The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Hippopotamus For Christmas?

Artist: Jamie Horton
Song: Hands Off! He's Mine! (b-side) (a-side is What Should A Teen Heart Do)
Label: Joy 45NS-245
Number: L9OW-9662
Songwriters: G. Goehringm F. Wise, K. Twomey
Time: 2:13
Released: 1960

Almost everyone remembers the Christmas ditty entitled I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas by 10-year-old Gayla Peevey, from 1953. What most people don't realize is that she matured and had a marvelous voice in her later, (teen) years. After recording her first big single and few others such as Got A Cold In The Node For Christmas and Angel In The Christmas Play, Gayla did a few "serious" songs like Too Young To Have A Broken Heart and decided to make a big career move by singing under a pseudonym. She chose the name of Jamie Horton and was signed to a new record label, Joy. Her first and only American hit using that name was called My Little Marine, which she co-wrote. It made it to #84 on the 1960 Billboard charts and became the #507 song for the year. She recorded several other sides for the label, Where's My Love?; Heartbreakin' Doll; Robot Man, which was popular in Australia and was recorded by Connie Francis; Dear Jane; Go Shout It From A Mountain and others, but never hit the charts again. She graduated from San Diego State University with a teaching degree. Later she left teaching to go into advertising.
For some unknown reason, I think this young lady should have been a bigger star; for she oculd write her own songs and knew how to use her voice to great effect. I suppose her record company, Joy, must not have had complete faith in her abilities, for although she recorded over a half-dozen singles for them, they never let her release a full, proper album. Perhaps if she had, her career could have taken off. It's a shame, really, for her talent shows in everything she did. Today's song reminds me of Connie Francis, with it's exhuberant small combo backing her and it's upbeat tempo, but her voice is all her own. Maybe not strictly "pop" styling, but probably very radio friendly for 1960. Anyhow, if you like toe-tapping songs while you're at the drive-in restaurant, please download Jamie Horton as she belts out Hands Off! He's Mine! You might enjoy her singing enough to look up the modern-day collection of her Joy tracks entitled The Joy Collection. What a way to keep the new year rockin'!

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