I’m not sure why this particular celebrity death bothers me so much: rock ‘n’ roll has been around long enough now that the first and second generation are dropping like flies from a combination of age and life style. Maybe it just seems wrong that someone named “Little,” the babysitter of Carole King’s children, would age and die – shouldn’t the loco-motion go on for ever?
- Singer Little Eva (full name: Eva Narcissus Boyd), died yesterday (April 10) in Kinston, N.C., after a long illness, according to her manager. Her exact age isn’t known but she was believed to be between 57 and 60 [AMG lists her birthdate as June 29, 1943].
As a teenager, Little Eva was discovered when she was baby-sitting for singer Carole King and her husband Gerry Goffin. They asked her to sing a demo of the song “The Loco-Motion,” which they had written together. After hearing the demo, they decided to release the song as a single, and it became a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1962. [Billboard]
Dave Marsh selected “The Loco-Motion” as the 55th greatest single of the rock era – it’s hard to resist the charging rhythm, the great King-Goffin melody, Eva’s ebullience, the Hairspray innocence of a dance-crazed age.