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Paul & Paula

Getting a number-one pop hit was easy for West Texans Ray Hildebrand (Joshua, TX) and Jill Jackson (Camry, TX). Mission accomplished with their first single. But the old saying, "you don't appreciate what you don't work hard for," applies here.

"Hey Paula" aced Billboard's pop survey and made the Top Ten on most R&B charts, prompting Motown Records to team Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells to cash in on the fad. After pairing Gaye with Kim Weston, Motown processed the Paul & Paula paradigm successfully by pairing Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

Hildebrand and Jackson were students at Howard Payne College when a Brownwood, TX, DJ called for entertainers to volunteer to benefit the American Cancer Society. They volunteered and sang "Hey Paula," a song Hildebrand wrote. It went over so well that everybody encouraged them to make a record.

Major Bill Smith's LeCam label in Fort Worth, TX, had just scored a major hit with Bruce Channel, so they drove there late in 1962 hoping for an unscheduled audition. Wrong day. Smith was busy recording that Saturday, but they hung around anyway. Opportunity knocked when Amos Milburn Jr. didn't show and Smith had five musicians sitting around exchanging snaps at five dollars each. Not wanting to blow the money, he asked Hildebrand and Jackson to sing their song. After a brief audition, Smith took them in the studio. The rest is history.

Smith offered "Hey Paula" to Vee Jay Records but Ewart Abner turned it down. So he released it on LeCam, as by Jill & Ray. (Abner realized his error and paired Jerry Butler and Betty Everett after "Hey Paula" exploded.) The hot seller caught the attention of Mercury Records' Shelby Singleton. Mercury reissued it on its Phillips subsidiary. But not before Singleton renamed them Paul & Paula, pointing out that two people name Jill & Ray singing the lyrics "Hey, hey Paula" and "Hey, hey Paul" didn't make sense. They resented -- everybody in West Texas knew them as Jill & Ray -- but later acquiesced.

"Hey Paula" sold nearly two-million copies early in 1963. They followed with "Young Lovers" and "First Quarrel." A couple of albums, including one of Christmas songs, followed. "Hey Paula" originally ran more than six minutes. But Smith said it was too long, and Hildebrand used the cut parts to create "Young Lovers."

Everything seemed like a fantastic dream, but by 1965 Hildebrand had second thoughts. He didn't like the traveling. Plus, he wanted to complete his college education. (His parents were schoolteachers.) The final straw came when he left Jackson in a lurch on a Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour and Clark had to fill in.

Jill Jackson married their manager and continued as a solo artist. They later divorced and she married an attorney. She resides in San Fernando Valley, CA. She wanted the duo to continue and often asked Hildebrand to reconsider, to no avail. They reunited for a party in Brownwood in the '80s, but that's as far as it went. Hildebrand worked behind the scenes as a songwriter/producer, then left the business for a while.

He returned to music in 1983 as one half of the Christian music male duo, Land & Hildebrand, who remained together into the new millennium. Hildebrand has also worked on the national staff of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He lives in Overland, KS. Hildebrand and Jackson, as Paul & Paula, are members of the West Texas Music Hall of Fame. ~ Andrew Hamilton
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 1963 The Soundtrack

Disc 1

1. Hey Paula

2. Up On The Roof

3. Little Town Flirt

5. Go Away Little Girl

6. Trouble Is My Middle Name

7. Globetrotter

8. That's What Love Will Do

11. Count On Me

12. Say Wonderful Things

13. Fireball Xl5

15. Chariot

16. Harvest Of Love

18. Shame, Shame, Shame

20. Hands Off, Stop Muckin' About

21. Hobbies

22. Only The Heartaches

24. Hello Stranger

25. Sweets For My Sweet

Disc 2

1. Twist And Shout

4. From Me To You

6. Summer Skies & Golden Sands

9. Wipeout

10. Christine

11. Some Other Guy

12. Poison Ivy

13. Teddy Bear's Picnic

14. You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry

16. Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya

17. Boys

19. Hippy Hippy Shake

20. That Boy Of Mine

21. From Russia With Love

22. You're No Good

23. Money (That's What I Want)

x

Track List: Hard-To-Find 45s On Cd (Volume II) 1961-64

1. Wooden Heart

2. I Really Love You

3. Foot Stomping, Part I

4. Lover Please

5. Dear One

6. I Wish That We Were Married

7. Theme From Dr. Kildare (3 Stars Will Shine Tonight)

8. Little Red Rented Rowboat

9. Patches

10. Bobby's Girl

11. I Saw Linda Yesterday

12. I Will Follow Him (Chariot)

13. Young Lovers

14. Sugar Shack

15. You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry

16. Dominique

17. Popsicles And Icicles

18. Navy Blue

19. Diane

20. Little Honda

21. The Wedding

x

Track List: Tender Dreaming: Warm Songs Of Love

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Lil MimE

Music back then told a story and this is coming from a 39 year old man!
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pete.harriet
Great! Listened to it in basic training Jan 1963!
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Paul&paula
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I love this song always reminds me of dating my high school Sweethart. And I married him too
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I think 'Young Lovers' is their best song, despite loving 'Hey Paula' as well.
Report as inappropriate
jrflores1941
Great song
Report as inappropriate
greenionu
by Paul & Paulaon Tender Dreaming: Warm Songs Of Love
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My song!!!!!!
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Can't count the times I danced to this in high school...... .
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Great love song!!!
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The consumate 50s song! No other song embodies all the musical elements and personal emotions of that time period. It is innocent, hopefully idaL, romantic, gentle, and even has that rollar rink organ in the background. "Hey Paula" is the essence of that era. If I had to hone it all down to just 1 song. this is it, "Hey Paula." Second place would go to the Fleetwood's song, Come Softly."
Report as inappropriate
I was in High school also, and danced to this song at the lunch time dances, at Huntington High. Wish I could go back!! Wonderful era!!
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rick778
I was in high school when this came out. It was a great song to dance to. Love it.
Report as inappropriate
I recently spoke with a promoter that had them perform at a concert he produced. He said they couldn't stand each other. You couldn't put them in the same seat in a car. (I dont know if this was short term or a fulltime relationship breakdown.
Report as inappropriate
I thought they were married to each other. Do you have any info on that, Suzanne?
Report as inappropriate
They are not brother and sister. Paula's real name is Jill Jackson and Paul's real name is Ray Hildebrand. She lived briefly in my home town. You can love the song again, Alice!
Report as inappropriate
like her
Report as inappropriate
pat1955
i love Paul and Paula brings memories of me and Paul,s life together which i MISS TERRIBLY. i HOPE HE CALLS ME SOON TO GO OUT.
Report as inappropriate
Duo doing it the best! Unique sound that herald durinng the 60's.
Report as inappropriate
I saw Paul and Paula live at the enlisted men's club at the Yokosuka naval station in Japan. The year was 1963. They were contracted to due an hour show, but they only had enough songs for about 30 minutes. The troops remained happy though because they sang Hey Paul, Hey Paula over and over again to use up the time.
Report as inappropriate
aevans511
I always loved this song...until I found out they were brother and sister...and it was never the same after that....what ' s wrong with me ???
Report as inappropriate
Brings back great memories of high school and 1963.
Report as inappropriate
Always loved this song....even as a pre-teen!!
Report as inappropriate
I have loved this song since I first heard it. I met Paul and Paula at a Youth Camp when I was in the 8th grade. Lots of fun. They were a lot of fun. Very sincere. A great song with a good meaning.

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