February 24, 2018

Paul and Paula and Ray

Ray Hildebrand, 2012.

If Kansas Citians know him at all, they likely know Ray Hildebrand from his 14 years as an executive of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the evangelistic enterprise whose headquarters looms over the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium.

But Hildebrand will take the stage Friday, March 2, at the Midland Theater as part of the Ultimate Doo Wop Show. He and his original partner, Jill Jackson, will perform their #1 hit song, “Hey, Paula,” for the first time in Kansas City as Paul and Paula.

Hildebrand was a college student from west Texas in 1962 when he wrote “Hey, Paula,” the song that rocketed him to fame that year as half of the duo Paul and Paula.

Paul and Paula with the Fab Four and Arthur Askey.

The pair toured the world (though not Kansas City) behind the hit. They were so hot they even bumped the Beatles off of a BBC television show in 1963, Hildebrand recalls. The photo here (with British comedian Arthur Askey, right) was taken afterwards at the Beatles’ request, Hildebrand said.

Then, almost as quickly as Paul and Paula rose to the top of the charts, Hildebrand chucked it all for “real, adult life,” leaving Jackson and the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars in mid-tour.

He moved to Kansas City in 1967 to join FCA. He was a pioneer in contemporary Christian music, too, before getting back together again with Jackson to reprise Paul and Paula for oldies shows like the one Friday at the Midland.


  1. hi
    i like so so much the song ” hey paula”
    is it possible to have news of JILL JACKSON and RAY HILDEBRAND in 2012 ?
    Thank you in advance
    best regards
    Christian from France
    Christian Kestenes
    292 chemin des viers
    38330 Biviers

  2. Please tell me video was taken of Paul and Paula?

  3. Fred Burke says:

    Nice site for preservation of KC bands which I was part of during the 60’s, lead singer with The Fabulous Cinners (recorded two 45s on the Damon Studios label) and before that with the Shadowman, The Faboulous Cinners can be found on the oldkcbands.com site with our picture at the Boom Boom Room mid 60’s. We played at King Arthur’s Lounge, 3100 Club, Olathe Naval Station during the Vietnam War for returning troops, St Louis clubs, School dances etc. Keep this site going, It;s great !!!

  4. Ned And Nelda says:

    Were they ever recording a French sung EP in France?
    I have an EP on Polydor 27 056 by an unknown duo called “ELLE ET LUI” that contains French versions of I think four Paul and Paula tunes (Hey Paula, Ba Hey Be, Young Lovers, + another one written by J.Y. Gran that just sounds like Paul & Paula!) and I’m wondering if it could be Paul & Paula in disguise?

  5. I remember your song Mr. Balloon Man from the Summer of 1970. I have the original record and a CD I bought on your sight. I went to William Jewell and you performed that Fall in Chapel. What a great song and thanks for the memories.

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