Domingo “Sam” Samudio (born 6 March 1937, Dallas, Texas), better known by his stage name Sam the Sham, is a retired American rock and roll singer. Sam the Sham was known for his camp robe and turban and hauling his equipment in a 1952 Packard hearse with maroon velvet curtains. As the front man for the Pharaohs, he sang on several Top 40 hits in the mid-1960s, notably the Billboard Hot 100 runners up “Wooly Bully” and “Li’l Red Riding Hood”.
Samudio, who is of Mexican American descent, made his singing debut in second grade, representing his school in a radio broadcast. Later, he took up guitar and formed a group with friends, one of whom was Trini Lopez. After graduating from high school, Samudio joined the Navy, where he was known as “Big Sam.” He lived in Panama for six years, until his discharge.
Back in the States, Samudio enrolled in college, studying voice at Arlington State College, now the University of Texas at Arlington.”I was studying classical in the daytime and playing rock and roll at night”, he recalled. “That lasted about two years, before I dropped out and became a carny.”