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Paul & Paula

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Brownwood, Texas (1962 – 1965)

Paul & Paula are: Ray Hildebrand (born December 21, 1940, in Joshua, Texas) and Jill Jackson (born May 20, 1942, in McCamey, Texas). They were a pop singing duo, best known for their 1963 hit number 1: “Hey Paula.”
Hildebrand and Jackson were attending Howard Payne College in Brownwood, Texas in 1962 when a local DJ asked listeners to come to the studio and sing their songs to help the American Cancer Society. The duo sang a song called “Hey Paula,” which Hildebrand wrote, and were encouraged by everyone in town to make a record of it.

Shelby Singleton of Mercury Records eventually signed them, but not before changing their professional name (Singleton reasoned that a pair named Ray and Jill singing about “Hey, hey Paula” and “Hey, hey Paul” didn’t quite make sense). The pairing of Paul & Paula was credited with inspiring other famous male/female pairings down the line, mostly from record companies that had originally turned the duo down in 1962: Jerry Butler was quickly paired with Betty Everett, and Marvin Gaye was paired with a number of female partners before Motown finally settled on Tammi Terrell.
The duo put out two regular albums and a Christmas-themed album after the success of “Hey Paula”, which sold over two million copies in early 1963, charting to N1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the entire month of February. Their follow-up, “Young Lovers,” reached N6 on the Billboard charts later in 1963.
In 1965, Hildebrand left the act to complete his college education, having decided that a future in show business was not for him. He made this decision in the middle of a Dick Clark Caravan of Stars road trip, and Clark had to fill in at the last minute.

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