Peevey was filmed performing the song on The Ed Sullivan Show in October 1953. A video of this performance is available on her website.
A popular legend holds that this 1953 hit had been recorded as a fund-raiser to bring the city zoo a hippo; but in a 2007 radio interview with Detroit-based WNIC radio station, Peevey clarified that the song was not originally recorded as a fundraiser. Instead, a local promoter 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.
Gayla Peevey later recorded as Jamie Horton, scoring the Billboard Hot 100 charter "My Little Marine" in 1960.
The B-side of the original 78 featured the song "Are my Ears on Straight?"
It is a Dr. Demento Christmas staple, and is currently available on Dr. Demento's The Greatest Novelty Records of All Time Vol. 6: Christmas.
Country music singer Gretchen Wilson recorded a rendition in late 2009. It debuted at No. 54 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts dated for January 2, 2010. It is included on her album Christmas in My Heart, released in 2013.
A version was also recorded by the British entertainer Terry Hall and his puppet Lenny The Lion.