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.