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Random Jukebox: Junior Giscombe’s Mama Used To Say

A popular 1980s singer/songwriter, Junior Giscombe mixed his London roots with elements of reggae and classic soul to create a number of memorable songs, both for himself and for other artists. Don‘t you rush to get old because beware the random jaw, he’s turned 64…

Wandsworth born Junior Giscombe (though mononymously monikered on his first releases) brought fresh energy to British R&B, a West London kid catching the world’s ear with the effervescent soul electro-zip of 1982‘s Mama Used To Say.

In many ways prototypical of future Junior releases, showing elements of traditional soul, but turning the songs on their ear through creative rhythms and interesting vocal arrangements, and he wrote it while working at his day job, fixing shoes at a cobbler shop.

As he explained, he was remembering “things that my mother would say to me about rushing to get old, getting to 16 and wanting to get to 25.”

But Mama hit on both sides of the Atlantic, with Junior growling “Live your life!” in the voice of a young Stevie Wonder, doing his mama proud, though he‘d only reach the Top Ten again as part of a duet with Kim Wilde on the accomplished Another Step (Closer To You) in 1987.

Steve Pafford

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