Tuesday, November 10, 2009


"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, she was ten years old when she recorded the novelty song, which had been written by John Rox in 1950.
Oklahoma City Zoo capitalized upon the popularity of the song in 1953 through a fundraising campaign to "buy a hippo for Gayla" in order to bring a hippo to the zoo. (They had no hippopotamus at the time.) The song raised $3,000. A baby hippo, named Matilda, was procured and flown in to Oklahoma City and presented by Peevey to the zoo.[1].
Gayla went on to record other
children's songs for Columbia, such as "Got A Cold In The Node For Christmas" and "Angel in the Christmas Play". She also recorded a duet with Columbia's other child singer Jimmy Boyd (who had the hit recording of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"), entitled "I'm So Glad", and "Kitty in a Basket".
1959, Gayla Peevey adopted the pseudonym Jamie Horton and recorded a series of pop singles for Joy Records. One of them, "My Little Marine," reached a peak position of #84 in 1960 and was song #507 for that year. It was her only song that reached the Charts. Under the pseudonym, she also recorded "Robot Man" which was popular in Australia in 1960, and was later recorded by Connie Francis."

Gayla Peevey: I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas
Jamie Horton: Hearbreakin' Doll - Missin' - My Little Marine -Robot Man - They're Playing Our Song - When It Comes To Love - Where's My Love


  1. Oh, my dad will be so happy to get these tracks! There are a few I do not have. I'll send you my list and send you whatever you need.

  2. Just a little over a year old, and already the link is gone. Disappointing! I have one of her singles for the Joy label and the two songs on it are "Hands Off! He's Mine!" and "What Should A Teen Heart Do?"

  3. JamieHorton's 'Robot Man' got played on Sydney radio but not released in Australia (I Think) and I've been looking for it ever since...another such memory is Tina Robin's cover of Buddy Holly's 'Everyday'which also got a lot of airplay here but can't be found anywhere...
    Gayla Peevey/Jamie Horton and most others GONE!!!