Top Picture: Paul and Paula in the 1960’s
Second Picture: The icon of the 1960’s the Ford Zodiac.
Paul and Paula
As far as most of us remember this duo only ever made the big time with the record ‘Hey Paula’, but what was their history?
In the Autumn of 1962, a radio station in Brownwood, Texas, announced a special broadcast to benefit the American Cancer Society. Volunteer performers were invited to come and donate their services in front of the open mike. At nearby Howard Payne College, two students thought it would be fun to appear on the program. These students were Ray Hildebrand and Jill Jackson.
On the show, the team sang an original tune that had been written a few days earlier by Ray. It went over so well that it was suggested that they make a professional recording of the song. Encouraged by this Ray and Jill drove to Fort Worth in November, 1962, hoping for an audition with Major Bill Smith, the owner of the LeCam Record Company.
At the studio, the two were told that Major Bill was about to record someone else and could not see them that day. Determined to get a hearing, they decided to hang around just in case something happened; and something did.
Major Bill was waiting for singer Amos Milburn Jr. who failed to show up, and that meant he had five musicians standing around (at the rate of $5 apiece). Finally, someone said that there were a couple of kids hanging around the office that would like the Major to hear some of their songs. With nothing to lose, Ray and Jill were granted an interview right then and there.
Major Bill said, "let's hear what ya got, son" and Ray began to strum the guitar and sing "Hey Hey Paula". "Ok boy, let's stop Heyin' and start recordin'", said the Major.
When the session was over, the Major asked "What do you call yourselves"? "Jill and Ray" came the answer and that's what was printed on the record label.
Major Bill Smith knew he had something good and began to pitch the record to Ewart Abner, of Vee Jay Records, who turned it down in favour of another artist's tune that Smith had with him. Not one to be discouraged easily, Major Bill decided to release the record himself and pressed it on American Election Day, 1962. Radio station KFJZ was the first to add it to their play list.
"Hey Paula" sold sixteen thousand records in one day and it didn't take long for Shelby Singleton of Mercury Records to call the Major, wanting to buy the master tape. "One other thing", said Singleton. "This is 'Hey Paula', by Jill and Ray...that doesn't make any sense at all. We're gonna change it to Paul and Paula". At first, Jill and Ray didn't like that idea, because everyone in Texas knew them by their real names, but they got used to it.
Mercury Records released it on their subsidiary label, Phillips. It reached the charts nationally just after Christmas, 1962 and spent nearly three weeks in February at number one in the USA. Incredibly, it also hit number one on the R&B charts too. In all, "Hey Paula" spent fifteen weeks on the best seller list, closing in on two million copies.
Soon after, Jill and Ray got married...but not to each other. Jill married the duo's manager. The pair toured the country with Dick Clark's Caravan Of Stars and reached No 4 in the spring of 1963 with "Young Lovers". A third release, "First Quarrel" made it to No 27 later the same year. By 1965 however, Ray had grown tired of life on the road and decided he'd had enough. Paul and Paula officially split up.
Ray found work as a song writer and record producer. Jill continued as a solo performer in and around Texas for many years and later married an attorney from California. Jill and Ray met up with each other again in Brownwood, Texas in the early '80s and sang together once more, at a town party.
In early 1983, Ray Hildebrand teamed up with singer/guitarist Paul Land for a night of music and fun at a local Christian coffeehouse. Their performance as a duo that night made them both aware of their musical strength and versatility together. The pair teamed up as Land & Hildebrand to perform and record a series of gospel music albums through the 80s 90s and into the new millennium.
Ray and Jill also got back together occasionally to record and perform as Paul and Paula.
Stay in touch,
Not a You Write more of a You Ask
Those of us who were born before the 5th July 1948 were born before the introduction of the NHS which means that our parents had to pay for our mothers confinement either in hospital or for the midwife at home. This is something that had not occurred to me the question is:- How much did the confinement cost, in other words how much did it cost our parents for us to be born? Over to you!
News and Views:
Wedding banns were posted Wednesday September 14th for Paul McCartney and his fiancé, Nancy Shevell, at the Westminster Register Office in Marylebone, London, where he married first wife Linda in 1969. The couple can be married 16 days later if they wish, so September 30 would be the earliest date. An actual date has not been announced.
On this day 23rd September 1960-1965.
23/09/1960the number one single was Apache - The Shadows and the number one album was Down Drury Lane to Memory Lane - A Hundred and One Strings. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
23/09/1961the number one single was Reach for the Stars / Climb Ev'ry Mountain - Shirley Bassey and the number one album was Ipswich Town. The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £Argentinian swims English Channel both ways non-stop and 13.25 were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Take Your Pick (AR)".
23/09/1962the number one single was She's Not You - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
23/09/1963the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
23/09/1964the number one single was You Really Got Me - Kinks and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
23/09/1965the number one single was Make It Easy On Yourself - Walker Brothers and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.