Hildebrand

(Frank) Oh ya, that’s right, OK. Good morning. OK, your turn. (Deb)
Alright. So, I am on the board of the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. (Frank)
Uh, huh. (Deb) So, send me your bribes and you know, all those things and
I’ll see what I can do for you. But we, as you well know Frank, because
you’ve been in the music business here in Kansas for a long, long time.
We are blessed with an incredible number of very, very talented people.
(Frank) That’s true. (Deb) And this one I was shocked to find out he had
a Kansas connection, when he was inducted into Kansas Music Hall of Fame
a couple of years ago, Ray Hildebrand, who does a lot of Christian music
now. But most of our viewers, I’m sure, remember the song, Hey Paula.
(Frank) Well yea, and I’m associated with an oldies station and really
should have known that, but I didn’t. I mean, yes, the song is very, very
popular and well known, Hey, hey Paula, and all that. Bu t anyway to learn
that he was from Kansas and all of the places the song is used are very
interesting. (Deb) Isn’t it cool? (Frank) So, instead of telling you the
story now, I’ll tell you the story now. You may not be familiar with the
name Ray Hildebrand of Prairie Village, Kansas, but it is nearly
impossible not to have heard his biggest hit, Hey Paula. On the 25th
anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, according to Ray’s official
website, Priscilla Presley said that one of her husband’s favorite songs
was Hey, Paula. She said Elvis had sent the record to her when he was in
the army in Germany. Country singer Kenny Rogers’ brother named his twins
Paul and Paula after the song. News commentator, Bill O’Reilly said it
was the first song he ever danced to in Jr. High School. The song
provided the inspiration and encouragement for Karen Carpenter, of The
Carpenters, to get into the music business. Rush Limbaugh even used it on
his radio show, as political satire or parody of course, to poke fun at
President Clinton and Paula Jones. Hey, Paula has been used on television
shows such as Cheers, Married with Children, Dharma and Greg, Ally
McBeal, That 70’s Show, as well as in movies such as Animal House, Hotel
De Love, and Family of Strangers. The radio and television appearances on
past royalty statements indicate that Hey, Paula has been played
somewhere in the world virtually every day since 1962. Over the years,
countless fans have testified that they fell in love and got married
because of the song, were named after the song, named their kids after
the song, or were greatly encouraged because of this simple song that Ray
wrote and he and Jill Crawford recorded in 1962. A year later, it was a
chart-topping hit and was quickly followed by others in the top 100. Ray
became one of the founders of Contemporary Christian Music. He traveled
for The Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a speaker and performer and
later became a youth director for a church in Prairie Village. Ray was a
frequent guest as a singer for the Billy Graham Crusades. In 1983, he
hooked up another contemporary Christian music artist, Paul Land. Land &
Hildebrand have played together all over the US and have recorded sixteen
albums. In 2013, Ray was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame and
took the stage with his daughter to perform Hey Paula to a delighted
audience.

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