Although they only cut three little-known singles in the 1960s, the Tammys are still responsible for one of the oddest songs in the Girl Group catalog. “Egyptian Shumba” is a freak of nature, a song co-written by Lou Christie and sung by a trio of teenaged girls whose voices were higher and screechier than his own. Recorded in November 1963, it begins with a clarinet riff that might as well have been lifted from Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs' "Sugar Shack" (the highest-charting song of that year) before dissolving into a vocal madhouse. The Tammys sing tight, nasal harmonies that sound like a Brill Building equivalent of the Chipmunks, and they whoop it up in the chorus with grunts and monkey screams. Who cares if the lyrics are silly, focusing on a fabricated dream in which the girls shimmy with their babies while traveling down the Nile? "Eee eee! Ah! Ah!" goes the unforgettable hook, and those three seconds are perhaps some of the wildest, sex-crazed moments in the history of forgotten pop (or, at the very least, the wildest thing ever associated with Lou Christie). Forty five years later, the song still sounds electric; it must've sounded positively nuclear back then.

The frenetic bridge, brought to you by AMG.

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