[Dixielandjazz] Do What Ory Say

Bill Haesler bhaesler at nsw.bigpond.net.au
Fri Apr 4 14:42:59 PST 2003

Dear Sheik,
Further to our discussion regarding the song "Do What Ory Say".
Geoff Bull told to me at lunch last Tuesday that the tune is in fact "Mama's
Baby Boy" which was recorded by a Johnny Wiggs/Raymond Burke group.
Armed with this information, I was able to establish that "Mama's Baby Boy" was
composed in 1917 by John A St Cyr and Armand J Piron and published by the Piron
and Clarence Williams partnership at the time.
But is it really the same tune? 
The Wiggs/Burke side was recorded on 7 Oct 1952 by Ray Burke and His New
Orleanians and issued on LP (Paramount CJS 107) which  I do not have. 
My mates Phil O'Rourke or Geoff Holden may have it somewhere. 
I then  found that it was recorded by The Swedish Jazz Kings in California in
Dec 1987 on their first US tour and issued an LP (Stomp Off SOS 1188). 
Which I do have!
It is indeed the same tune. 
My dear friends, the SJKs, are dedicated jazz people, with a great love and
knowledge of the classic jazz era and would have, almost certainly, taken their
version (complete with verse) from the original sheet music.
Pianist Ray Smith implies this in his notes to the LP.
Then I thought about the big box of sheet music copies DJML angel, Audrey Van
Dyke, sent to me last year.
Didn't this one contain some early Piron-Williams stuff? 
And did I recall, or dream, that it included a St Cyr sheet music item? 
I rang my mate cltist David Ridyard, who is helping me catalogue this addition
to Audrey's earlier 'goldmine of music', so that it can be made available to
Sure enough, it is there! "Mama's Baby Boy".
Dave confirmed that he had already checked, and that it is the "Do What Ory Say"
Of course, it may go back further than 1917 and it could be that Johnny St Cyr
learnt it in New Orleans days as a kid, and simply rearranged it and wrote it
Kind regards,

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