the first album to give you a great helping of music in the Pharaoh style-the next exciting sound to sweep the land.

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Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs

(also known as Their Second Album and Ju Ju Hand) (LP) 1965 MGM E/SE-4314

Ju Ju Hand (Domingo Samudio) (2:05)
Magic Touch (Evans-Livingston) (2:53)
'Cause I Love You (Samudio-Chalmers) (1:57)
Medicine Man (Reynolds-Addington) (2:15)
That Old Black Magic (Arlen-Mercer) (1:44)
I've Got A Voodoo Doll (Gibson) (2:32)
I've Got My Mojo Working (M. Morganfield) (3:05)
The Gypsy (R.W. Reid) (2:06)
Witchcraft (Leight-Cy Coleman) (2:27)
Love Potion #9 (Leiber-Stoller) (2:09)
Magic Man (Davidson) (2:00)
I'm Your Hoochie Cooche Man (Dixon) (2:40)

Liner Notes;

This is the second album Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs have made for MGM Records. The set includes their hit Ju Ju Hand-and the whole idea behind the LP is one of mystery and magic with a beat.

In this LP, Sam and the group make the rhythm pot boil with a wild assortment of tunes that carry the Pharaohs trade mark-that great Memphis beat. This album is a powerful follow-up to Sam's first set on MGM, Wooly Bully (E/SE-4297). The 45 r.p.m. single record of Wooly Bully and the album went skyrocketing around the world-Sam and the Pharaohs went to the very top of record charts in England, Germany, Holland and many more countries around the world.

In the midst of all this newly-won success, Sam is very realistic... "While I'm very happy and pleased with the way things are going for us, I know that they can change overnight. I also know that a lot of hard work made Wooly Bully possible. Hard work from the fellows in the group, our producers and management and a lot of hard work in promotion, on our part and on the part of the record company. There's lots more hard work coming to make this album and succeeding singles popular with the people, but I think we've got the sound that will reach them and stay with them."

THE REPORTS ARE IN! SAM THE SHAM AND THE PHARAOH BEAT ARE SWEEPING THE COUNTRY ... Here are just a few samples of how the rage is spreading:

"The master of the swivel hips, Elvis Presley, has a very shaky hold on the top place as Sam the Sham edges closer."

Charles Schreiber, THE SUNDAY BULLETIN

Philadelphia, Pa.

"One of the hottest of the lot and a chart buster is Sam The Sham and his group who travel around the country in a black hearse. Sam ... is a great seller and the Pharaohs sound is making the cash registers across the country tinkle with happiness..."

Vance Johnson, THE TAMPA TRIBUNE

Tampa, Fla.

Sam Cashes In With Sham While Eying Broader Stage

Domingo Samudio showed white teeth in one of the slow smiles that come easily to him when he talks. A small gold earring flashed in his right car, above the black beard.

Domingo, better known as rock and roll artist Sam the Sham, was pondering a question: What is your ambition?

"I'd like to be able to do many things in many fields. Life is so short-people going around the world at 17,000 miles an hour. Today they speak of traveling in space in light years, and here on Earth we have a span of only, say 65 years. I guess that's why I never settled down."

Sam, dressed in black T shirt and black slacks, was waiting to go on last night at the Fall Preview of Stars show at the Mid-South Coliseum, which drew about 4,000 persons, most of them young. With him in the dressing room were other members of the Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, which hit it big in the recording world with "Wooly Bully."

Sam, 24, is originally from Dallas, Texas, where his father, brother, and sister still live. His brother is a surgeon and his sister is a teacher.

How did he get his name? "Well, Samudio was too long, and the Sam came from there. Then when I started I didn't play an instrument (he plays organ now), I just sang, and dance and cut up. And when you do that they call it shamming, so-

Sam, who looks for all the world like a sultan, was frank in his appreciation of his young fans. "The kids are really what's happening. It (success) hasn't been here so long that we don't appreciate it". by Jack Martin

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On Tour

(LP) 1965? MGM E/SE-4347
Red Hot (Emerson) (2:25)
Big Blue Diamonds (Carson) (2:30)
Over You (Toussaint-Orange) (2:32)
Big City Lights (Kesler-Davidson) (2:38)
Like You Used To (Davidson) (2:28)
Please Accept My Love (Garlow) (1:58)
Ring Dang Doo (Joe Byers-Bob Tubert) (2:23)
Save The Last Dance For Me (Pomus-Schuman) (2:25)
Let's Talk It Over (D. Martin) (2:12)
Mystery Train (Phillips-Parker) (2:07)
Can't Make Enough (Cogbill-Nelson-Bell-Carter) (1:56)
Uncle Willie (T. Cosden) (2:17)

Liner Notes:

It has been said that a recording artist's professional life is very short. Success comes fast but so does oblivion. It has also been said that in the recording profession the artist burns out easily because the quick success the business affords also corrupts. It corrupts because success usually moves the artist out of the realm of reality-brings him money, fame, adulation, and builds a wall between him and the world. If his performance is separated from the world, he has nothing to say to it, and there is nothing coming from him it wants to listen to.

It has been said-but it won't, when it comes to Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs. Success came fast for the group and with it money, fame and adulation. But the boys didn't lose touch with their audience. Nor did they lose their ability to communicate with it.

The communication lines between Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs and the world at large were set up last year when they broke through with "Wooly Bully" and it has been flowing continually since. "Wooly Bully" was listed as the top-selling record of 1965 in Billboard's year-end survey which is, in itself, hard to top for openers. It also leaves a so-called hot-shot recording group wide open for cynical comments like "Where do you go from here, boys?"

Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs quickly showed that as hot-shot as they may have been with "Wooly Bully," they weren't one-shot.

Hit records followed and with them came a strengthening of the group's ties with its audience. (A perfect example in this LP is "Red Hot".)Each record has lengthened their career potential. Each record has put them closer in touch with the world and this album shows that these are the ties that bind for a long, long time.

Mike Gross, Editor, Billboard

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 Li'l Red Riding Hood Reel-to-Reel

Li'l Red Riding Hood

(LP) 1966 MGM E/SE-4407
(Reel to Reel) 1966 MGM STX 4407
 
Lil' Red Riding Hood (Blackwell) (2:35)
Hanky Panky (Barry-Greenwich) (2:30)
Deputy Dog (Grier) (2:50)
Green'ich Grendel (White) (1:56)
Mary Is My Little Lamb (Blackwell) (2:05)
Sweet Talk (Davidson) (2:15)
El Toro De Goro (The Peace Loving Bull) (Addington-Kesler) (2:40)
The Phantom (Davis) (2:25)
Little Miss Muffet (Irby-Samudio) (2:15)
Pharaoh-A-Go-Go (Kesler-Samudio) (2:05)
Ring Them Bells (Davidson-Kesler) (1:50)
Grasshopper (Ward) (2:20)

Liner Notes:

"Li'l Red Riding Hood" is Sam The Sham's second million selling record in a year. The first one broke all kinds of sales records and was one of the biggest hits of 1965. It was called "Wooly Bully" and it took all the prizes-the music trade paper, Billboard, picked it as being the record of the year for 1965 and with good reason. The record was on the Billboard charts longer than any other 45 r.p.m. single disk for all of '65.

"Li'l Red Riding Hood" is another monster from Sam and his Pharaohs. By the end of July-a mere eight weeks after its release-"Li'l Red Riding Hood" was number one on the national charts, and a Gold Record had already been issued,-symbolizing more than one million sales. And the record was still going strong.

But "Li'l Red Riding Hood" is only part of the story on this great Sam The Sham album. The LP is filled with that great Memphis Pharaoh sound ... and there are a half dozen or more sides that have "hit" stamped all over them. "El Toro De Goro (The Peace Loving Bull)", "Hanky Panky," "The Phantom" and "Deputy Dog" are just a few of the great tunes. You'll find more on your own as you listen.

Notes by Al Lewis

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Contents of reel-to-reel tape of Sam The Sham Revue

The Sam The Sham Revue

(also known as The Sam The Sham Review and Nefertti

(LP) 1966 MGM E/SE-4479
(Reel to Reel) 1966 MGM 4479
 
Black Sheep (Bob McDill) (2:45)
Struttin' (Domingo Samudio) (2:17)
I'm Not A Lover Anymore (Dan Folger) (2:25)
Leave My Kitten Alone (T. Turner) (2:20)
Wanted Dead Or Alive (Ronald Blackwell) (2:00)
You Can't Turn Me Off (Addington-Davidson-Fitzgerald) (2:03)
My Day's Gonna Come (Stacy Davidson-Stan Kesler) (2:00)
The Cockfight (Maxine Kelton-Fred Blalock) (3:05)
Let It Eat (Paul Craft) (2:35)
Love Me Like Before (Domingo Samudio) (2:45)
Groovin' (Felix Cavalieri-Eddie Brigati) (2:30)

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The Best Of Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs

(LP) 1966 MGM E/SE-4422
(LP) 1967? MGM 564422 (Canada)
(Reel to Reel Tape) 1966 MGM STC4422
(CD) 1986 Polygram CD 827 917-2
Wooly Bully (Domingo Samudio) (2:21)
Red Hot (Emerson) (2:17)
Standing Ovation (S. Kesler-S. Davidson) (2:36)
Mystery Train (Phillips-Parker) (2:07)
Ju Ju Hand (D. Samudio) (2:08)
Ready Or Not (Maurice Irby) (2:48)
The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin (Ronald Blackwell) (2:37)
El Toro De Goro (The Peace Loving Bull) (M. Addington-S. Kesler) (2:45)
(I'm In With) The Out Crowd (D. Samudio) (2:16)
I Wish It Were Me (John D. Loudermilk) (2:46)
Ring Dang Doo (Tubert-Byers) (2:26)
Li'l Red Riding Hood (R. Blackwell) (2:42)

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Ten of Pentacles (as Sam The Sham)

(LP) 1967 MGM SE-4526
Old MacDonald Had A Boogaloo Farm (Frazier) (2:38)
Stand By Me (King-Glick) (2:40)
The Down Home Strut (Samudio-Carabetta) (2:20)
I Passed It By (Patterson) (2:58)
It's So Strange (Reynolds-Lee) (2:40)
Stagger Lee (Logan-Price) (2:40)
Despair (Samudio-Lovas) (2:40)
If You Try To Take My Baby (Carabetta-Bennett-Peseatore) (2:22)
Yakety Yak (Lieber-Stoller) (2:25)
Poison Ivy (Lieber-Stoller) (2:25)
A Little Bitty Thing Called Love (Selph) (2:30)

Liner Notes:

Sam The Sham. Best known recently as a spinner of yarns about fair young ladies like Lil' Red Riding Hood. Known first on the national pop music scene for that catchy beat of Wooly Bully. Sam The Sham is known as a man who keeps turning out hit records. Now on this album with its title taken from the books of the occult, Sam The Sham presents to you songs that show off his varied talents. Several of the cuts are originals by Sam or his friends who can write with feeling because they are people who have been around. "The Ten of Pentacles" title itself and the cover photos of Sam with Tarot cards present another side of the man--the side that is interested in the occult, fortune telling, astrology and the mysteries of this world and the next. Sam's interest is no lark, for he has made a study of these age-old mysteries of the universe. He has explored his own life and future with the Tarot, and has found the prophecies to be true. Even if you don't know that the pentacle is a five-sided figure to ward off the spirits of darkness, you'll be able to appreciate this album. Those of you who don't know the many musical facets of Sam The Sham (his basic training came from the blues but his musical tastes encompass everything from fold music to opera) will be pleasantly surprised by this album, which also features The Shamettes in addition to Sam's regular group of guys. Sam himself and Frank Carabetta (his sax man) arranged several of the songs--which range from rock 'n' roll to fold to rhythm 'n' blues--and so have the opportunity to demonstrate some of Sam's musical ideas. I Passed It By--Written by Jerry Patterson, old and close friend of Sam's It tells of an individual totally involved in pursuit of his own mundane and sensual pleasures which are only passing. Immersed in our own thing, we often find out too late that the things we passed by were really the important ones. But, as is always true, we can never return ..."so I lived and let the world go by and I never felt sorry 'cause I was ten miles high". The Down Home Strut--when Sam wrote this he was reminiscing about life in the country and cotton pickin'. "I stayed bent over in the patch so long the sun didn't know what my face looked like. Come Saturday, it's pay day, clean shirt and off to town. Although the people down home don't have the latest fashions, they seem to always have a groove of their own and--though city people may not understand it--to the home folk it's what's happening". Despair--Music by Todd Lovas, lyrics by Sam The Sham. Todd came up with a riff and was playing it one night. Sam began to hum it and made up the lyrics as he went along. This song tells of a person who is the victim of a love affair. And it seems that with the end of the affair, his life has ended. Nothing else really seems to matter. Although an individual might be surrounded by multitudes of people, he can't keep from being lonely. Rationalizing, he'll always believe that the affair will start again ... "but it's a lie". Stand By Me--This standard was originally done by Ben E. King. It's so beautiful it's almost reverent. This song gives the assurance that the one thing we can always be certain of is the eternal endurance of love. In the shadow of complete destruction in this atomic age, if the world should fall around us even physical destruction would not matter if the one who really cares stands by us. What Sam The Sham has done here is given all of us a marvelous assortment of songs both gay and sad, both danceable and listenable. Put the album on your phonograph, and the magic of Sam The Sham will begin. -- Lorraine Alterman, GO Magazine.

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SAM Hard And Heavy (as Sam Samudio)

(LP) 1971 Atlantic SD8271
Homework (Otis Rush-Al Perkins-D. Clark) (2:16)
Relativity (Domingo Samudio) (3:14)
Lonely Avenue (Doc Pomus) (2:48)
I Know It's Too Late (Traditional, arr. by Domingo Samudio)/Starchild (Domingo Samudio) (6:20)
Let's Burn Down The Cornfield (Randy Newman) (2:43)
Sweet Release (W.R. Scaggs-B. Beckett) (4:48)
Key To The Highway (Charles Segar-Willie Broonzy) (2:08)
Don't Put Me On (Domingo Samudio) (2:30)
15 Degrees Capricorn Asc (Domingo Samudio) (4:37)
Goin' Upstairs (John Lee Hooker) (5:06)

Liner Notes:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I WANT TO THANK:

The people who mistreated me as a chiild 'cause they made me strong.
Sister Rose; for having tought Melvin-and me, that there are no NIGGERS and no MESKINS.
A third grade teacher, who treated me like a leper and begrudged me not having lice; for she gave me pride.
Miss McMahon, for being just when no one else was.
The people who refused me service; for they made me save my money.
The people who rejected me because of the color of my skin and the texture of my hair; for they made me realize that I was different.
My Aunt Grace, for teaching me how to eat with silver.
My brother Memo for sitting me out in the sun without water. He tried to teach me discipline. I love him.
Melvin for sneaking me water on the same day.
My sister Esther who was mother, friend, cook, servant, nurse, opponent and guardian angel. I love her.
The Dude who broke my nose the first time: he taught me to dodge faster.
Mrs. Turner for letting me graduate from high school; otherwise I would've flunked for the third time.
The Dude who broke my nose the second time. He taught me that I wasn't dodging fast enough.
My dogs through life for their companionship: Funny, Spot, Mocho, Spotty, Tippy, Poochie, Peerolee, Poopinooga, Kemp, Lucky, Cyrano, Bojo, Sammy, Toro, Dingo and King.
Equal time to cats: Quickie, Morrongo, A Yellow Cat, and Blue.
The Dude who broke my nose the third time. He taught me that only 50% of all fighters are winners. (Poor odds)
My friends the prostitutes for listening to me when no one else would; for I needed to speak.
The towns I was run out of-, for they ran me to better places.
David A. Martin for opening my eyes.
Jackie for one bologna & mayonnaise sandwich, one weeny sandwich and a hot bath.
The Crystal for keepin' my secrets.
The lonely moonlit stretch of road between Memphis & Capeville; for it gave me time to think.
Papa for his kindness & wisdom.
Memphis for whippin'me down twice, which only made me get up.
Avery for goin' my bail.
David, Jerry, Ray & Butch for sharing with me the misery of the road; they too suffered the changes I went through.
I want to bless the people who stole my money for my misery went with it and I am sure it's more than they can bear.
Squeeky, a monkey now deceased, for wrecking the boredom of my depression by wrecking the shack he and I lived in.
Jack Provenzano, Astrologer, friend, roommate, teacher and companion through several Karmic Expressions.
My friend Frank Andrews for tutoring me in and through the Tarot.
Zach Glickman & Steve Frank, two friends who never lost faith in me.
The Dynamic Duo, Pato P. & Garrapata C. for the many laughs when there was little to laugh about.
New York City for 1969 where I reviewed the Blues.
The women who loved me and ask their forgiveness; lovin'the wind would have been easier.
The Mothers of my children for my freedom; for only free can I truly give.
My Father Jim Samudio, a strong Leo who taught me that a man must have the ability to be just as gentle, as he is hard; have the ability to love, and be willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary to preserve what he believes to be right. Who taught me that there are laws far greater than those written by man.
My children for having chosen me as their father in this life; for they alone gave me the will & strength to continue when all other sources of energy were depleated.
And most of all, God for letting me be a musician, in doing so he's given me a taste of Paradise.

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Pop Giants Vol. 23 - Sam the Sham And the Pharaohs

(LP) 197-? Metro Records, Brunswick Silber-Serie, Stereo 2911 534

Wooly Bully
Ju Ju Hand
Hanky Panky
Deputy Dog
Sweet Talk
Mary Is A Little Lamb
Little Red Riding Hood
Red Hot
The Phantom
Little Miss Muffet
Ring Them Bells
Grasshopper

Liner Notes
Domingo Samudio, 1943 [sic] in Dallas (Texas) geboren, machte als "Sam The Sham" Karriere. Der Sohn eines Montagearbeiters besuchte zunächst das Arlington State College und spielte dort in einer Amateurband. Der Erfolg stellte sich ein, als er mit einer eigenen Gruppe auftrat, die sich als Araber verkleidete. Während seine vier Mitspieler (The Pharaos) wallende, knöchellange Gewänder trugen, fiel Sam The Sham durch einen Turban auf, den er am Ende jeder Show ins Publikum warf. Ihre erste Aufnahme "Wooly Bully", im April 1965 veröffentlicht, wurde weltweit ein Riesenhit. Die Single belegte sowohl in den USA als auch in Deutschland Platz 2 der Hitliste (in England Platz 11) und brachte der Gruppe eine Goldene Schallplatte ein. Auch die zweite Single "Ju Ju Hand" kam in Amerika und in Deutschland in die "Top 30", bzw. "Top 20" Hitliste. Bis zur Mitte des Jahres 1967 brachten Sam the Sham & The Pharaos noch 7 weitere Titel in der Hitparade unter, dazu zählt auch "Little Red Riding Hood", das im November 1966 erschien und sich als Nr. 2 plazieren konnte. Dafür wurde ihnen die zweite Goldene Schallplatte überreicht. Im Herbst 1967 löste Sam The Sham seine Gruppe auf, um sich fortan mit Blues-Aufnahmen zu beschäftigen.


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The Border : Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

(LP) 1982 Backstreet BSR 6105
Earthquake (Ry Cooder)
Across the Borderline--Freddie Fender, Sam Samudio, etc (Ry Cooder)
Maria (Ry Cooder)
Texas Bop--Jim Dickinson (J. Dickinson)
Highway 23 (Ry Cooder)
Palomita--Sam Samudio (Domingo Samudio)
Rio Grande (Ry Cooder)
Too Late--Cooder, Hiatt (vocals) & Dickinson (Cooder)
No Quiero--Sam Samudio (Domingo Samudio)
Skin Game--Cooder, Hiatt (vocals), Dickinson & Samudio (vocals) (Ry Cooder)
El Scorcho (Ry Cooder)
Building Fires--Dickinson, Penn, Christopher & Brenda Patterson (vocals) (Ry Cooder)
Nino (Ry Cooder)

Produced by Ry Cooder; Guitars: Ry Cooder, John Hiatt; Piano: Jim Dickinson; Bass: Tim Drummond; Drums: Jim Keltner; Organ: Sam "The Sham" Samudio; Percussion: Ras Baboo

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(Go to 1998 CD release)

Pharaohization!

(LP) 1986 Rhino Records RNLP 122
Wooly Bully (Domingo Samudio) (2:20)
Ju Ju Hand (Domingo Samudio) (2:05)
Don't Try It (Domingo Samudio)
Pharaoh A Go-Go (Kessler-Samudio)
Green'ich Grendel (White) (1:56)
Ring Dang Doo (Joe Byers-Bob Tubert) (2:23)
Oh That's Good, No That's Bad (D. Blackwell)
Li'l Red Riding Hood (Blackwell) (2:35)
The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin (Ronald Blackwell) (2:37)
Sorry 'Bout That (Stan Kesler-Gary McEwen) (1:55)
Medicine Man (Reynolds-Addington) (2:15)
How Do You Catch A Girl? (Ronald Blackwell)
Black Sheep (Bob McDill) (2:45)
(I'm In With) The Out Crowd (D. Samudio) (2:16)

Liner Notes:

UNO, DOS...one, two, tres, quatro!": and a wild insistent sound was sprung upon the world of 1965.

Wild? or Innately scientific? I spent months trying to take apart the Pharaohs' brand of "Memphis' Beat. Half a dozen super-lame versions of "Wooly Bully," by artists who it would seem should to the fact that when it comes of machine-groove, single-minded obsessive rhythm THIS WAS NO SHAM. Variously attributing this moniker to: his Inability to play more than five chords on the organ (1); his stage clowning; or the bizarre premise of he and his down-home Pharaohs ("hey, these guys ain't real Arabs!"), Sam was actually Domingo Samudio of Dallas, Texas, which hints a bit closer to the origin of the "Pharaohs' famous "Memphis Beat."

"Wooly Bully" was only the beginning. It was - and is - unstoppable. Snidely rumoured among classmates to be obscene, It sold over three million copies, despite attempts at suppression (you might as well try to suppress dancing or make-out parties). A whirlwind of outrageous telethon appearances and criss-crossing the country in a hearse (one of the boys had been an undertaker) followed. AND in dynamite follow-up hits, a none too-subtle pattern emerged. Sam, relentlessly" organ-izing" on the eighth notes, Ray Stinet's slashing guitar on the "2 and 4," and a bass line, no, not a line- a "system" borrowed by David Martin from a little further south than Memphis or even New Orleans. Jerry Paterson bopping away on drums with the precise restraint of a military madman and then ... THOSE BUTCH GIBSON SAX SOLOS! THEY DRIVE ME WILD ... hadn't we heard that one before? WHO CARES?[ As colleague B. Spate said "Wow- this stuff is great, it all sounds the same!!" Maybe some people were less impressed and we all spent the late '60s and early '70s paying for their pretenses. A lot of guys thought rock 'n' roll wasn't serious enough that it needed to grow up and be progressive, fuse incompetent jazz and classical elements (the now discredited "best of both worlds theory") and generally be an outlet for their boring "creativity." WELL TAKE THAT! ("Ju Ju Hand") AND THAT! ("Pharaoh A Go-Go") SIC 'EM Pharaohs! Sam may not have had lyrics designed for college campus contemplation In mind when he penned "Ring Dang Doo" but he sure pushed the right crazy button In my brain, even tho' he not only didn't know "where Is it?" but even "what Is It?"

What It is might have been "Lil' Red Riding Hood," a more relaxed novelty number that featured Mr. Samudio at his most suggestive Localizing best. It became his biggest hit ever, hitting #2 nationwide in just one 1966 week As good as the "Hood" was, its success seemed to trap Sam into the less exuberant nursery rhyme downward spiral. Admittedly, although "Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin" WAS a notch down, its coolness was much enhanced by its B-side " (I'm In With) The Out Crowd." This novelty come-back to the Dobie Grey smash hit is the Pharaoh's most touching cut, featuring a beautiful sax solo and a heart-rendering fade, even If there was a bit more truth in the title than might have been intended.

The Pharaohs already seemed a thing of the past by the time "Oh That's Good, No That's Bad" managed to reach #54 in 1967. Itwould be the last time I'd hear them in the hit-parade. This stuff just wouldn't sit right in the coming age of "awareness," twenty minute guitar and Mahavishnu Orchestras (but these and other national illnesses of the time have been better indicted I Sam was a rather soulful singer desirous of a more fulfilling direction. By the end of the Summer of Love the After several less successful solo LPs, Sam, like so many people who gave so much happiness, fell on hard times (see his Grammy winning liner notes to the LP, "Sam Hard and Heavy") - even losing the right to his famous stage name. Domingo Samudio went back to the music of his roots and can be heard rocking away in the motion picture "The Border" starring Jack Nicholson (1981). The last I heard he was ferrying oilmen In his boat to the offshore rigs in South Louisiana.

Vaya con Dios, friend. I owe a debt to you - as we all do. You were one of the lingering, flickering lights that led us back out of the wilderness of the '70s. And I still go to bed wishing I had written a song one-tenth as good as "Don't Try It" But wait a minute - this Is a record, not a history lesson. it's not even just a great piece of vinyl - It's a sure-fire PARTY-STARTER and regulation Issue for your next bash. So again, in the words of B. Spaeth "Commence Pharaoh-ization IMMEDIATELY!"

Peter Zaremba, New York 1985

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Ju Ju Hand

(Cassette) 1989? PolyGram Special Products PSP 839 285-4
Ju Ju Hand (Domingo Samudio)
Sorry 'Bout That (Stan Kesler-Gary McEwen)
Wooly Bully (Domingo Samudio)
Sweet Talk (Davidson)
I've Got A Voodoo Doll (Gibson)
(I'm In With) The Out Crowd (Domingo Samudio)
Juimonos (Let's Went) (Domingo Samudio
Pharaoh A Go-Go (Stan Kesler-Domingo Samudio)

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Sam the Sham And The Pharaohs Greatest Hits

(CD) 1990 Duchesse Compact Disc CD352096

No liner notes.
Wooly Bully (Domingo Samudio) (2:19)
Li'l Red Riding Hood (R. Blackwell) (2:39)
The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin (Ronald Blackwell) (2:36)
Red Hot (Emerson) (2:15)
El Toro De Goro (The Peace Loving Bull) (M. Addington-S. Kesler) (2:44)
(I'm In With) The Out Crowd (D. Samudio) (2:14)
Ju Ju Hand (D. Samudio) (2:07)
Standing Ovation (S. Kesler-S. Davidson) (2:37)
Mystery Train (Phillips-Parker) (2:06)
Ready Or Not (Maurice Irby) (2:46)
Ring Dang Doo (Tubert-Byers) (2:24)
I Wish It Were Me (John D. Loudermilk) (2:44)

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wired.jpg (16499 bytes)

Wired Fired + Inspired

(Cassette) 199-? Samara Productions [no catalog number] 
The Call
To And Fro
No Way Out
Jesus Is The Answer
Traditional Medley-Oh How I Love Jesus/Where He Leads Me
It Ain't Easy
Oh Lord Our Leader
We Plead The Book
Stand Still
Oh My God

"Welcome to the sound of "Street Gospel."
No liner notes. Recorded at "Outback Studio," Memphis.

Sam Samudio, producer
Ken Bomar, executive producer
Alan Wyse, engineer, co-producer

Musicians:

Austin Bradley, drums
David Cochran, bass
Doug Garrison, percussions
Derrick Jackson, piano/organ
Reid McCoy, trumpet
Gene Nunez, electric guitar/bass
Sam Samudio, slide guitar
John Scott, electric guitar
Ken Spain, trombone
Jim Spake, sax
John Stover, classical guitar
Dean Terrance, bass
Boudraux Wyse, accordian
Alan Wyse, midi programming

Background Vocals:

Linda Knox
Mattie Kirkwood
Dianna Madden
James Kirkwood
Bradley Nelson
Charles Madden


   

Won't Be Long

(Cassette) 1995? Samara Productions SAM002A
Wake Up America
Rippin' and Runnin'
Prayer Line
Just Don't Know
Power Medley (What A Friend We Have/There Is Power In The Blood/I'll Fly Away)
Ship Of Fools
Because He Loved Me
Won't Be Long
Maranata

No liner notes.

Personnel:

Gene Nunez, guitar
Frank Wilson, Supro slide guitar
Dave Couzar, guitar
Rick Steff, piano
Danny Jones, percussion
The Blue Beats
Tony Thomas, organ

Background Vocals:

The Ambassadors For Christ
Linda Knox
James Kirkwood
Mattie Kirkwood
Bradley Nelson
Dianna Madden
Charles Madden
Lajuana Walker

I-40 Horn Section

Reid McCoy, trumpet
Jim Spake, saxophone
Jack Hale, trombone
Gordy Reinhardt, clarinet

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Sam the Sham And The Pharaohs (Best Of)

(CD) 1997 Rock In Box (Hungary) RIB CD 042
Wooly Bully (Domingo Samudio) (2:20)
Ain't Gonna Move (Davidson-Kesler) (2:06)
Ju Ju Hand (D. Samudio) (2:07)
Sweet Talk (Davidson) (2:00)
Hanky Panky (Barry-Greenwich) (2:33)
The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin (Blackwell) (2:35)
El Toro De Goro (Addington-Kesler) (2:44)
Mary Is My Little Lamb (Blackwell) (2:05)
A Long Long Way (Gibson) (1:57)
Long Tall Sally (Johnson-Penniman-Blackwell) (1:48)
Little Miss Muffet (Irby-Samudio) (2:18)
Li'l Red Riding Hood (R. Blackwell) (2:39)
Ring Dang Doo (Tubert-Byers) (2:34)
Ring Them Bells (Davidson-Kesler) (1:50)
Big City Lights (Kesler-Davidson) (2:40)
Memphis Beat (Lee-Addington-Reynolds) (2:08)
Standing Ovation (Kesler-Davidson) (2:37)
Mystery Train (Phillips-Parker) (2:05)
Gangster Of Love (Watson) (2:21)
Green'ich Grendel (Paul White) (1:55)
I Wish It Were Me (Loudermilk) (2:44)
Ready Or Not (Irby) (2:46)
The Phantom (Davis) (2:25)
Grasshopper (Dale Ward) (2:24)
The Out Crowd (Samudio) (2:11)
Mary Lee (Samudio) (2:27)
Yakety Yak (Lieber-Stoller) (2:05)
Deputy Dog (Grier) (2:50)
Pharaoh-A-Go-Go (Kesler-Samudio) (2:05)

Liner notes:

One would think at the mention of their name and the waythey (sic) dress that they are an Egyptian or at least an Arab group, which they aren't. Quite the contrary. They are a real American group, from Dallas, Texas.

The front man Samudio (Sam) Domingo (sic) started his music career in Dallas in the early sixties as the lead singer of an amateur group, although he made no resounding success. In 1964 he founded his band Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs which later gained fame. The members of the group were Samudio Domingo (sic)- vocals, Ray Stinnet - guitar, David Martin - bass guitar, Butch Gibson - saxophone, and Jerry Patterson - drums. Pop experts would call their music style 'novelty', which could be described with some exaggeration, as an early, none too complicated version of what is known as rap today, if it were not more tuneful. The same style had been characteristic of a man they looked up on, J.P. Richardson, alias the Big Bopper in the late fifties. The hit song Lil' Red Riding Hood had been made famous by J.P. Richardson, and it became the second hit for Sam the Sam and his group in 1966. Their first record had been issued by Stan Kesler's Pen Records in Memphis. That was the famous Woolly Bully, a song composed by Samudio Domingo, which was later taken over by~MGM, releasing it in the United States under the serial number 13322, and under the number 1269 in England. The same tune went almost to the top of the best selling charts in West Germany.

Not by chance, since the unusually sounding, rhythmic song soon became a hit. The group then cut their first album, also entitling it Woolly (sic) Bully, and embarked on a concert tour. They then donned their characteristic garment, the pieces of which, and the turban most of all, they would throw among the audience at the end of shows to the delight of their fans, who may even keep them to this day.

The group managed to repeat the success of Woolly (sic) Bully a year later with a revived version of Lil' Red Riding Hood, the song made famous by the Big Bopper. The song soared to second place on the US best selling chart and climbed to 48th place on the British chart. Most of their songs were their own compositions, especially those of Domingo, but their cover versions also were hits. Those included Hanky Panky, the hit made famous by Tommy James, Long Tall Sally, once a hit for Little Richard, Mystery Train, covered by quite a few performers in Memphis including Elvis Presley, and Yakety Yak of the Coasters. Another song worth mentioning is Mary is My Little Lamb, until then known as a folk song, until the group performed it in their own style as orchestrated by Blackwell.

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs had their glory days for three years, during which they issued three albums, of which six songs made it to the US and two others to the British best selling charts. But just as fast as they appeared in late 1964, they also disappeared from the pop world just as sudden in 1967. Their songs are, however, still favourites to the present day.

In 1970 Samudio chose a solo career, but was not I much of a success. In 1974 he established a new group, but it failed to bring back the good old times. In 1982 he complied with a request and helped compose the music score of the film The Border, and attempted to stay in touch with music in Memphis as a street musician - which is just about the last piece of news about him. Nevertheless this CD which is a collection of their most popular songs, can hopefully become favourites with his one time and perhaps new fans, also as the latest surprise from Rockin' Box.

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(Go to 1986 LP release)

Pharaohization!

(CD) 1998 (6 October) Rhino  R2 75329
Wooly Bully (Domingo Samudio) (2:20)
Sorry 'Bout That (Stan Kesler-Gary McEwen) (1:55)
Ju Ju Hand (Domingo Samudio) (2:05)
Medicine Man (Reynolds-Addington) (2:15)
Ring Dang Doo (Joe Byers-Bob Tubert) (2:23)
Don't Try It (Domingo Samudio) (2:20)
Monkey See, Monkey Do (Johnny Farrow) (2:33)
Red Hot (William Emerson) (2:15)
A Long Long Way (Paul Gibson) (1:55)
Big Blue Diamonds (Earl Carson) (2:30)
Li'l Red Riding Hood (Blackwell) (2:35)
Green'ich Grendel (White) (1:56)
Pharaoh A Go-Go (Kessler-Samudio) (2:05)
The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin (Ronald Blackwell) (2:37)
(I'm In With) The Out Crowd (D. Samudio) (2:16)
How Do You Catch A Girl? (Ronald Blackwell) (2:17)
Oh That's Good, No That's Bad (D. Blackwell) (2:17)
Take What You Can Get (Domingo Samudio) (2:12)
Black Sheep (Bob McDill) (2:45)
Banned In Boston (John Morier) (3:00)
Money's My Problem (Frank Carabetta-Anthony Gerace) (2:20)
Let Our Love Light Shine (Domingo Samudio) (2:35)
I Never Had No One (Domingo Samudio) (2:40)
I Couldn't Spell !!*#@! (Wayne Thompson) (2:20)

Liner Notes:

In their heyday when all of their records were still available, my best friend and I spent hours listening their Ju Ju Hand album over and over again while playing pinball at his home. We were drawn to it by its campy outrageousness, the mock magic, the alligator and frog about to go into the cauldron on the cover, Sam's turban--in short, the whole packaging of the group. And, of course, we were drawn to the music. Years of listening has not diminished my delight in the songs, but in fact, intensified it. There is a very definite sound in each of them. There's enough diversity, honesty, and integrity in the music, not hinted at by the group's image, to keep it fresh more than 30 years after its release.

The quintessential American rock 'n' roll band of the 1960s, Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs hailed from Dallas, Texas, where Domingo "Sam" Samudio was born and raised. In the early '60s Sam was fronting an R&B group called the Pharaohs, playing the stuff of Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and Bobby Lewis. After Sam re-formed the group and relocated to Memphis, The Pharaohs released two records. The first, "Man Child," failed to reach the charts. The group's second release, a remake of the old Johnny Fuller single "Haunted House," stalled on its way to becoming a hit when it was covered by Jumpin' Gene Simmons. The Pharaohs' superior recording was later included on their first album, Wooly Bully.

In 1965 Sam The Sham And the Pharaohs landed a contract with MGM Records, home of such rock 'n' roll artists as Roy Orbison, The Animals, and Herman's Hermits. They released four LPs and charted a dozen singles, including their two biggest hits "Wooly Bully", and "Li'l Red Riding Hood." The driving organ and sax of the infectious "Wooly Bully" defined the group's sound for its first two albums. The Pharaohs on these two LPs consisted of Dave Martin on bass, Ray Stinnet on guitar, Jerry Patterson on drums and--the last to join the group--Butch Gibson on saxophone. The third LP On Tour ushered in a change of personnel as well as a change in the group's musical direction. Travelling through New York, Sam recruited a band called the Gypsies to be the new Pharaohs. This lineup consisted of such professionals as multi- instrumentalist Frank Carabetta, bassist Tony Gerace, drummer Billy Bennett, and guitarist Andrew Kouha. At this time record company pressures to produce another hit single led to a period in which the group softened its hard rocking sound in favor of a formula based on adaptations of nursery rhymes, cartoon characters, and other juvenile topics.

Personnel changes continued. Louis Vilardo of the original Gypsies replaced Billy Bennett on drums, and Ronnie "Spiderman" Jacobsen played bass. The group, now known as The Sam The Sham Revue, was augmented with a trio of backup singers, Fran Curcio, Loraine Genero, and Jane Anderson--known as The Shamettes. Sam released Ten of Pentacles under the name Sam The Sham in 1968, and in 1971, as Sam Samudio, he released the blues-oriented SAM/Hard and Heavy for which he won a Grammy award for Best Album Liner Notes. The early '80s found Sam's Spanish songs "No Quiero," and "Palomita" on the soundtrack that Ry Cooder produced for the film The Border.

In recent years Sam has been ministering to prisoners, interpreting Spanish for various agencies and singing gospel and Spanish music. He occasionally performs a few oldies with revival shows.

"Wooly Bully" is the first of eight Samudio-penned songs on this collection. The bilingual count-off, one of the most famous intros in all of rock & roll, was Sam's Tex-Mex "shuck 'n' jive" with fellow Pharaoh Dave Martin. Never intended to be part of the record, it was only at producer Stan Kesler's insistence and against Sam's wishes that it was retained. The song, which vied for top chart position with "Ticket To Ride," "Help Me Rhonda," and "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter," never cracked the top spot. It was enormously successful, however, and since then, its perennial popularity has been proved, with its inclusion in soundtracks of more than 40 movies and numerous commercials.

Sam's composition, "Ju Ju Hand," failed to rocket up the charts, but was still a respectable hit. It's an unusual song; nothing on the radio at the time had such bizarre lyrics about mojo, voodoo and alligator claws. Its arrangement, however,   is not unusual. It was another in the group's run of hits that closely mimicked its successful formula of punchy, short, upbeat songs. It also provided the anchor for their second album, variously called Ju Ju Hand, Their Second Album, or simply Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs. No matter what it is called, this album rocks! It was my introduction to the group's LPs and remains my favorite. Though the self-indulgent era of overblown concept albums was a couple years off, The Pharaohs came up with a lean, thematic album based on "mystery and magic with a beat." Drawing on a wide range of styles, it includes songs such as "Magic Touch," "Hoochie Cooche Man," "Witchcraft," and "Medicine Man." The poor fellow in this last song will try anything to hold on to his girl--hexes, voodoo, abracadabra, rattling bones! It's a kissing cousin to "Ju Ju Hand."

When The Pharaohs hit the charts in 1965, the 45-rpm single ruled the music scene. It was a time when bellbottoms, FM underground, and psychedelia were still coming attractions. The Pharaohs' albums tended to be coherent. Yet on their singles the group expanded their repertoire, recording songs that didn't fit neatly into the structure of the albums. This explains why ten of the two dozen songs on this disc were released only as singles, many of which are hard-to-find B-sides. And happen to be much of the group's best material.

"Don't Try It," another song written by Sam, propelled from the start by steady drums, abandons the prominent sax featured in the previous songs in favor of guitar. This is straightforward rock 'n' roll with a strong warning! The group's only instrumental, "Pharaoh A Go-Go", starts with a great burst of energy. Once Sam screams "Whoa! Somebody help me," this rave-up keeps building with excitement until the singer ends it in defeat. Essentially a reworking of "Wooly Bully" without lyrics, this number is the one Sam uses to introduce the band--Frank on sax, Todd on guitar and Willy on drums. "You can't lose with the stuff we use!" And that's the truth! Maintaining the intensity of "Pharaoh A-Go-Go," the terrific little B-side "A Long Long Way" smashes and bashes its essentially blues-like message of failed romance insistently for just under two minutes. It's a short short way from here to the late '70s punk sound.

A little less frenetic than "A Long Long Way," "Green'ich Grendel" still delivers the goods. It's upbeat, with the return of the signature sound of organ, sax and drums. Gone are the threats of "Don't Try It"--there's no failed love affair here. Grendel is a strong, intellectual, rock 'n' rolling "chick" who digs poetry, philosophy, and wears shades. Sam proudly claims her as his baby.

Whereas Barrett Strong and the Beatles say "money, that's what I want," The Pharaohs have loftier aims. What do they crave? A "Ring Dang Doo!" If you find yourself wondering what this might be, you're in good company. Sam himself didn't know where it was, what it was, or what it could do, but he knew he needed to find it. His worldwide quest for the elusive Ring Dang Doo began three years before the Moodys began their famous search for the equally mysterious Lost Chord. Like any worthwhile pursuit, this quest takes a long time. When I saw Sam perform this rocker in the mid-'90s he was in great form, though just as bewildered about what he was searching for as he was when he and the Pharaohs sang this song on the television music series Hollywood A Go Go in 1965.

One of the most requested songs at the Sam The Sham Website, "I Couldn't Spell !!*#@!," demonstrates Sam singing his most vindictive blues. There's disenchantment in love, there's heartbreak, there's remorse--and there's vengeance! I can't think of another song that so cinematically and hysterically portrays the mechanics of getting even. As Peter Zaremba notes in the accompanying essay, the Pharaohs were viewed as unhip or passé by 1967. But the continuing interest in this song proves that they made music that holds up better than a lot of what was produced during the Summer of Love.

"Oh That's Good, No That's Bad" answers the musical question "Is the glass half-full or half-empty?" In another of his many humorous narrative tunes like "I Couldn't Spell !!*#@!," "Li'l Red," and "The Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin," Sam tells about a most unfortunate roller-coaster chain of events sparked by a car accident. With the help of the Shamettes on the most recent recording in this collection, Sam sings a lyric that repeatedly circles back on itself until it finally ends with Sam beside himself in despair.

Sam scored another giant hit in the summer of 1966. "Li'l Red Riding Hood" was the first of several fairy tale-inspired songs recorded by the second group of hit-making Pharaohs. "Li'l Red" plays on the tension of innocence and licentiousness. Sam's sly delivery, although it seems virtuous on the surface, is cleverly masked lechery. Throughout his entire career, Sam has been a master of yelping, screaming, hooting, whooping, and other expressive sounds. His wolf-howl introduction on this track provides an instant hook into the song, much as the bi-lingual count-off of "Wooly Bully" did a year earlier.

"The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin," which is clearly an attempt to cash in on the success of "Li'l Red Riding Hood," is a giant step down from its predecessor in cleverness and originality. In this outing, there is no tension lurking under the guise of innocence, and the use of fairy tales is rendered merely juvenile.

A thread running constantly throughout the work of the Pharaohs and in Sam's later solo songs is that of the integrity of the underdog. In an adaptation of a popular nursery rhyme, the dignity of the layabout "Black Sheep" is shown in sharp contrast to his privileged, though selfish, white counterpart. Beginning with a simple folk arrangement appropriate to its message, drums soon provide a backbeat that transforms the song into a rocker.

A whopping nine tracks from Sam's albums include names of animal in their titles, and in several others, they appear as subjects. One of the best of these is the funky "Monkey See Monkey Do." Most of the pop groups of the period aspired to appear in the movies and it seems as if they all tried to appear in the 1965 Connie Francis and Harve Presnell film When The Boys Meet The Girls. The Pharaohs' song is the highlight among musical numbers by Herman's Hermits, Liberace, Louis Armstrong, and Ms. Francis herself. An astonishing mix of talent!

A primer on the fundamental adolescent male question "How Do You Catch A Girl?" finds the group forsaking its characteristic sax-based sound for guitars, drums and tambourine over Sam's simple but effective organ. Hitting the charts in early 1967, the record was the group's final Top 40 success.

The Pharaohs' fourth M-G-M single, "Red Hot," borrowed heavily from the sound of the first three. Perhaps the record-buying public was tired of the familiar sound because the song barely cracked the Top 100 before it quickly disappeared. After the failure of this "red hot" record, the group changed direction and delivered "Li'l Red Riding Hood."

"Sorry 'Bout That" from the Wooly Bully album tells a classic tale of failed romance: she's left him, wants him back and, well … sorry 'bout that! It is a prime example of the Pharaohs' "Memphis Sound" with its insistent sax and organ. Though the group's early hits closely followed the formula laid out by "Wooly Bully," its first album showed a wider range of musical expression rooted in blues and included such classics as "Every Woman I Know (Crazy 'Bout An Automobile)," "Gangster of Love" and a great remake of the Falcons' "I Found A Love."

"Let Our Love Light Shine" is a rocking blues tune that appeared as the B-side of a weird psychedelic-tinged remake of the Coasters' "Yakety Yak". The A-side proved that Sam was no competition for those in the burgeoning San Francisco scene, whereas "Love Light" shows him at home with his "roots" music.

Another 45 rpm B-side, the strongly blues- and gospel- flavored "I Never Had No One" reveals Sam at his soulful best. Underrepresented on the group's albums, this genre was one Sam always handled well. In the 1990s he really connected with it when he began singing his convictions in his religious effort, Won't Be Long.

"Big Blue Diamonds" from the On Tour album is a tender, tragic ballad of lost love, of the coldness of the beautiful stones once the warmth of love is gone. A classic 1950s sound made fresh in the mid-60s.

A song like "(I'm In With) The Out Crowd" is a natural coming from the pen of a man who himself was something of an outsider. Way ahead of acceptable fashion, he wore an earring in 1960, when, as Sam has said, "earrings were hard to wear." Strip away the trappings of conformity and you find the real value of a person. The same theme appears in "Monkey See, Monkey Do," and "Black Sheep."

With the help of the background vocals of The Shamettes, Sam's composition "Take What You Can Get" is a driving song, its message reminiscent of "Sorry 'Bout That." It includes a great sax solo over which is some of the superb spoken monologue that Sam regularly included in his records.

Cowritten by band members Frank Carabetta and Anthony Gerace, "Money's My Problem" jumps out of the gate with a wailing sax, a mighty yell, and a sound remarkably like "Wooly Bully's." Although it's been said that the best things in life are free, it seems that the lack of money is the source of most of this singer's problems.

"Banned in Boston" is a strong closing to this collection. It incorporates most of the elements characteristic of all his '60s music while it also points the way to Sam's future solo work. Whether he's hopping in his hearse in "Take What You Can Get" or getting up on "this doctored-up thunder chicken" as he does in this song, it's clear that Sam is a restless spirit. He's "weird and bearded, wild and wooly" and ready to party.

With the exception of the 12-track Best of Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs, most of the group's music has been out of print for decades. In the 1990s, the only way to hear what they recorded was to scour second-hand record stores for their rare original LPs or to get a copy of the highly enjoyable 1994 tribute album Turban Renewal. The present compilation goes a long way toward rectifying this woeful situation. In one of his songs Sam claims "my day is gonna come." Welcome back, Sam! Your day has come. There's magic in the music in this collection--just throw this great CD in your player, hit the "repeat" button, crank up the volume and let the mojo begin!

Bob Kruse
Boston, November 1997

*******************************************

Original Liner Notes

UNO, DOS...one, two, tres, quatro!": and a wild insistent sound was sprung upon the world of 1965.

Wild? or Innately scientific? I spent months trying to take apart the Pharaohs' brand of "Memphis' Beat. Half a dozen super-lame versions of "Wooly Bully," by artists who it would seem should to the fact that when it comes of machine-groove, single-minded obsessive rhythm THIS WAS NO SHAM. Variously attributing this moniker to: his Inability to play more than five chords on the organ (1); his stage clowning; or the bizarre premise of he and his down-home Pharaohs ("hey, these guys ain't real Arabs!"), Sam was actually Domingo Samudio of Dallas, Texas, which hints a bit closer to the origin of the "Pharaohs' famous "Memphis Beat."

"Wooly Bully" was only the beginning. It was - and is - unstoppable. Snidely rumoured among classmates to be obscene, It sold over three million copies, despite attempts at suppression (you might as well try to suppress dancing or make-out parties). A whirlwind of outrageous telethon appearances and criss-crossing the country in a hearse (one of the boys had been an undertaker) followed. AND in dynamite follow-up hits, a none too-subtle pattern emerged. Sam, relentlessly" organ-izing" on the eighth notes, Ray Stinet's slashing guitar on the "2 and 4," and a bass line, no, not a line- a "system" borrowed by David Martin from a little further south than Memphis or even New Orleans. Jerry Paterson bopping away on drums with the precise restraint of a military madman and then ... THOSE BUTCH GIBSON SAX SOLOS! THEY DRIVE ME WILD ... hadn't we heard that one before? WHO CARES?[ As colleague B. Spate said "Wow- this stuff is great, it all sounds the same!!" Maybe some people were less impressed and we all spent the late '60s and early '70s paying for their pretenses. A lot of guys thought rock 'n' roll wasn't serious enough that it needed to grow up and be progressive, fuse incompetent jazz and classical elements (the now discredited "best of both worlds theory") and generally be an outlet for their boring "creativity." WELL TAKE THAT! ("Ju Ju Hand") AND THAT! ("Pharaoh A Go-Go") SIC 'EM Pharaohs! Sam may not have had lyrics designed for college campus contemplation In mind when he penned "Ring Dang Doo" but he sure pushed the right crazy button In my brain, even tho' he not only didn't know "where Is it?" but even "what Is It?"

What It is might have been "Lil' Red Riding Hood," a more relaxed novelty number that featured Mr. Samudio at his most suggestive Localizing best. It became his biggest hit ever, hitting #2 nationwide in just one 1966 week As good as the "Hood" was, its success seemed to trap Sam into the less exuberant nursery rhyme downward spiral. Admittedly, although "Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin" WAS a notch down, its coolness was much enhanced by its B-side " (I'm In With) The Out Crowd." This novelty come-back to the Dobie Grey smash hit is the Pharaoh's most touching cut, featuring a beautiful sax solo and a heart-rendering fade, even If there was a bit more truth in the title than might have been intended.

The Pharaohs already seemed a thing of the past by the time "Oh That's Good, No That's Bad" managed to reach #54 in 1967. Itwould be the last time I'd hear them in the hit-parade. This stuff just wouldn't sit right in the coming age of "awareness," twenty minute guitar and Mahavishnu Orchestras (but these and other national illnesses of the time have been better indicted I Sam was a rather soulful singer desirous of a more fulfilling direction. By the end of the Summer of Love the After several less successful solo LPs, Sam, like so many people who gave so much happiness, fell on hard times (see his Grammy winning liner notes to the LP, "Sam Hard and Heavy") - even losing the right to his famous stage name. Domingo Samudio went back to the music of his roots and can be heard rocking away in the motion picture "The Border" starring Jack Nicholson (1981). The last I heard he was ferrying oilmen In his boat to the offshore rigs in South Louisiana.

Vaya con Dios, friend. I owe a debt to you - as we all do. You were one of the lingering, flickering lights that led us back out of the wilderness of the '70s. And I still go to bed wishing I had written a song one-tenth as good as "Don't Try It" But wait a minute - this Is a record, not a history lesson. it's not even just a great piece of vinyl - It's a sure-fire PARTY-STARTER and regulation Issue for your next bash. So again, in the words of B. Spaeth "Commence Pharaoh-ization IMMEDIATELY!"

Peter Zaremba, New York 1985

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The Best of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs

(CD) 1998 Spectrum Music (U.K.) 554 701-2
Wooly Bully (Samudio)
Ju Ju Hand (Samudio)
Ring Dang Doo (Byers-Tubert)
Red Hot (Emerson)
Li'l Red Riding Hood (Blackwell)
The Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin (Ronald Blackwell)
How Do You Catch A Girl (R. Blackwell)
Oh That's Good, No That's Bad (R. Blackwell)
Struttin' (D. Samudio)
I'm Not A Lover Anymore (D. Folger)
Leave My Kitten Alone (T. Turner)
Wanted Dead Or Alive (D. Blackwell)
You Can't Turn Me Off (Addington/Davidson/Fitzgerald)
The Cockfight (M. Kelton/F. Blalock)
Let It Eat (P. Craft)
Big City Lights (Kesler-Davidson)
Groovin' (F. Cavalleri)

Liner Notes:

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs are best known for their timeless Wooly Bully--which is one of the all-time great party records. However, they were far from one-hit wonders as this collection of their biggest sellers shows.

Domingo 'Sam' Samudio was born in Dallas, Texas in 1940. In 1962, with four years in the US Navy behind him, the bearded, earring wearing organist relocated to Memphis and soon formed his first line-up of Pharaohs: bass player David Martin, guitarist Ray Stinnet, drummer Jerry Paterson and saxophonist Butch Gibson.

The group had releases on a couple of minor labels and looked set to hit with a lively revival of Johnny Fuller's Haunted House, wehn a cover version by Gene Simmons overtook them and went into the US Top 20. Thanks to a combination of their music, wild act and eye-catching pseudo-Arabic stage gear, The Pharaohs soon made a name for themselves in Memphis. Nationwide success followed when the boundary breaking Wooly Bully was picked up from the small XL label by mighty MGM. This left-field song, about a bearded bovine, was released at a time when British bands seemed to monopolise the world's airwaves. Nonetheless, it sold over three million copies around the globe. It was America's biggest hit of the year, and one of the best selling US singles of 1965 in both Britain and Germany.

The turban-clad crew's follow up, Ju Ju Hand, was a slice of vocal voodoo which lyrically owed something to Screamin' Jay Hawkins. The swivel-hipped, sultan-like Samudio's mojo was definitely working again, as this track also hit in many parts of the world.

What exactly Ring Dang Doo means was never made clear, but that didn't stop it following the Memphis Beat band's previous singles into the US Top 40, and their stomping revival of rockabilly favourite Red Hot also sold well for them.

When sales began slipping, Sam decided to ring the changes and brought in a new line-up of Pharaohs: Frank Carabetta, Tony Gerace (later replaced by Ronnie Jacobsen), Billy Bennett (later replaced by Louis Vilardo) and Andrew Kouha. This team released the semi-suggestive Ronald Blackwell-penned novelty Lil' Red Ring Hood in 1966. It gave them their second US No. 2, returned them to the UK chart and earned them another gold disc. The song even inspired an answer record, Hey, There Big Bad World [sic], which was recorded by Sam's backing vocalists, The Shamettes.

This hit started another run of US successes for the bizarre band who travelled to gigs in a shiny black hearse. The similar fairy-tale based The Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin was followed into the Top 40 by yet another Blackwell opus, How Do You Catch A Girl, and their next two releases, the humorous Oh That's Good, No That's Bad and (another wooly waxing) Black Sheep completed their tally of American chart busters.

All of the above hits re included on this great value CD alongside the best tracks from the colourful combo's much sought after album, The Sam the Sham Revue.

Incidentally, Sam went solo in the 1970s and oddly earned his only Grammy Award for writing the sleeve notes for his album Sam, Hard & Heavy in 1971!

That's enough about the history of The Pharaohs--it's party time, so let's go. Uno, dos ... one, two tres, quatro ...

Dave McAleer, Encyclopaedia of Hits -- The 1960's

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Ballads & Troubadours - Sam The Sham Zamudio

(CD) 2000 Loosahatchie Music LM1204-2
If You Leave (D. Samudio) (3:59)
Mourning Dove (D. Samudio) (4:09)
Te Quiero (I Love You) (D. Samudio) (3:29)
Games (D. Samudio) (3:18)
Linda (D. Samudio) (3:22)
The Wedding (D. Samudio) (4:32)
Last Night I Dreamed (J. Gribble) (4:10)
Oh Love (I Heard Your Song) (D. Samudio) (4:23)
Feel It Coming On (D. Samudio) (5:06)
Sail Away (D. Samudio) (3:13)
Baila (D. Samudio) (3:56)
Odie Octopus (D. Samudio) (2:30)

Credits:

Produced by Sam Samudio
Recorded at Samara, Memphis, TN except "Baila" and "Odie Octopus", recorded at Outback Studio, Memphis, TN.
Art Direction by Sam Samudio
Design by Jeff Kratschmer

Personnel:

Tony Thomas, piano, strings, bass
Dimitrius Samudio, bass
Dave Coursar, guitar, acoustic guitar, ukelele
Rick Steff, piano, accordian, bass
Jim Spake, sax
Gene Nunez, guitar
Danny Jones, drum, background vocals
Karen Sanders, background vocals
Fran Gramitico, background vocals
Lily Afshar, classical guitar
Richard Ford, steel guitar
Brisa Samudio, background vocals
Reed McCoy, trumpet
Jack Hale, trombone




The Complete Wooly Bully Years 1963-1968

(CD) 2004 Golden Lion

Includes six albums on three CDs plus bonus recordings, including non-LP singles.

Wooly Bully
The Memphis Beat
I Found Love
Go-Go Girls
Every Woman I Know
Haunted House
Juimonos
Shotgun
Sorry 'bout That
Gangster Of Love
Mary Lee
Long Tall Sally
Ju Ju Hand
Magic Touch
'Cause I Love You
Medicine Man
That Old Black Magic
I've Got A Voo Doo Doll
Got My Mojo Working
The Gypsy
Witchcraft
Love Potion #9
Magic Man
Hoochie Cooche Man
Ain't Gonna Move
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Betty And Dupree
Man Child
How Does A Cheating Woman Feel
The Signifying Monkey
Red Hot
Big Blue Diamonds
Over You
Big City Lights
Like You Used To
Please Accept My Love
Ring Dang Doo
Save The Last Dance For Me
Let's Talk It Over
Mystery Train
Can't Make Enough
Uncle Willie
Li'l Red Riding Hood
Hanky Panky
Deputy Dog
Green'ich Grendel
Mary Is My Little Lamb
Sweet Talk
El Toro De Goro
The Phantom
Little Miss Muffet
Paraoh-A-Go Go
Ring Them Bells
Grasshopper
The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin
(I'm In With) The Out Crowd
Standing Ovation
Ready Or Not
Don't Try It
A Long, Long Way
How Do You Catch A Girl
The Love You Left Behind
Wooly Bully
Black Sheep
Struttin'
I'm Not A Lover Anymore
Leave My Kitten Alone
Wanted Dead Or Alive
You Can't Turn Me Off
My Day's Gonna Come
The Cockfight
Let It Eat
Love Me Like Before
Groovin'
Old MacDonald Had A Boogaloo Farm
Stand By Me
The Down Home Strut
I Passed It By
It's Strange
Stagger Lee
Despair
If You Try To Take My Baby
Yakety Yak
Poison Ivy
A Little Bitty Thing Called Love
I Wish It Were Me
Oh That's Good, No That's Bad
Take What You Can Get
Banned In Boston
Money's My Problem
Let Our Love Light Shine
I Never Had No One




The Fredonia Collection

(mp3) 2011) (direct download from samthesham.com)

The River Song
Oh Lo
Wanda
Try
Open Doors
Stewardess
Oil Patch Song
Ladies Of The Night
Play Me A Waltz
Don't You Know
You Got It
Gavilan




The Blues Collection

(mp3) 2011? (direct download from samthesham.com)

Oh Lord Our Leader
The Dancer   
Don't Speak Of Love
No Stranger
Tried Love
Feel It Comin' On
The Dancer Instrumental
Blues Singer
The Road I Chose




Mirame (Look At Me)
(mp3 single) 2011? (direct download from samthesham.com)


Mirame
Mirame (instrumental)  


 

The MGM Singles

(CD) 2011 (22 March) Sundazed SC 11219
(2 LP) 2011 (22 March) Sundazed LP 533

Includes all the MGM singles, both A & B sides. The double LP includes four bonus tracks (indicated by *) by The Sham-ettes.

For more information visit the Sundazed website.

Wooly Bully
Ain’t Gonna Move
Ju Ju Hand
Big City Lights
Ring Dang Doo
Don’t Try It
Red Hot
A Long Long Way
Li’l Red Riding Hood
Love Me Like Before
The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin
(I’m In With) The Out Crowd
(Hey There) Big Bad Wolf (The Sham-ettes)*
I’d Rather Have You (The Sham-ettes)*
How Do You Catch A Girl
The Love You Left Behind
Oh That’s Good, No That’s Bad
Take What You Can Get
Black Sheep
My Day’s Gonna Come
You’re Welcome Back (The Sham-ettes)*
He’ll Come Back (The Sham-ettes)*
Banned In Boston
Money’s My Problem
Yakety Yak (The Sam the Sham Revue)
Let Our Love Light Shine (The Sam the Sham Revue)
Old MacDonald Had A Boogaloo Farm
I Never Had No One
I Couldn’t Spell !!*@!
The Down Home Strut
Fate (Sam the Sham)
Oh Lo (Sam the Sham)


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