Monday, February 20, 2012

BHM 2012 Little Eva

The classic song THE LOCO-MOTION by Little Eva was the first Number One hit by an African-American woman in the Rock Era. It hit Number One in August, 1962 and stayed on top for one week. However, its place in pop music/pop culture history has continued to this day! The song THE LOCO-MOTION is one of the best-known songs of all time. According to Billboard Magazie, it is one of only nine songs that hit Number One that were later re-recorded by different artists and hit Number One again.

This original version was written by the (then) husband-wife writing team of Carole King & Gerry Goffin and was produced by Goffin. Little Eva was in reality Eva Boyd, who was their baby-sitter. They knew she could sing; she knew they worked for Don Kirshner's music company: it was no surprise that she was asked to record some songs with them. Originally she was only going to do the demo work (the unreleased versions that the actual artist listens to to judge whether she wants to record the song), but when recording star Dee Dee Sharp didn't want to do this particular song, and Don Kirshner liked Eva's version, it was released.

Little Eva was one of the first "One Hit Wonders." Although she recorded several follow ups to her hit, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who knew her for anything besides this song. She died in 2003.

In 1974, the hard-rock band Grand Funk had already hit the top with their rock anthem, WE'RE AN AMERICAN BAND. In the spring of that year their producer heard them horsing around trying to harmonize to THE LOCO-MOTION. He convinced them to record it and then to release it, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In 1988 Australian super-star Kylie Minogue released another version of the song THE LOCO-MOTION. However, it only (?) went to Number Three on the US charts. If it had gone all the way, it would have been the only song to go to Number One three separate times.

For completists, the three versions are included here. But I'll only cover-feature the original below..... Let me know which version you like best. :-)

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