Listen: Ju Ju Hand / Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs SamTheShamJuJu.mp3
Listen: Ring Dang Doo / Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs SamTheShamRing.mp3
Throw together the music of Dr. John, The Sir Douglas Quintet and ? & The Mysterians, a bit of The Mothers Of Inventions’s intimidating looks and bang, you end up with Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs. Deservedly, they had some huge hits. You can probably still catch ‘Wooly Bully or ‘Lil Red Riding Hood’ on the oldies stations. But I guarentee you – don’t hold your breath waiting for ‘Ju Ju Hand’ to get played.
Polishing their style as resident house band at the perfectly named Congo Club in Louisiana, the self pressed ‘Wooly Bully’ blew up, selling three million singles in ’65, and was pretty quickly licensed to MGM. Expectations for ‘Ju Ju Hand’, it’s followup, were clearly high. You can always tell when the label would spring for a full color sleeve. Probably a touch too Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, it stalled at #26 and quickly fell back. Oddly, it’s followup, the heavily played ‘Ring Dang Doo’ repeated the process hitting #33.
Then Sam, real name Domingo Samudio, revamped those original Pharoahs, or maybe they quit – whatever – and the remaining releases (still lots of good ones) proceeded with lineups anew.