Gayla Peevey

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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.

Biography[edit]

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)

References[edit]

External links[edit]