Sam the Sham

Wooly Bully charted at Number Two and sold three million copies in 1965, making Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs almost as popular as The Beatles. The song featured the driving organ and vocals of Domingo “Sam” Samudio.

Sam’s musical career started when he played guitar in a band that included another Tejano rock star, Trini López. In 1961 he formed The Pharaohs which included Carl Medke, Russell Fowler, Omar López and Vincent López. They made a record in 1962 but it didn’t do well, and shortly thereafter disbanded.

A year later Sam got a call from former band member, Vincent López, to join him in The Nightriders who were the house band at the Congo Club in Louisiana. Sam went to play organ for them; an instrument he barely knew how to play, but made a name for himself as a singer.

Later that year, they got a gig as the house band at The Diplomat in Memphis. Shortly after, Andy and Vincent left the band. Sam got replacements and changed the name to The Pharaohs. After their success with Wooly Bully they had another hit in1966 with Lil’ Red Ridin’ Hood, which peaked at Number Two on Hot 100 charts.

Sam the Sham
Pharaohization! Album
Sam the Sham Fillmore Poster