Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs - Wooly Bully

First performance: 19/09/1982


Bruce covered the song 13 times in full and 2 times as a snippet:
2009-05-08 Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, PA
1987-12-05 Stone Pony (The), Asbury Park, NJ
Cats on a Smooth Surface
1987-04-12 Stone Pony (The), Asbury Park, NJ
1985-03-28 Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia
1985-01-24 Providence Civic Center, Providence, RI
1984-10-19 Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA

1984-09-20 Pennsylvania Decade, Pittsburgh, PA
Iron City Houserockers

1984-08-28 Capital Centre, Largo, MD

1983-07-16 Headliner (The), Neptune, NJ
Midnight Thunder

1983-07-10 Stone Pony (The), Asbury Park, NJ
Cats on a Smooth Surface

1982-10-03 Stone Pony (The), Asbury Park, NJ
Cats on a Smooth Surface

1982-09-19 Stone Pony (The), Asbury Park, NJ 
Cats on a Smooth Surface
  •  Snippets
during LIGHT OF DAY 
2000-03-13 Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX
2000-03-10 National Car Rental Center, Sunrise, FL


"Wooly Bully" is a popular song originally recorded by novelty rock 'n' roll band Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs in 1965. Based on a standard 12-bar blues progression, it was written by the band's frontman, Domingo "Sam" Samudio. It was released as a single in 1964 and was picked up in 1965 by MGM. The song was recorded at Sam C. Phillips Recording Studio at 639 Madison Avenue in Memphis, the successor to Phillips' original Sun Studio. "Wooly Bully" was the band's first and biggest hit. It became a worldwide success, selling three million copies.  "Wooly Bully" is a reworking of the 1962 tune "Hully Gully Now" on the Dallas-based Gay Shel label by Big Bo & The Arrows (vocal by Little Smitty), which was based on Junior Parker's "Feelin' Good". The song was given the green light after Sam rewrote the lyrics famously replacing "Hully Gully" with "Wooly Bully" and few additional lyrical changes. Sam retained the 'watch it, watch it now" refrain from the original version. The lyrics of "Wooly Bully" were hard to understand, and some radio stations banned the song. The lyrics describe a conversation between "Mattie" and "Hattie" concerning the "Wooly Bully" (a creature which Mattie describes as "a thing she saw [that] had two big horns and a wooly jaw") and the desirability of developing dancing skills, although no attempt is made to synthesize these divergent topics. The warning, "Let's not be L-7", means "Let's not be square", from the shape formed by the fingers making an L on one hand and a 7 on the other. Sam the Sham underscores the Tex-Mex nature of the song by counting out the rhythm in Spanish and English ("Uno! Dos! One, two, tres, cuatro!"), and the characteristic simple organ riffing. According to Sam: "The name of my cat was 'Wooly Bully', so I started from there. The count down part of the song was also not planned. I was just goofing around and counted off in Tex-Mex. It just blew everybody away, and actually, I wanted it taken off the record. We did three takes, all of them different, and they took the first take and released it."

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

2021-07-21 SiriusXM Studio, New York City
Bruce played the song during the 25th episode of 'From My Home to Yours' series, themed "Frat Party". 
Bruce on the song: 
"Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs, not out of Egypt, but Dallas, Texas. Domingo "Sam" Samudio wrote this masterpiece and recorded it in Memphis at the Sam C. Phillips- yup, that Sam Phillips - Recording Studio. This studio was the successor to Sam's original Sun Studios. "Wooly Bully" sold 3 million copies and was a worldwide success, reaching No. 2 in America. The song was the first American record to sell during the British Invasion. Greatness cannot be stopped! Mixing British rock sounds with traditional Mexican-American conjunto rhythms, it stayed in the Hot 100 for 18 weeks, and in our hearts and souls forever. With its great opening count and Tex-Mex rhythms, it became one of the most recognizable openings in rock 'n' roll history. Do it, Sam!" 


Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro
Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw
Had two big horns and a wooly jaw
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully
Hatty told Matty, let's don't take no chance
Let's not be l-seven, come and learn to dance
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully
Matty told Hatty, that's the thing to do
Get you someone really to pull the wool with you
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully