Paul & Paula
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Hildebrand was born in Joshua, Texas, and Jackson in McCamey, Texas. Both were attending Howard Payne College (now called Howard Payne University) in Brownwood, Texas in 1962 when a local disc jockey, Riney Jordan, 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 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" did not make sense). "Hey Paula" sold over two million copies globally, and was awarded a gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America (R.I.A.A.) in 1963. 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. In November 1963 Nino Tempo & April Stevens and Dale and Grace had back-to-back Hot 100 #1s. 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 released two regular albums and a Christmas-themed album after the success of "Hey Paula", which charted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the entire month of February 1963. Their follow-up, "Young Lovers", reached #6 on the Billboard chart later in the same year.
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. Hildebrand recorded a Christian music album in 1967 called He's Everything to Me.
Jackson went on with a solo career and Hildebrand returned to singing in the 1980s in the Christian duo Land & Hildebrand. Today, the twosome get together from time to time to sing as Paul & Paula for special events.
In 2002, Hildebrand and Jackson returned to Howard Payne University to be the homecoming guests of honor and Grand Marshals.
- (1963) We Go Together
- (1963) Holiday for Teens
- (1964) Paul & Paula Sing for Young Lovers
- (1976) Welcome Warrior
- (1978) National Lampoon's Animal House
- (1995) The Best of Paul & Paula
- (2000) Greatest Hits
- "Hey Paula" (1963)
- "Young Lovers" (1963)
- "Flipped Over You" (1963)
- "Something Old, Something New" (1963)
- "A Perfect Pair" (1963)
- "First Day Back At School" (1963)
- "First Quarrel" (1963)
- "We'll Never Break Up For Good" (1964)