#235: Robot Man by Jamie Horton
Gayla Rienette Peevey was born in Oklahoma City in 1943. She moved with her family at the age of 5 to Ponca City, Oklahoma. When she was ten years old she recorded “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. In October 1953, Peevey performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show in an episode that aired on November 15, 1953. As a result of her song’s release, a local promoter picked up on the popularity of the song and Peevey’s local roots. A campaign was launched to present Peevey with an actual hippopotamus on Christmas. The campaign succeeded, and Peevey was presented with a hippopotamus named Matilda, which she donated to the city zoo. Matilda the hippopotamus lived to the age of 47 and died in 1998.