Eva Narcissus Boyd, an American singer from Bellhaven, North Carolina, was best known as “Little Eva.” At a very young age, she moved with her family to Brooklyn, New York. Her grandfather was a minister, and Eva and four of her siblings formed a gospel group, the Boyd Five. It is believed the name “Little Eva” came from her aunt, who was called “Big Eva.”
As a teenager, Boyd worked as a maid and a babysitter for songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King; they became fascinated with Boyd’s dancing style and decided to write “The Loco-Motion” for her so she could record the song as a demo. The song was released in 1962 and became a big hit in the United States instantly. The song was a hit again for Grand Funk Railroad in 1974.
Boyd released other singles, such as “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby,” “Let’s Turkey Trot,” and a remake of the Bing Crosby standard “Swinging on a Star,” which was recorded with Big Dee Irwin (although Boyd was not credited on the label).
Eva Boyd battled cervical cancer for years in her later years. She performed up until 2001, as her health impeded her from continuing as an entertainer. She lost her battle and died on April 9, 2003.