“Mama Didn’t Lie” – Performed by Jan Bradley (1963)

Jan Bradley – Mama Didn’t Lie (1963)

When Addie “Jan” Bradley was about 18 guitarist Phil Upchurch’s manager, Don Talty, saw her performing at a high school talent show. Talty had to wait until she graduated before her parents would let him sign Jan to his record label.

After auditioning for Curtis Mayfield, of the Impressions, Jan recorded a Mayfield song, “We Girls”, that became a local hit for her in Chicago. After a few more local releases she finally struck pay dirt when Chess Records picked up “Mama Didn’t Lie” for national distribution. The song was a national hit climbing to #8 on Billboard’s R&B chart and #14 on Billboard’s Pop chart.

A short time after that Chess and Mayfield had a dispute over publishing rights and Mayfield ended up abandoning Jan’s career. Bradley continue to record for the rest of the decade but never had another hit as huge as “MDL”

When the seventies began she started a family, earned a MA in social work and had a productive second career in that field during the Eighties.

My Dad played this 45 rpm a lot and I recall singing along to it whenever he did. Now that I am an adult, and actually understand the lyrics as I sing them, I find it curious that Mayfield could write such lyrics from a female perspective.  Wonder if he lived in a household full of sisters?

Here are the lyrics so you can ponder that thought — and sing along too.  😉  Enjoy!

“Mama Didn’t Lie” composed by Curtis Mayfield

Mama didn’t lie, she didn’t lie.
Mama didn’t lie, she didn’t lie.
Here comes that boy and his friends,
Making eyes at me again.
Do they all think that I’m a toy,
To be played with by every boy?
Well, they’re wrong to think I
Will be caught by the wink of an eye.
My mama didn’t lie. (Mama didn’t lie.) She didn’t lie.

The greatest pastime in this man’s world
Is playin’ tricks on every young girl.
To have one is how they get their kick.
But not me because I know their trick.
And they’re wrong to think I
Will be caught by the wink of an eye.
My mama didn’t lie. (Mama didn’t lie.) She didn’t lie.
Mama didn’t lie, she didn’t lie.

I remember what my mama told me:
She said, “Girl stay in your class,
You got a whole lot of growin’ and a’learnin’ to do
Girl don’t cha go so fast.

The greatest pastime in this man’s world
Is playin’ tricks on every young girl.
To have one is how they get their kick.
But no me because I know their trick.
And they’re wrong to think I
Will be caught by the wink of an eye.
My mama didn’t lie. (Mama didn’t lie) She didn’t lie.
Mama didn’t lie, she didn’t lie.
Mama didn’t…

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