Hey Paula (song)

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"Hey Paula"
Single by Paul & Paula
B-side"Bobby Is the One"
LabelLe Cam, Philips (US)
Sparton (Canada)
Songwriter(s)Ray Hildebrand
Producer(s)Major Bill Smith, Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery
Paul & Paula singles chronology
"Hey Paula"
"Young Lovers"

"Hey Paula" is an American pop standard love song recorded by the singing duo Paul & Paula. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on the week ending February 9, 1963, and also made it to number one on the Hot R&B Singles chart.[1] "Paul" was the song's writer, Ray Hildebrand,[2] a student at Texas' Howard Payne University, a Baptist institution in the city of Brownwood. "Paula" was Jill Jackson, the niece of the owner of the boarding house where Ray lived.

Writing and recording[edit]

Hildebrand wrote the song, originally titled "Paul and Paula", taking inspiration from the Annette Funicello hit "Tall Paul".[3] Hildebrand and Jackson performed the song on a local radio station[4] and the song soon became popular enough for the duo to try to make a professional recording. They went to a studio in Fort Worth, Texas, and were fortunate enough to find a producer, Major Bill Smith, with studio time and musicians booked and a missing lead vocalist. He recorded their version of the song and released it on his Le Cam Records label, changing the name to "Hey Paula", credited to "Jill & Ray". When the record became a success, it was picked up by the larger Philips Records, which changed the billing to Paul and Paula.[3] Musicians on the recording included Marvin Montgomery on guitar, Guy Parnell on bass, Hargus Robbins on organ, Little Caesar on piano, and Ronnie Dawson on drums.


When the song was released on Philips, it hit the national charts in late 1962, reaching number one on both the pop and R&B charts in 1963. It spawned a follow-up top ten hit, "Young Lovers", and a series of other hits for the duo.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

All-time charts[edit]

Chart (1958–2018) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 528

Cover versions[edit]

Popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 453.
  2. ^ "Ray Hildebrand - Hey Paula Official Site". rayhildebrand.com. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b Shannon, Bob; John Javna (1986). Behind The Hits:Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll. New York: Warner Books. pp. 112–113. ISBN 0-446-38171-3.
  4. ^ James, Gary. "Interview With Ray Hildebrand of Paul and Paula". Classicbands.com. Retrieved Nov 17, 2009.
  5. ^ Joel Whitburn, Top Pop Singles 1955-1999 (Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2000), 491.
  6. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Hey Paula - Ernie Sigley & Denise Drysdale (1974)". www.poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Cash Box Magazine" (PDF). Cash Box. October 19, 1974. p. 36. Retrieved November 15, 2021 – via World Radio History.