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(Nashville, Tennessee...) -- December 3, 2009 -- One of the caveats of owning and running your own label is having the freedom to record music just because you like it, and that's exactly what Gretchen Wilson has done with the classic children's Christmas tune "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas." Written by John Rox and originally recorded by 10-year-old Gayla Peevey in 1953, Gretchen invited several kids from her daughter's school to sing on the track.
"This is such a fun, silly song," said Gretchen. "And having my daughter and her friends in the studio with me made it really special."
Gretchen debuted the song at Charlie Daniels' sold-out Christmas for Kids concert on Monday, November 23 at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium, and it shipped to radio today.
According to Wikipedia, Gayla Peevey was a regional child star of the Oklahoma City area. When released nationally by Columbia Records, the song shot to the top of the charts. In a 2007 radio interview, Peevey clarified that the song was not originally recorded as a fundraiser. Instead, a local promoter had picked up on the popularity of the song and Peevey's local roots, and launched a campaign to present her with an actual hippopotamus on Christmas. The campaign succeeded, and she was presented with an actual hippopotamus, which she donated to the city zoo. The hippopotamus lived for nearly 50 years.
Gretchen's rocking "Work Hard, Play Harder" single will be featured in a segment called "The Art of the Burnout" on ABC-TV during NASCAR's Ford 400 season finale Sprint Cup race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22. The single is also being offered as a free download in the December issue of "People" Magazine's December country music issue.


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