Hey Hey Paula
#1 in 1962

In the fall 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 mike. At nearby Howard Payne College, two students figured it would be fun to appear on the program. They were Ray Hildebrand and Jill Jackson. On the show, the team sang an original tune 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. So encouraged, Ray and Jill drove to Fort Worth in November, 1962, hoping for an audition with Major Bill Smith, the owner of LeCam Records. 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. 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 (for $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. "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". Ray Hildebrand died of dementia on August 18, 2023.
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