Friday, April 11, 2008

Sam the Sham in the Parking Lot

On a hot summer evening in 1966, I met Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs in a K-Mart parking lot in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Okay, I did not actually meet the novelty tune recording artist. My fiance', now husband of 41 years, and I were making a quick stop at the shopping center when we spied a large white tent in the parking lot. Inside the tent, we were surprised to find the performer and musical sensation of the 1965 hit single, Wooly Bully. Even in those days, a free performance in front of a discount store seemed like a strange venue for popular musician. Yet there in the tent, Domingo Samudio, with the stage name Sam the Sham performed with a back-up group called the Pharoahs. The audience of no more than 20 was enthusiastic and grateful for the free concert.

Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw. Had two
big horns and a wooly jaw. Wooly bully, wooly bully. Wooly bully, wooly bully,
wooly bully. Hatty told Matty, "Let's don't take no chance. Let's not be
L-seven, come and learn to dance." Wooly bully, wooly bully Wooly bully, wooly
bully, wooly bully. Matty told Hatty, "That's the thing to do. Get you someone
really to pull the wool with you." Wooly bully, wooly bully. Wooly bully, wooly
bully, wooly bully.

Wooly Bully is reportedly about just that a woolly bull or an American bison. The whimsical tune was featured in a number of movies including Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Full Metal Jacket, Scrooged, Happy Gilmore, Splash, and The Chipmunk Adventure, in which it is performed by the Chipmunks . Lil' Red Riding Hood was another big hit for the group.

Today, Sam the Sham, writes poetry and music. Additionally, Sam the Sham, Domingo Samudio, makes occasional live performances and works as a motivational speaker. I am pleased to hear that Sam is still performing. If I ever meet Sam in person, I will thank him for the free summer evening concert so many years ago.


daddy d said...

That was great fun for free. It was just being at the right place at the right time with the right people. Sometimes one get to have that happen.

Willowtree said...

You know, I never realised that Wooly Bully was by Sam the Sham! They weren't really biug over here, and their only hit was L'il Red Riding Hood.

It's funny to see someone with a beard, there weren't too many in pop music back then.

Anonymous said...

That sure doesn't happen much these days. What a memory for you and Daddy D. I remember hearing the Cryin Shames in the high school gym. Remember sock hops?

Margaret said...

I love these kind of memories--of being somewhere where something unusual and amazing happens.

Pamela said...

That is wild Molly! Makes one wonder if there was a mistake... or if the plans had somehow been skewed.

was the tent big enough for more people?

I've never thought about the lyrics before - but often sang Wooly Bully over and over to my babies.

Jan said...

Yeah, the '60's, baby. Great post and fun memories.

Anonymous said...

I love it! Tell us more. debi

Betty said...

Boy, does this post bring back memories. I love Wooly Bully and listened and danced to it a lot back in the day. I never knew what it was really about but just thought it was a cool song. How wonderful it is that Sam the Sham is writing poetry and music.