Mama Used to Say

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"Mama Used to Say"
Junior - Mama Used To Say.jpg
Single by Junior
from the album Ji
ReleasedFebruary 1982
Format7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Length6:40 (Album Version)
3:35 (American Remix)
Songwriter(s)Junior Giscombe, Bob Carter
Producer(s)Bob Carter
Junior singles chronology
"Mama Used to Say"
"Too Late"

"Mama Used to Say" is the debut single release by the British R&B recording artist Junior, taken from his debut studio album, Ji.

"Mama Used to Say" was released in April 1982 and peaked inside the UK Singles Chart top 10 in June 1982, where it remained at number seven for two weeks.[1] "Mama Used to Say" was also a Top 40 Pop hit and Top 5 R&B hit in the United States, earning him a "Best Newcomer" award from Billboard magazine.[2] The song was ranked at number 6 among the top ten "Tracks of the Year" for 1981 by NME.[3]

Formats and track listings[edit]

12" vinyl
  1. "Mama Used to Say" - 6:40
  2. "Mama Used to Say" (Instrumental) - 6:05
  3. "Mama Used to Say" (English Party Mix) - 4:56
7" vinyl
  1. "Mama Used to Say" (American Remix) - 3:35
  2. "Mama Used to Say" (American Instrumental Mix) - 4:35


Beverley Knight version[edit]

"Mama Used to Say"
Beverley Knight - Mama Used To Say.jpg
Single by Beverley Knight
from the album Soul UK
Released24 June 2011
FormatDigital download
GenreR&B, soul
Length3:51 (Album Version)
3:01 (Radio Version)
LabelHurricane Records
Songwriter(s)Junior Giscombe, Bob Carter
Producer(s)Martin Terefe
Beverley Knight singles chronology
"Soul Survivor"
"Mama Used to Say"
"Cuddly Toy"

British singer-songwriter Beverley Knight released "Mama Used to Say" on the 27 June 2011[12] as the first single release from her seventh studio album, Soul UK, a tribute to UK soul artists.


Knight said of the song, "I think this was everyone's favourite track at the time and is still played on every "club classics" radio show in the country. It’s still so fresh and just brings a smile whenever I sing it. It was an obvious choice for the album and a no-brainer for the choice of first single."[13]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[14]
  1. "Mama Used to Say" (Radio Version) - 3:01
  2. "Mama Used to Say" (Album Version) - 3:51
  3. "Mama Used to Say" (Dave Doyle Extended Club Mix) - 7:42
  4. "Mama Used to Say" (Cool Million's Boogie Down 12 Mix) - 5:36
  5. "Mama Used to Say" (Cool Million's Boogie Down Mix) - 4:09
  6. "Mama Used to Say" (Live) - 4:36

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Mama Used to Say" premiered on Knight's YouTube page on 23 May 2011. The video features both performance and behind the scenes footage from her April 2011 album launch show at London's Porchester Hall, soundtracked to the album version of the song.[15] The video features cameos from Junior himself, Jaki Graham, Rod Temperton and Jazzie B amongst others.[16]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
United Kingdom June 27, 2011[12] Digital download

Other uses[edit]

British comedian and rapper Richard Blackwood (Junior's nephew) sampled "Mama Used to Say" on his debut single "Mama - Who Da Man", which was produced by Lucas Secon and Mickey P and peaked at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart in 2000.[17][18]

The song's guitar intro was also sampled for Positive K's hit, "I Got a Man".

Rapper Mac_(rapper) sampled the song for Slow Ya Roll from his album Shell_Shocked_(album) .

Rapper Heavy D of Heavy D & the Boyz sampled "Mama Used to Say" for their hit song "Is It Good to You" from their album Peaceful Journey.

The song is also featured in the video-game NBA 2K15.


  1. ^ "JUNIOR - The Official Charts Company". The Official Charts Company. April 24, 1982. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  2. ^ "Junior Giscombe - Biography". Junior Giscombe. 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  3. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  4. ^ " – Junior – Mama Used to Say" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Mama Used to Say". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  8. ^ " – Junior – Mama Used to Say". Top 40 Singles.
  9. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  10. ^ "Mama Used to Say - Junior". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  11. ^ "1982 Year End". Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  12. ^ a b "Mama Used To Say – Releases – Beverley Knight". Hurricane Records. May 24, 2011. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  13. ^ "Biog - Track-by-Track – Beverley Knight". Hurricane Records. May 24, 2011. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  14. ^ "Mama Used To Say: Beverley Knight: MP3 Downloads". Amazon. June 26, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  15. ^ "Beverley Knight: UK's finest". Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  16. ^ "Beverley Knight - Mama Used To Say (Video)". YouTube. May 23, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  17. ^ "Richard Blackwood's Mama - Who Da Man? sample of Junior's Mama Used to Say". Who Sampled. May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  18. ^ "RICHARD BLACKWOOD - The Official Charts Company". The Official Charts Company. June 17, 2000. Retrieved May 24, 2011.