11 April 2003
A little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul
Eva Narcissus Boyd was the regular babysitter for Louise Goffin, daughter of lyricist Gerry Goffin and composer Carole King. One day, King was doing some keyboard noodling, Eva picked up the beat and started dancing, and Goffin got an idea for a lyric.
Goffin and King booked studio time and brought Eva in to sing on a demo of the new tune, which they intended for Dee Dee Sharp as a follow-up to "Mashed Potato Time", and when it was finished, they realized that they didn't need the demo or Dee Dee; here was a powerhouse single, ready to go. Issued as Dimension 1000 in June 1962, "The Loco-Motion", credited to "Little Eva", shot all the way to #1.
Little Eva scored a few more hits, plus a weird duet with Big Dee Irwin on "Swinging on a Star", then faded, but for a while, she had the hottest voice on the radio. And now she's gone, not quite sixty years old, though her record of course will last every bit as long as dancing will.
Everybody's doing a brand-new dance now....