Hey Paula (song)

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"Hey Paula"
Single by Paul & Paula
from the album Sing for Young Lovers
B-side"Bobby Is the One"
LabelLe Cam, Philips (US)
Sparton (Canada)
Songwriter(s)Ray Hildebrand
Paul & Paula singles chronology
"Hey Paula"
"Young Lovers"

"Hey Paula" is an American love song recorded by the pop singing duo Paul & Paula in 1962. Released as a single, it hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the week ending February 9, 1963, and also made it to number one on the Hot R&B Singles chart,[2] and number one in Canada's CHUM Chart for three weeks.[3] "Paul" was the song's writer, Ray Hildebrand,[4] 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".[5] Hildebrand and Jackson performed the song on a local radio station[6] 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.[5] 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.[7]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Australian personalities Ernie Sigley and Denise Drysdale scored a hit with the song in 1974.[8] It was certified gold in Australia in October 1974.[9] It was the 28th biggest selling single in Australia in 1974.[10]
  • There were two cover versions in the UK in 1963: one by The Avons on Decca Records, and the other by Elaine & Derek on Picadilly Records.

Popular culture[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[11] Gold 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Breihan, Tom (May 9, 2018). "The Number Ones: Paul & Paula's "Hey Paula"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 10, 2023. There was so much great pop music in the pre-Beatles era...yet a song like "Hey Paula" is pretty much what people imagine when they think about that stretch.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 453.
  3. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade - February 4, 1963".
  4. ^ "Ray Hildebrand - Hey Paula Official Site". rayhildebrand.com. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ James, Gary. "Interview With Ray Hildebrand of Paul and Paula". Classicbands.com. Retrieved Nov 17, 2009.
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn, Top Pop Singles 1955-1999 (Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2000), 491.
  8. ^ "Hey Paula - Ernie Sigley & Denise Drysdale (1974)". www.poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Cash Box Magazine" (PDF). Cash Box. October 19, 1974. p. 36. Retrieved November 15, 2021 – via World Radio History.
  10. ^ "National Top 100 Singles for 1974". Kent Music Report. 30 December 1974. Retrieved 15 January 2022 – via Imgur.
  11. ^ "American single certifications – Paul & Paula – Hey Paula". Recording Industry Association of America.