That Little Girl Actually Got Her Hippopotamus For Christmas!
In 1953, 10 year old Gayla Peevey sang "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas".
When we start to play Christmas music every year, it's one of the most popular Christmas songs in Ocean County. Being the somewhat snarky person that I am, I rhetorically asked my Facebook friends if they think that little Ms. Peevey ever got her hippopotamus for Christmas.
It turns out that she kind of did!
In one of those wonderful instances of Internet kismet, a friend of mine almost immediately replied to my tongue-in-cheek post by sharing an article that had just been published the day before, telling of how the song not only helped the child star's hometown zoo get its first hippo 64 years ago, but also how just last week the now 74 year old Gayla Peevey was back on hand to welcome another hippo to the zoo.
It turns out that the song was such a sensation in 1953 that little Gayla's hometown of Oklahoma City was able to get a successful fund drive going to get the city zoo's very first hippo.
Just last week, the Oklahoma City Zoo did it all over again, as the septuagenarian singer was invited back to perform her signature song as the zoo welcomed a new hippo, 26 year old Francesca.
It's a super cute story, and you can check out an interview with Gayla over at NPR by clicking here.
So, the answer is yes, she did indeed get her hippopotamus for Christmas. Not once, but twice!
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