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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: Peevey graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Education degree. She eventually left teaching and owned her own advertising firm for 15 years. She is married to Cliff Henderson. They have a daughter, Sydney Forest, and 3 grandchildren. In popular culture: 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. 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. 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: 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: 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)

Source: Wikipedia

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