Local News

New gravestone unveiled for 'Loco-Motion' singer

Posted November 8, 2008 11:21 p.m. EST
Updated November 9, 2008 11:10 p.m. EST

— A new stone marker on the grave of pop singer Little Eva, of "Loco-Motion" fame, was unveiled in her hometown of Belhaven Saturday.

A local monument maker, Quincy Edgerton, volunteered to build a marker for Eva Narcissus Boyd Harris after seeing a story on WRAL-TV about how her cemetery had fallen into disrepair. Only a rusting tin marker identified the site of her grave in Black Bottom Cemetery.

The town placed a white cross, with the drawing of a train, on her resting place but wanted to raise funds for a more permanent marker.

A ceremony on Saturday unveiled the stone monument that Edgerton and his crews installed at Little Eva's resting place.

A locomotive, etched in the stone, roars above the carved name of "Little Eva" Bishop Eva N. Harris, June 29, 1943–April 10, 2003.

Born one of more than a dozen siblings, 19-year-old Eva moved to New York and, as a babysitter, caught the attention of a music producer who offered to let her record "Loco-Motion" after another singer turned it down.

The song became a No. 1 hit in 1962, but Little Eva reportedly didn't make any money from its later radio play in the U.S. and Europe.

Belhaven officials hope the monument on its famous resident's grave will help bring more attention to the restoration of the all-black cemetery, which dates from the 1800s.

Little Eva, says her graveside monument, is now "singing with the angels."