From the Vault...


Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs
"The Complete Wolly Bully Years"

© Golden Lion Records
Year of Release: 1993

track listing
Disc One:
  • 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 Coochie Man
  • Ain't Gonna Move
  • Monkey See Monkey Do
  • Betty And Dupree
  • Man Child
  • How Does A
    Woman Feel
  • The Signifying Monkey
    Disc Two:
  • 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
  • Pharaoh-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
  • Te Love You Left Behind
  • Wooly Bully
    Disc Three:
  • 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
    Booglaoo Farm
  • Stand By Me
  • The Down Home Strut
  • I Passed It By
  • It's So 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
  • I Can't Spell !!@!

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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    Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs
    "The Complete Wolly Bully Years"

    "Wooly Bully," "Li'l Red Riding Hood," "Ju Ju Hand" -- just a few of the well-remembered songs by Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs. The band emerged from the 1960s, with rock and roll and more specifically, Tex-Mex music. My fondest memories of Sam is having their second album on vinyl - Their Second Album. I always thought it was entitled Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs because, like many vinyl albums I received from my older brothers, it was just the vinyl record, and NO album cover. As I remembered, I played the heck out of that album, as I always wanted to find this album on CD. Many maybe familiar with the compilation Pharaohization!, but this compilation is just a basic set of their music.

    Golden Lion Records released the complete works of Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs, primarily their original recordings from 1963 to 1968, on MGM Records. Eight albums (and bonus material) are here, on 3 CDs. Amazing! Their original recordings, their original albums, all on one huge set. With their second album and its full contents in my memory bank, I was ready to relive this album again, as well as other tracks they recorded. I had the 45 "Ju Ju Hand" while growing up, and it's B-side was a great rocker, "Ain't Gonna Move." "Ju Ju Hand" was one of the songs on the second album, but the flip side was not. (Most B-sides back in the day were non-album tracks.) It was great to find that "Ain't Gonna Move" is part of this set. (As it turned out, "Ain't Gonna Move" was never released on an original Sam The Sham album.)

    Disc One - First album: "Wooly Bully" (1965) -- First track would be their signature song, and title track. "The Memphis Beat" has the early Chuck Berry style. "I Found Love" has a more 1960s R&B sound. Bo Diddley comes to mind on "Go-Go Girls." Rock & Roll is "Every Woman I Know." "Haunted House" would be a Halloween favorite, and recorded by many future artists, including Country's John Anderson. "Juimonos"L has a Jamaican/Tropical feel. "Shotgun" was made famous by the Motown act Jr. Walker & The All-Stars. Sam's version is just as good, although Walker's still remains the best. "Sorry 'Bout That" has the "Wooly Bully" feel. (This was done alot back in the day; a hit song, sounding alike like other songs.) The remaining tracks from the first album has a comparison to another 1960s band that was also on the MGM label, Eric Burdon & The Animals. (Another personal favorite 1960s band of mine, next to The Beatles.) "Gangster Of Love" has the early-Animals sound, likewise the rocking "Mary Lee." Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally" may not as be as good as it's original, but give Sam The Sham credit on this one.

    Here we go, let the memories kick in -- 2nd album: "Their Second Album" -- The album starts with what would be another hit for Sam -- "Ju Ju Hand," with that "pumping rock" sound, as in "Wooly Bully" -- GREAT TUNE! (The "pumping rock" sound, specifically with the organ instrument, would later be used in what would be called "Tex-Mex" music. (For a great introduction to Tex-Mex, The Texas Tornadoes is one to enjoy.) "The Magic Touch" was recorded by The Platters, and having an almost slow-styled Tex-Mex feel, Sam does a great version here. I do recall the memory on "'Cause I Love You" from having Their Second Album on vinyl, as the rest of the (2nd) album is just outstanding. The "pumping rock" on "Medicine Man" (highly recommended), "I've Got A Voo Doo Doll," "Magic Man." The 1940s classic "That Old Black Magic" (Glenn Miller, and would be covered by many Jazz artists) has an upbeat rock update. The Ink Spots' "The Gypsy" was another track I definitely remember, and another that was played heavily. Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Working" was another one that I played regularly. The Animals come to mind on "Witchcraft," as it is "basic Rock & Roll" at its fines. Another song that many would cover is "Love Potion #9" (The Clovers, The Searchers, to name a few). Another good cover version is here, and another Muddy Waters classic, "Hoochie Coochie Man."

    Now for the "Rare" tracks: The B-side to "Ju Ju Hand" -- a favorite of mine, and a non-album track -- "Ain't Gonna Move." Another good rocker, "Monkey See Monkey Do," the Blues fit on "Betty And Dupree," and more blues (compared to The Animals) -- "Man Child." "How Does A Cheating Woman Feel" is obvious a non-album track, with its title, and slow blues. Upbeat Rock finds "The Significant Monkey."

    Disc Two - The second disc begins with their third album, from 1966: "On Tour." (These songs are studio recordings, where the title "On Tour" you would think it's a live album.) Lots of "pumping rock'er"s on this one: "Red Hot," "Over You," "Ring Dang Doo" (a song compared to the style of "Wooly Bully.") This song was another hit for Sam, although I didn't remember this one. speaking of "Wooly Bully," "Uncle Willie" is a good rock & roll tune, as it is compared to "Wully Bully" again, but slower-paced. "Let's Talk It Over" is good also. For the Blues fans, "Big Blue Diamonds" is upbeat, The Animals blues/rock on "Can't Make Enough." A very impressive R&B styled song is "Big City Lights," as a future Blues artist, James Hunter, would have easily covered this one. "Please Accept My Love" is a nice, slow tune. My question on "Like You Used To" -- did Sam sing on this one? Which leaves left, two cover tunes: The Drifters' "Save The Last Dance For Me" (good one), and "Mystery Train" -- different than the one we're used to hearing by Elvis and others, and it has the vocal style of Eric Burdon (The Animals).

    Their fourth album was released in 1966, "Li'l Red Riding Hood." It opens with the title track, which was a huge hit. Their version of Tommy James & The Shondells' "Hanky Panky" is a good remake, with its "pumping rock" sound. "Deputy Dog" is more R&B, The "pumping rock" comes back with "Green'ich Grendel." Most of the songs by Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs were now becoming "novelty songs" (as Li'L Red Riding Hood) -- "Mary Is A Little Lamb" is the same melody as the classic kids tune, yet with different lyrics. "Sweet Talk" -- good rock song. An almost Spanish sounding Tex-Mex (as in the Texas Tornadoes) on "El Toro De Goro," and with novelty lyrics. The novelty "The Phamtom" could easily be a Halloween favorite. "Little Miss Muffet" changes the pace a bit, with its somewhat moody style. "Pharaoh-A-Go Go" combines "Wooly Bully" and a little of The Surfaris' "Wipe Out." "Ring Those Bells" is another good song, and the upbeat "Grasshopper" can be another novelty track.

    More Rare tracks: Another hit for the band was "The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin," the "Li'l Red Riding Hood" sequel, which was a non-album track. "(I'm In With) The Out Crowd" -- Was this the answer to Ramsey Lewis' "In Crowd" song?

    Two songs from 1967's The Best Of, and would only be available on this LP: The 1960s Rock "Standing OVation" and a song that would be better remembered as a different title: "Ready Or Not" is the name of the song, but it is really "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie," a song that would be famous by Jay & The Techniques.

    Back to Rare non-album tracks: "Don't Try It," "How Do You Catch A Girl," "The Love You Left Behind" all have the basic 1960s Rock sound. "A Long Long Way" has more of the sound/style of their famous hit, "Wooly Bully." The last track on disc two is "Wooly Bully," but after listening to it, it seems to be the identical version as heard on disc one.

    Disc Three begins with the band's next album from 1967, Nefertiti, retitled as The Sam The Sham Revue. This album seemed to be very different in sound for the band, from their previous releases. Take the first track from the album, "Black Sheep" -- very different sound, in fact it has more Bob Dylan flavor. None of the songs on this album have the "pumping rock" style, as this album basically sounds like your average 1960s Rock. This style can be said for the songs "Struttin'," "My Day's Gonna Come," "Let It Eat," and "Love Me Like Before." "I'm Not A Lover Anymore" is unusual -- it starts out as a fight song, then turns into a kinda humble sad sounding song, (must be the song's title). Novelty tracks: "Wanted Dead Or Alive," "You Can't Turn Me Off" sounds more like an off-Country novelty tune, and the much spoken words in "The Cockfight" sounds more Outlaw-ish to fit the Country style. Two remakes to point out: The Rascals' "Groovin'" and "Leave My Kitten Alone" is a very well-done remake, which The Beatles covered in their early years, which would be an unreleased track to resurface decades later after the Fab Four hit it big.

    What would be Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs' last studio album, The Ten Of Pentacles was released in 1968. It pretty much continues the sounds from the previous release. The 1960s Rock continues with tracks such as "The Down Home Strut," "I Passed It By," "It's So Strange." Soulful sounds are heard on this album, such as "Old MacDonald Had A Boogaloo Farm," the Van Morrison-ish "Despair," and remakes by R&B artists Ben E. King ("Stand By Me"), Lloyd Price ("Stagger Lee"), and two remakes from the Coasters: "Yakety Yak" and "POison Ivy." However, the old Sam The Sham sound is back(!) with "If You Try To Take My Baby" and "A Little Bitty Thing Called Love."

    The last of the Rare recordings, and one from 1967's Best Of: 1960s Rock has "I Wish It Were Me," from The Best Of. The remaining finds a little of everything: The 1960s Rock: "Take What You Can Get," "Banned In Boston," "Let Our Love Light Shine." The "Wooly Bully pumping rock": "Money's My Problem." The Blues: "I Never Had No One." and the Novelties: "Oh That's Good No That's Bad" and (the really funny one) "I Can't Spell !!@!"

    Sam The Sham's real name is Domingo Zamudio. His earliest interest in music was in second grade. Later on, he would form a group with friends, one of them was Trini Lopez. He joined the Navy after high school. He formed the Pharaohs in 1961, taking the name from the costumes in the 1966 Yul Brynner film The Ten Commandments. He took the name Sam The Sham as a joke about his inability as a vocalist. After recording an album in 1961 that did not sell, they disbanded. After one of the former Pharaohs members was playing in 1963, their organist had quit, in which Sam took his place. It was then that Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs re-emerged, and became popular. They released four albums and a Best Of from 1966 to 1968. By 1967, they added female singers (The Shammetts) and changed their name to the Sam The Sham Revue, due to the six-day war between Israel and Egypt. In 1970, Sam went solo, and released Sam, Hard and Heavy on Atlantic Records. It won a Grammy award for Best Album Notes in 1972. Duane Allman played guitar, and also included the Dixie Flyers and the Memphis Horns. He formed a new band in 1974. In the late 1970s he worked with saxophonist Joe Sunseri and his band. The early 1980s Sam worked with such artists as Ry Cooder and Freddy Fender on the soundtrack of Jack Nicholson's The Border. He was married in 1959, and divorced in 1968. From this marriage, he had one son, Dimitrius Zamudio, born in 1963. Nowadays, Sam is a motivational speaker and poet, and makes occasional concert appearances.

    What's amazing to find, it that there is NOT a main website for Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs. Their information is on Wikipedia, and Their videos can be found on YouTube. There are many Best Ofs and Greatest Hit compilations, of which Pharaonization! is one of them. All the songs from this particular set is on The Complete Wooly Bully Years. The treat for me in having this complete set, is re-enjoying Their Second Album, an album I truly enjoyed having on vinyl while growing up.

    In looking for Sam's Grammy album Hard And Heavy, it is now available on CD, from the label who reissued it,

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Golden Lion Records and is used for reference purposes only.

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