This song has nothing to do with the Metallica song of the same name
. It is, however, one of The Shirelles' biggest hits, being their fourth Top-40 in a career total of 12.
"Mama Said" was a product of the Brill Building/1650 Broadway (see our interview with Toni Wine
for more on that) "girl group" era, when songs were cranked out music factories in New York City. Various sources conflict, so we'll just say that The Shirelles' had a Shrodinger's chance of actually being produced by Phil Spector, may have one time been in the orbit of Atlantic Records, and the song "Mama Said" was probably written by either Willie Denson, Luther Dixon, Burt Bacharach, or Hal David, or any combination thereof.
To give you an idea of how scattered music research can be, The Shirelles started out signed to Tiara Records by Florence Greenberg, who sold Tiara, Shirelles and all, to Decca Records. They then jumped to Scepter Records, also founded by Florence Greenberg, who rode Shirelles 'til her retirement when she sold Scepter to Springboard International, and then later Springboard International's catalog was bought by Gusto Records. So that's some five different companies you can license this song from. That's not counting the covers by the likes of Dionne Bromfield and Amy Winehouse. We give up on trying to peg authorship on a song at this point and declare that it grew on a tree.