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Little Eva

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Biography

Born Eva Narcissus Boyd in Belhaven, North Carolina, she moved to the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, New York at a young age. As a teenager, she worked as a maid and earned extra money as a babysitter for songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Amused by Boyd’s individual dancing style, they wrote “The Loco-Motion” for her and had her record it as a demo (the record was intended for Dee Dee Sharp). Music producer Don Kirshner was impressed by the song and Boyd’s voice and had it released just the way it was. The song became an instant smash, reaching #1 in the US in 1962.

After the success of “The Loco-Motion”, Boyd was stereotyped as a dance-craze singer and was given limited material. She appeared in quite a number of TV-shows, mainly in the US.

Boyd’s other hits are “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby”, “Some Kinda Wonderful”, “Let’s Turkey Trot” and a remake of the Bing Crosby standard “Swinging On A Star,” recorded with Big Dee Irwin (though Boyd was not credited on the label).

She continued to tour and record throughout the sixties, but her commercial potential plummeted after 1964. She retired from the music business in 1971.

Interviewed between 1987 and 1988 after the success of the Kylie Minogue cover version of “The Loco-Motion”, Boyd stated that she did not like the new version; however its then-current popularity allowed her to make a comeback in show business.

She returned to live performing with other artists of her era on the cabaret and oldies circuits. She also occasionally recorded new songs.

She continued performing until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in October of 2001. She died two years later at age 59.

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