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Singing with the angels

“Everyone’s doing a brand new dance now…… It's easier than learning your A-B-C. So come on, come on, do the Loco-motion with me.”

Singer Eva Narcissus Boyd, otherwise known as Little Eva, was just 19 when her song Loco-motion became a number one hit in the US and a dance hall favourite around the world in 1962.

Legend has it the young Eva had been working as a nanny for songwriter Carole King, when she had spontaneously began dancing to some music Carole was playing, with her moves inspiring Carole to write the song.

It’s a lovely myth, but in fact the song was created for Little Eva after Carole King and lyricist Gerry Goffin had been impressed her singing voice. The dance actually came later.

Many today will associate the Loco-motion with Kylie Minogue, who transitioned from soap star to pop sensation, when she had a massive hit with it in 1988.

Little Eva claimed not to like this later version of the song, but the revival helped pave the way for a showbusiness comeback.

Still young when she died in 2003, she was buried in Belhaven, North Carolina, where her grave has a steam locomotive engraved on it and the words: “Singing with the angels.”