Little Eva: The Trouble With Boys (1963)

 |   |  1 min read

Little Eva: The Trouble With Boys (1963)

When Little Eva died in 2003, most obituaries got in the story that she had been Gerry Goffin and Carole King's babysitter and, inspired by her odd dancing style, they penned The Locomotion for her, which was a massive hit in 1962.

Little Eva -- born Eva Narcissus Boyd -- was 16 at the time. 

That story seems unlikely or exaggerated, but it is true that Goffin-King also wrote He Hit Me and It Felt Like a Kiss (which Phil Spector produced for the Crystals, it is here) after learning Eva was often beaten by her boyfriend, but she said he did it out of love for her.

Like so many singers whose career was attached to a dance move (real or invented), Little Eva's career came to an abrupt halt within a couple of years (not helped by the arrival of Beatlemania) and her innocent pop and seemingly irrepressible personality -- not exactly conveyed in her nervous performance on Shindig, see below -- looked increasingly uncool as the Sixties rolled out.

By 1965, pop was for kids, Rubber Soul and Aftermath had arrived, and something called rock was just around the corner. Pre-Beatles stars looked and sounded dated.

But Little Eva's music had an upbeat vibrancy -- which is perhaps why Kylie Minogue's cover of Locomotion took off in the more hedonistic (and narcissistic?) Eighties.

The Trouble with Boys -- co-written by Goffin and Jack Keller, produced by Goffin -- wasn't a hit for Little Eva. By October '63 her star was fading.

But in it you can hear the sound of a more innocent age. And also Little Eva's irrepressible energy, despite the theme. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Maytals: Disco Reggae (1977)

The Maytals: Disco Reggae (1977)

You could almost understand Kay Starr singing Rock and Roll Waltz as the waters around her rose in the Fifties. Her style was being swamped by the likes of rockabilly and rock'n'roll, so she was... > Read more

Nyabinghi chanters: Got to Move (1982)

Nyabinghi chanters: Got to Move (1982)

In 1935, just before the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, an article apeared in the Jamaica Times -- penned by an Italian fascist propoganda outfit -- which alleged that Ethiopia's Haile Selassie was... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST MUSICIAN MAX HUDSON offers beginners some lessons in how to tune a guitar

GUEST MUSICIAN MAX HUDSON offers beginners some lessons in how to tune a guitar

One of the most important skills every guitarist has to learn is guitar tuning. It is necessary to tune the guitar almost every time you play, and trust me, you don’t want to give your axe to... > Read more

Dog, No Dogs Allowed (Rattle)

Dog, No Dogs Allowed (Rattle)

The previous self-titled album by this (mostly) Auckland jazz quartet – a veritable supergroup of Rattle artists as we shall see – won the jazz album of the year award in 2014 . . . as... > Read more