Every once in a while, there is a band that comes along that is well-known for their one signature hit. Whenever someone thinks of that band, they always gravitate to that hit. However, in some regards that is unfair, because these bands often have many other musical contributions besides just that one hit. Take the 60’s rock sensation Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. Characterized by the lead vocalist’s trademark turban, they made a huge splash in the 1960s. Lead singer Domingo Samudio continued to make occasional appearances well into the 2000s. Here are some of their most popular songs that did well during their 1960s run.
# 10 – Old MacDonald Had A Boogaloo Farm
At first glance, this song would appear to be just a play on words based on the old nursery rhyme “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” However, it is so much more than that. First of all, this song starts off with the fairy tale lyrics of “Once upon a time”, and then it discusses a “boogaloo farmer.” Thus, you immediately know that the song is going to be a different tale than the nursery rhyme and not just a parody. Moreover, this song is actually about a farmer who is teaching his animals about how to do a specific dance. Additionally, in this day and age, this song seems to evoke images of drug use, but that isn’t the case either. All in all, this is a very underrated Sam the Sham song and unfortunately did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
# 9 – Red Hot
“Red Hot” was a song that touched on how attracted the character in the song was to his woman. Their lyrics “My gal is red hot, your gal ain’t diddly squat” are encompassed all over the piece. Either way, this lesser-known Sam the Sham song makes a statement about the band, simply because it was one of those songs that helped to establish them as a popular novelty band. The song did chart; however, it only peaked at #82 on the Billboard Hot 100.
# 8 – Black Sheep
This song is yet another play on words for this band. They started out the lyrics not with “Black sheep, black sheep, have you any wool?” but instead with, “Black Sheep lays around drinking wine all day.” The song concludes with, “Black sheep died a wealthy man, with five gold watches, six gold rings…” Although the song is a somewhat humorous play on words, it does evoke an image of someone who is wealthy, but older and very lonely. This offering peaked at #68.
# 7 – Oh That’s Good, No That’s Bad
“Oh That’s Good, No That’s Bad” was a song that was a modest success for Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, peaking at number fifty four on the Billbvoard hot 100. The song portrays an individual who goes through a series of both good and bad misfortunes. First of all, he is hit by a car; then, he becomes an actor on a television series; but then he breaks his leg from riding a horse. Some find these rather confusing, to say the least.
# 6 – Ring Dang Doo
“Ring Dang Doo” was another modest hit for this band, peaking at number thirty two on the list in late 1965. The song details an individual who doesn’t care about material wealth, rather, he just wants a “Ring Dang Doo,” and he goes all over the world searching for it.
# 5 – How Do You Catch a Girl
“How Do You Catch a Girl” fared just a little bit better for Sam the Sham and company, as it peaked at number twenty seven for the group in December 1966. In this song, they are concerned with just that: just how DO you catch a girl?
# 4 – Ju Ju Hand
“Ju Ju Hand” was a song that peaked at number twenty six for Sam the Sham in July 1965. The song is about a man bragging about the type of hand that he has. It also has a bit of a catchy beat, along with a few nonsensical words that some will enjoy.
# 3 – The Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin
Even though this was yet another parody of a nursery rhyme for the group, one had to love the great rocking groove centered around Sam’s great organ playing. Its simple, but man does it groove. The song “The Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin,” peaked at number twenty two on the Billboard Hot 100 for them in October 1966.
# 2 – Little Red Riding Hood
When your a band that released the number one song of the previous year, there may seem to be added pressure to follow that up. Sam the Sham And The Pharoahs did a pretty good job with following up “Wooly Bully.” Their second album released in 1966 titled Little Red Riding Hood presented fans with the single named “Little Red Riding Hood” that became another big hit for the band. The song was a top 10 hit for the Sam the Sham And The Pharoahs peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.
# 1 – Wooly Bully
Its tough for a band’s first hit to be their biggest hit, but Sam the Sham And The Pharoahs 1964 hit turned out to be not only the biggest hit of their caree , but also one of the biggest hits of the 1960s. The great song “Wooly Bully,” was recorded at Phillips Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. In a year when The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and tons of other legendary bands were releasing great music, Sam the Sham And The Pharoahs “Woolly Bully,” became the number one song of 1965 according to the Billboard music charts. That’s a pretty good start to a band’s career.