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Gayla Peevey
Born (1943-03-08) March 8, 1943 (age 71)
Ponca City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Labels Columbia, Joy Records

Gayla Peevey Henderson (born March 8, 1943) is a former singer and child star from Ponca City, Oklahoma. She is best known for her recording, under her maiden name Gayla Peevey, of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" (Columbia 4-40106, 1953). Peevey recorded the novelty song when she was 10 years old.

In 1959, she had a minor hit with the song "Robot Man", recorded under the name Jamie Horton. The song was covered by Connie Francis.


Peevey graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Education degree.[1] She eventually left teaching and owned her own advertising firm for 15 years.[1] She is married to Cliff Henderson. They have a daughter, Sydney Forest, and three grandchildren.

In popular culture[edit]

The Oklahoma City Zoo capitalized upon the popularity of "I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas" with a fundraising campaign to "buy a hippo for Gayla". The fund raised $3,000 (equivalent to $27,552.12 present day), and a baby hippopotamus named Matilda was purchased and given to Peevey which she then donated to the zoo.[2] The hippopotamus named Matilda spent 45 years in the Oklahoma City Zoo, and then died at age 47 from a heart attack in 1998 while being transferred to the Walt Disney World's Disney's Animal Kingdom, in Orlando, Florida.[3]

In addition to being a talented singer, Henderson is also an accomplished songwriter, penning several of her Joy Records singles, including My Little Marine, Just Say So, We're Through - We're Finished, When It Comes To Love, Yes, I'll Be Your Girl and Dear Jane.

Singles (as Gayla Peevey) on Columbia Records[edit]

Year Side Title Label Single Catalogue No.
1953 A I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas Columbia Records 40106 CO49818
B Are My Ears On Straight CO49819
1953 A I Wish I Wuz A Whisker (On The Easter Bunny's Chin) 40182 RHCO10747
B Three Little Bunnies RHCO10748
1953 A Kitty In The Basket (duet with Jimmy Boyd) 40218 RHCO10753
B I'm So Glad (duet with Jimmy Boyd) RHCO10754
1953 A Upsy Down Town 40264 CO49820
B A Dog Named Joe CO49821
1954 A Angel In The Christmas Play 40364 RHCO33252
B Got A Cold In The Node For Christmas RHCO33253
1954 A Daddy's Report Card 40425 RHCO10749
B The Night I Ran Away RHCO10750
1955 A 77 Santas 40602 RZSP33598
B Rubberlegs (The Knock-Kneed Monkey) RZSP33599
1957 A I Want You To Be My Guy 40932 JZSP41539
B Too Young To Have A Broken Heart JZSP41540
1958 A That's What I Learned In School 41027 JZSP42215
B Do It Again JZSP42214

Singles (as Jamie Horton) on Joy Records[edit]

Year Side Title Label Single Catalogue No.
1959 A My Little Marine Joy Records 234 K90W-8507
B Missin' K90W-8508
1960 A Where's My Love 237 KS-194
B Heartbreakin' Doll KS-193
1960 A Just Say So 240 L90W-2188
B There Goes My Love
1960 A Robot Man 241 JR-7051
B We're Through - We're Finished JR-7031
1960 A What Should A Teen Heart Do 245
B Hands Off, He's Mine
1961 A When It Comes To Love 252
B Yes, I'll Be Your Girl
1961 A Going, Going, Going Gone 258 JR-7103
B They're Playing Our Song (contains elements of 16 Candles) JR-7101
1961 A Dear Jane 266 JR-7073
B Only Forever JR-7122
1962 A Go Shout It From A Mountain 269
B Oh Love (Stop Knockin' On My Door)


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gayla_Peevey — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
13023 videos foundNext > 

Gayla Peevey I want a hippopotamus for Christmas

Gayla Peevey " A Dog Named Joe "

Links at bottom... Gayla Peevey recorded this wonderful song in 1954.The flip side is "Upsy Down Town", a very unusal song.This side is rather a sad song abo...

Gayla Peevey " Got A Cold In The Node For Christmas "

This is the flip side of "The Angel in the Christmas Play.She also recorded as Jamie Horton.More information on Gayla Peevey (Henderson) and as Jamie Horton ...

ARE MY EARS ON STRAIGHT - Gayla Peevey - 1953

A really cute song about a dolly. Enjoy!

Jimmy Boyd & Gayla Peevey - Kitty In A Basket

By request..From 1954 on Columbia Records. A cute song with slide show of kitty's in baskets. Enjoy.

Gayla Peevey " The Night I Ran Away "

Links at bottom... This song was recorded by Gayla Peevey (aka Jamie Horton) in 1955, and is the B-Side.The A-Side is "Daddy's Report Card" which is already ...

I want a Hippopotamus For Christmas - Gayla Peevey - Lyrics On Screen

If you have a Request please leave a comment or pm me with the name and artist and i will do my best :)

Gayla Peevey..........I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

Gayla Peevey (born 1943) is perhaps best known for her song, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" (Columbia, 1953). A child star from Ponca City, Oklahoma, ...

Fifties' Female Vocalists 33: Gayla Peevey - I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (1953)

Gayla Peevey from Ponca City, Oklahoma got famous at age 10 when she recorded this inconvenient Christmas song in 1953. Although it was no Top 10 Billboard h...

Gayla Peevey - I want a hippopotamus for Christmas


13023 videos foundNext > 

81 news items

Burlington County Times
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:26:15 -0800

“I Want a Hippopotamus at Christmas” (Gayla Peevey, 1953). 4. “Do They Know It's Christmas?” (Band Aid, 1984). 5. “Last Christmas” (Wham, 1986). 6. “The Chanukah Song” (Adam Sandler, 1994). 7. “You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (Thurl Ravenscraft, 1966).

Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:45:00 -0800

Child star Gayla Peevey stormed the US charts with it in 1953, and (Oh, America!) was given a real hippopotamus, which she duly donated to a zoo. St John's church in nearby Reid will miss the help of the op-shop, for as one volunteer told me on ...


Sat, 22 Nov 2014 06:42:12 -0800

Presented here, a top five countdown of these valuable recordings. At No. 5, Gayla Peevey's 1953 classic, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” was reportedly a smash back in the 50s, but is rarely heard today. However, if you have a vinyl copy of the ...

Asbury Park Press

Asbury Park Press
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 21:05:53 -0800

Rimes, 32, shouldn't be incredulous when noting how few people have ever heard the quirky 1953 track cut by the then 10-year old Gayla Peevey. “I guess it's an unusual song but I had to record it for my EP,” Rimes said. “I did my job.” “One Christmas: ...

Allentown Morning Call

Allentown Morning Call
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 19:05:06 -0800

For example, she says she largely chose the disc's first single, a cover of Gayla Peevey's 1953 novelty hit "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," because it's the favorite holiday song of her younger stepson, Jake, 7, the son of her husband Eddie ...

Elmira Star-Gazette

Elmira Star-Gazette
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 16:26:03 -0800

The first single playfully covers the 1953 Gayla Peevey novelty hit "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." Also included are the holiday standards "Blue Christmas," "Carol of the Bells," "Silent Night" and "White Christmas," as well as Dolly Parton's ...

The Chattanoogan

The Chattanoogan
Sat, 29 Nov 2014 07:10:19 -0800

... he loved, got me started on the song in 1953 – I was four years old at the time – because that was when a 10-year-old from Oklahoma, Gayla Peevey, first belted out the classic rendition of “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” on the Ed Sullivan Show.


Tue, 02 Dec 2014 10:43:30 -0800

Gayla Peevey Henderson will sing her famous rendition of “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” during a Skype broadcast and share her memories of growing up in Oklahoma City and this song's connection to the Zoo. This walk down memory lane will take ...

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