The Locomotions (Long Island, New-York)
1962 - Little Eva / Adios My love (Gone 5142)
Our story begins... CHS sophomores in 1962 and singing together as The Gems, we stumbled into an opportunity when a Long Island producer, seeking to capitalize on Little Eva's hit, "The Locomotion," was looking for a young male group to record his novelty tribute song, "Little Eva," as The Locomotions. We recorded at O.D.O. Studios in Manhattan, with Butch singing lead on both the A and the B side, "Adios My Love."
Our parents actually had to chip in a few hundred bucks to cover the session... a red flag should've gone up immediately, but what did we know? In those days, the industry suits were holding all the cards. The record was released on George Goldner's now-legendary Gone label, a division of Roulette Records. They were in such a hurry to get it out to radio that there was a grotesque editing error in "Adios," adding a beat right where the trombone solo begins, and they literally forgot to fade the track at the end... it just stopped! Thanks to editing software, I've fixed both on this version.
"Little Eva" won the competition for the night and for the week on Murray The K's 1010-WINS "Swingin' Soirée," beating some name artists. We know a lot of our Copiague friends called in to vote for us, but we couldn't discount the suspicion that, since Murray The K's compilation LPs were all on the Roulette label, someone just might have had his thumb on the scale! We had a pretty good idea how well it sold locally, if only based on sales at the record shop in the old Farmer's Market (bring back memories?), so we didn't take it well when they literally sent us each a "royalty" check for a dollar and change! I know that a couple of us refused to cash the checks, figuring we'd cost them more than that in bookkeeping time.
In addition to WINS, "Little Eva" got airplay (and won competitions) on WMCA. The group made a number of appearances, including Palisades Park and St. Michael's High School in Brooklyn, with the WMCA "Good Guys" who regularly hosted shows there. One of the more memorable St. Michael's shows we did was headlined by Johnny Mathis.
The record vanished as quickly as it had appeared, but it's become a recurring footnote in the late Eva Boyd's recording history and is included as a tribute on the 1997 CD, "L-L-L-L-Little Eva - The Complete Dimension Recordings."
Interestingly, many retrospectives on Little Eva's career (including the liner notes with the above-mentioned CD), credit the record and the group to Leon Huff, half of the famed Philadelphia writing/producing partnership with Kenny Gamble, reporting that he assembled the group using studio musicians. If that doesn't come as a big surprise to him, it sure does to us! There's no accounting for urban legends.
Little Eva Adios My Love
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