58 thoughts on “Note to Ray

  1. Jerry Karr

    I heard you speak/sing/entertain at the Methodist Church in Herrin Illinois in maybe 1966 or 1967. I was impressed with your message,your songs,and your other skills(balancing) object on your chin. Happy to see your web site and to say I remember being in the room with you.

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  2. Kenneth Harrod

    Mr. Hildebrantd,
    I just ordered a song book from sheet music plus.com called “Ultimate Gospel” 100 Songs of devotion. It’s supposed to have your “Say I Do” in it. All it has is the refrain and the music for the refrain. None of the verses are included nor the music for the verses. The book is from Hal – Leonard Corp. 7777 W. Bluemound Rd. PO Box 13819, Milwaukee, WI53213 – ISBN 0-7935-4594-3
    Got any idea where I might order the sheet music that is complete for your song.

    Reply
  3. Robert Mohr

    I’m a huge fan of one of your songs from my younger years, Say, “I Do”. I’m performing it tonight and trying to rework a phrase in the second verse. You wrote, “I guess He didn’t die for you.” That doesn’t fit into the “He died for all” theology, whether we accept His gift of salvation or not. If you have a rewrite idea while holding to the Biblical, He died for all, I’d be interested in hearing it so the song can come from your ideas. Thanks for a great song.

    Reply
    1. Kenneth Harrod

      My solution is to change the lyrics slightly as follows:
      SAY I DO

      MANY YEARS HAVE COME AND GONE
      SINCE HE WALKED UPON THIS GROUND
      THEY SAY LIES DON’T LAST SO LONG
      SO WHY’S HIS STORY HANGIN’ ROUND

      AND WHY DO PEOPLE STOP AND PRAY
      TO A MAN THAT’S DEAD AND GONE
      WHEN YOU ASK ME I’LL JUST SAY
      HE’S COMIN’ BACK TO TAKE US HOME

      ANYBODY HERE WANNA LIVE FOREVER SAY I DO
      ANYBODY HERE WANNA WALK ON GOLDEN STREETS SAY I DO
      ANYBODY HERE SICK AND TIRED OF LIVIN’ LIKE YA DO
      ANYBODY HERE WANT A HOME WITH LOVE FOREVER SAY I DO

      AND THEY SAY YOU’LL NEVER KNOW
      ‘TILL YOU WALK UP TO THAT MAN
      AND LOOK INTO HIS EYES OF LOVE
      AND TOUCH THE NAIL SCARS IN HIS HANDS

      AND THEN IF YOU CAN WALK AWAY
      KNOWING ALL HE DIED TO DO
      THAT’S WHEN I’LL JUST HAVE TO SAY
      HE DIED FOR ME HE DIED FOR YOU

      Reply
  4. James Mathews

    My wife and I knew you and Jill while at Howard Payne in Brownwood. We always wondered what happened to you. we just found your web site. we hope that all is well with your family. I have enjoyed your 1960’s music even today. Now that I know that you also have Christian music I will see if I can get some.

    James Mathews
    West Texas

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  5. Terry Meade

    When I was in high school you came to my school as part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. You sang and also balanced a chair on your chin. When you sang Paul and Paula you sang both parts. You mention it was your all time favorite song. The high school was Dewey in Dewey, Oklahoma. Thanks for the great time all of us had listening to you.

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    1. Albert Servin

      Ray,
      I have been having a hard time locating or even finding any evidence of a certain song, and I thought maybe you could lend a hand or provide some more info on it.

      I heard this song years ago on an XM radio channel. It was a response to your song “Hey Paula” sung by Paula. I remember seeing the title being something to the effect of “Hey Paul” or “Goodbye Paul” and sung by just Paula, no Paul.

      Any further info would be greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  6. Earline

    Enjoyed you immensely today it this little unknown town of Marion, Marion County, Kansas. Thanks so much for coming.

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  7. TERESA B

    Thank you for the memories. There is not a time I meet someone with the Paula, that I sing the opening of the song.
    So you and Paula gave me a song in my life.
    Blessings
    Teresa

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  8. Sue

    Ray, your daddy, Walter, was my 6th grade homeroom teacher at Rio Hondo Jr. High, and a finer and more lovable gentleman I’ve never met. He was so proud of you and each and every Monday morning he’d walk in the classroom and write on the blackboard “Hey Paula”‘s billboard ranking for the week. I will never forget your dad … loved him so !

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  9. Blaine Batts

    I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and I always liked the song Hey Paula. I had the opportunity a few years back to hear your Christian albums and I loved them. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the sacrifices you have made over the years to do what you do. Thank you. and I thank God for you and the talents He gave you.

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  10. Roger Dressler

    Ray, we loved to see you again in wellsville, we had friends with us from who grew up overseas and had not known of you they are both musicians, they loved it thanks we will try to have you over soon. Roger

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  11. Ken McQuade

    Ray, in 1962, I was 9 years old and in Brownwood with my parents. My father Bill McQuade was business manager. You were a great basketball player for HPC. I looked up to you and was very star struck when your song became a hit and you appeared on American bandstand. Funny, I think as a child, I looked up to you more as a basketball player than a famous singer. I wonder if you remember me, the 9 year old fan in Brownwood. Other great people of that time were A Donald Bell, AJ Quinn, Pop Elsey, Grace Elsey, and many others.

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  12. MIke Marusak

    Ray, I wanted to see you and your partner at Homer’s but couldn’t work this into my schedule. I was just a kid living in Dearborn, Michigan when Paul & Paula came out. I am now a 64 year old kid, living in Overland Park, and remember the song well. Glad you are serving the Lord with your music ministry. I would not have known that you were living in KC had it not been for Homer’s Coffee House. I hope to see you perform and/or speak some day.

    Mike Marusak

    P. S. I talked with Dave at Homer’s and he said he had a photo of you with the Beatles. I bet that is a really great photo that anyone would want to have!!!

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  13. David Ling

    Ray: I remember meeting you at a church camp when I was in college in North Carolina. I have always remembered your testimony and the guys playing basketball with you after. Hope you are well and keep singing! David Ling

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  14. Carole Smith

    I just finished watching a show on PBS, titled 50’s and 60’s Rock Rewind (my music) and it was so much fun to see you and Jill singing “Hey Paula”. It brought back so many great memories of the 50’s and 60’s. Glad to hear you are still singing. Thank you for taking me down memory lane!!

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  15. Annie Laura Nelson Pence

    I’m from Orange, Tx and was born in 1940! (Old as dirt but still kicking up dust)LOL
    My beloved hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed your pop music, but as we grew up, enjoyed your Christian music more. He has gone yo join our Lord but I know we’ ll rejoin one day. In the mean time I still enjoy your music. Thanks for the memories.

    Wishing you and your family many more blessings.

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  16. Dennis Rademacher

    My wife and I attended the 1977 FCA Coaches Conference at Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado. You lead the music and inspired us with your humor and musical talent. It was a good way to begin our marriage and my coaching career. You have blessed many athletes and coaches. Thank You.

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  17. Greg Long

    Ray-
    Hope you are well. You were a major influence in me excepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I will always remember fondly our days at FCA Conferences in the early 70’s.
    Greg

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  18. Paul and Paula

    Just heard “Hey Paula” on Sirus radio. Decided to look you and Jill up to see what you were doing these days. Looks like you have a marvelous ministry with your music. Will look for some of your music.

    Saw the article where you celebrated the 50th anniversary of “Hey Paula”.

    My husband Paul and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary last October 19th. We met in High School in Enid, Oklahoma. Your songs seemed to be written just for us. Needless to say they are our favorites to this day.

    I do not know how many Paul and Paula couples you have heard from over the years. Pass our hello and thank you on to Jill.

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  19. Olga

    Hi Mr. Hildebrand, I have enjoyed your song Hey Hey Paula for many years. Your dad was my teacher in Rio Hondo, Tx. and would always speak about you and your career. I was very fond of Mr. Ray Hildebrand. I’m so glad that you are a Christian and is serving our Lord, Jesus Christ. God bless you. Olga

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  20. Roger Dressler

    Ray, I was just telling a friend about you, and it made me homesick to see you! Give me a call at 795-331 8272. Every time I see an Edsel I remember you setting at our kitchen table. Tellin story’s. Roger

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  21. Ray Matthews USA retired

    Ray, Just wanted to say again how nice it was to meet you as well as Heidi and Larry. You all did a Wonderful Job at the wedding as we can attest to by the numerous compliments we heard from the guests and wedding party. You definitely made the evening special and one we will remember for the rest of our lives. God Bless You all. Ray and Terry Matthews

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  22. Brian Dawson

    Ray,
    Some years after Hey Paula I’m certain that you released a song about/referring to the English Lake District. If I am wrong I’m sorry, but I am certain that you did and were on UK radio when it was played.
    Be good if you could let me know, or anyone else for that matter, thanks,
    Brian

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  23. Rev. William Green

    Dear Ray,
    Looking forward to having you at our church on February 15, 2014 (First United Methodist Church in Cary, NC).
    Albert Long, my friend and former High School Sunday School teacher, encouraged me to have you come give a performance and share your story! we are excited!
    I’d like to talk with you about the evening program on
    February 15. I’ll try to reach you through Albert.
    If you need to reach me, please call me at church (919-467-1861).
    Colossians 3:17
    Blessings,
    Rev. William Green

    Reply
  24. Lois Lipton Parker

    Would love to book you for a show in Wilmington DE either at The Grand Opera House or Candlelight Dinner Theater. I used to work for Doug Moody at Smash, Mercury & Phillips. Please contact me with prices, etc (302) 559-0607

    Luray Productions

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  25. Michael D. Lefner

    Hi Ray…Just wanted to say that I have all 4 of your first solo albums and love them…My favorite song is “I Know Now”. I have lived in Alaska since 1968 but first heard your music(He’s Everything to Me) as a freshman in college in 1972 from an 8-track tape and never forgotten that. Lord bless you! Michael D. Lefner
    P.S. I was born in Brownwood, Texas and still have relatives there.(my dad was born there and is buried there also)

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  26. Barbara

    Ray,
    Have been listening to the song “hey Paula” since I was a teenager. The music and lyrics make you feel /fall in love .
    I had my neighbor whos name was Paul, I use to play the song loud by the window hoping he could hear it and get the hint…That didnt happen 🙂 …Saw you and Jill on a PBS Doo-Wop.. show.. Still sound great.. Got the same feeing I did 50 yrs ago.
    Thanks for a beautiful song and memories.
    God Bless.

    Barbara of N.Y.

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  27. Sarah

    Ray,
    I just wanted to let you know I was surfing through youtube tonight and came across the song you had done with Jill Jackson called Hey Paula. I love that song and brought back so many memories when the song was number 1 on the charts. I am now 62 and it seems like yesterday I was listening to that song everyday on the radio. I would love to meet you in person sometime maybe you can come to Columbus, Ohio soon. Congratulations on a song well done. Take care and God Bless.

    Sarah

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  28. Daniel

    Hi Ray,

    We recently had a woman pass away in our congregation. Her memorial is coming up on Sept. 29th, and her husband would love for me to play your song “If I live well praise the Lord.” (If that’s okay with you of course.) This was a song that was very dear to them throughout their lives together.
    Unfortunately, I don’t know this song and haven’t been able to figure out the melody/chords (her husband tried to sing it for me, but it didn’t quite work).
    I’m happy to order your CD, but I’m concerned it wouldn’t arrive in time for the memorial (less than two weeks?) as I’m in Canada.
    Would you have any mp3’s of this song that I might be able to download in order to learn your song in time? PLease let me know if so.
    Thanks so much, and blessings,
    Daniel

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  29. Dr. bud Gollier

    My wife and I loved the time you spent with us at the Michigan Valley church yesterday, September 8, 2013. It was a special time to share the love of Christ. God bless you for your service to our Lord.

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  30. Phil Washburn

    Ray,
    Back in 1970 I attended college at East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, TX. One evening sitting in the dorm my roommate Randy Bailey started singing a song and one of our friends named Lynn Echeberger said, “I met the guy who wrote that song.” Randy taught the song to me because I was going before a church to be a minister of music. For years it became the most requested song I sung. One girl in one of my churches came by one afternoon and said, “Phil I don’t know if I am a Christian or not. That song you sang the other night really touched me and I came by to see if I really know Jesus.” Before we finished talking she had accepted Christ as her Savior. Three years ago I met that same girl for breakfast. She is a successful mother, musician, and leader in her church. As we ate she said, “Phil I wanted to meet with you to tell you something I have never shared before. I came to see you that morning because I wanted to tell you good bye. I was on my way home to overdose and take my life. The words to that song kept coming back to me. Those words and your sharing kept me form living only to be 17 years old.” The words that touched her were, “Now they say you’ll never know, till you walk up to that man; and you look into his eyes of love and touch the nail scares in his hand; and if you can walk away, knowing all he died to do; then I guess I’ll have to say, I guess he didn’t die for you. Any body here want to live forever say I do. Anybody here what to walk on golden streets say I do, Anybody her sick and tired of living say I do. Say I do.”

    Thanks Ray

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  31. John Merrell

    Excited to hear that you have been inducted in the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. A very deserving recognition. I’ll never forget the opportunity to work with you on the album you did on the Tempo label. “Welcome Warrior” and the songs on that album have not only been a part of my life but so many others over the years as you gave me permission to sing them. So many times after I performed one those great songs, people would ask, “Did you write that song? It fit’s you and your life so well.” And I would always reply, “No, my friend Ray Hildebrand wrote the song. But if I could write that’s exactly the way I would have done it.” John Merrell, former producer with Tempo Records, since 1978 a missionary.

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  32. kelley reid

    I saw you at FCA camp summer of 1968 , Fort Collins, Colorado. I still laugh about seeing and hearing you sing both parts of Hey Paula also met another great Christian man, Paul Anderson what a great week for a 16 year old boy. Best wishes to you!

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  33. Lee Wilson HPU

    Hi Ray,

    Just want you to know that I forgive you for making me sing Jill’s part on Hey Paula at the Howard Payne FCA Banquet many years ago in Brownwood. Lol.
    Seriously, though my wife Jo and me are living in Wimberley Texas and have become friends with your old buddy Neil Ford, who I saw tonight on his Birthday. I told him that I would try to get in touch with you so you guys might re-unite. Send me your cell number in an e mail and I will call you and tell you how you can reach Neil.
    God Bless you Brother and keep up the good work. Sorry we missed y’all’s gig at HPU recently.

    Lee Wilson

    Reply
  34. beverly frost white

    Ray, remember me from Navarro Junior College? Saw your web site and just had to say hi. Always loved saying I knew you when–tennis,double dating,basketball games,etc. Always loved your Hey Paula!! BEVERLY

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  35. Bill Bain

    From the Honorable William J (Bill) Bain, former mayor of Lancaster Texas. Dallas is our suburb to the North. It was so good talking to you after all those years. I am now going to try and order some of your music. Lets stay in touch.

    Reply
  36. Marie Perez

    I was reminded of you this morning when I saw some friends walking to church. I told them one of my favorite songs (I think in the 70’s) was from the Welcome Warrior album and started “Walking to church on a Sunday morning, walking and hearing the church bells ring, seeing the folks that mean everything to me, Praising the Lord as we loudly sing.” Sorry if the words aren’t correct. It has been some years. I still have the ALBUM. I guess I will need to buy the CD now so I can share it with my friends.

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  37. Bill Potter

    Hello from an old Joshua boy. Its been an eternity since we’ve corresponded, but only a few minutes since I’ve remebered you and your impact on me, “Bobbi” and the kids of FCA. I am teaching High School in Dallas now and am known for singing the 60’s songs while walking the halls and in the classroom. Of course, one of the favorites is “Hey Hey Paula”. Congratulations on the induction and long deserved recognition. Hope to see you again, Bill & Barbara Potter

    Reply
  38. Paula W

    Ray,

    It has always been great to have such a wonderful song with
    my name. I love it when people I meet break out in the song.
    My fiancee and I found the song on you tube and have listened
    to it many times, singing along.
    It would be my dream to have you play and sing it at
    our wedding reception.

    Reply
  39. Paula Carruth Croxton

    Hi Ray… I was from Harlingen, Texas and went to Harlingen High for two years. I was in the Class of 1960, although I went away to school for my last two years. I always wondered where you got the name “Paula” in the song you wrote. Since my name was not common, it was fun to hear it in such a lovely song. I’ve always enjoyed it and remembered that time. Hope all is well with you… Paula

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  40. Nancy & Marvin Ross

    Marvin & I enjoyed seeing you at Youth For Christ in Kansas City! It’s been many years but we still remember your ministry! We live in San Diego, have been married 53 yr., have 3 children, 5 grandchildren & a great grand daughter on the way! Maybe if you contact our pastor David Jememiah he will arrange for you to come to our church!!! Love you and God bless!!!

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  41. Gary Brister

    My sister-in-law and her husband, both HPU grads, left a copy of the “Link” magazine for me to read while they were briefly here in San Antonio recently. They thought I’d enjoy reading the “Hey Paula” article. Wow, we’re they right! Great story. It led me to check out the YouTube videos, old and new. I have had “Hey Paula” stuck in my head for several days now, and I love it! I remember loving that song the first time I heard it. Your story, and Jill’s, is so heartwarming and inspirational. God bless you as you continue to do great things through The Lord.
    By the way, my son attended HPU and played basketball there. I’m happy to know he has that in common with you. Now, if I could just get him to write a hit song 🙂

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  42. Roger Searcy

    Hey brother, It was great to finally meet you at HIM last week. I feel like you are a friend for life. I hope so. Let me know if you have a chance to do anything with the lyrics I sang to the tune of “I am Woman”. And ,again, tell Jill that I’m still in love with her.
    In His Name. Roger Searcy

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  43. DON BARNETT

    Thanks for coming to Hamilton. I was blessed. Your music is timeless and it is such a pleasure to listen and participate.

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  44. Lowell H Hurt

    Ray….it was good of you and MJ to take time out of your busy schedule and visit Judy at the hospital the other evening. Judy is home and recovering. We don’t heal up like we did when we were young…that’s for sure. Sure good to meet you and finally put a face with a name after all these years. Maybe we can play a little music together sometime.
    regards
    Lowell & Judy Hurt

    Reply
  45. Lori

    I am 53 years old and I loved “hey paula” since I was 5. I just fell in love with it all over again after searching it on you tube. What an era that was. I enjoyed you and Jill’s reunion at Howard Payne and it was wonderful to hear the history behind the song. Good luck.

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  46. Joy Littlejohn Roberts

    Ray, Congratulations on your induction to the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. I remember you from Navarro College and working with you in the BSU at that time and am delighted that you are going to be in Hamilton, TX soon. My husband knows if he hears “Hey Paula”, to call me into the room/car to listen to it. We plan to be at Calvary Baptist Church when you are in concert. Joy

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  47. Jack Dolbin

    Ray, Been a long time since Estes Park and the FCA days of the late 70’s. You were a great inspiration then with your strong testimony. Most are gone now, Max and the boys.

    Hope to hear from you if you remember me.

    Jack Dolbin Demver Broncos #82

    Reply
  48. Garrett Wheaton

    Ray,
    I doubt if you remember me, but I was at Estes Park in the summer of 1962 with my wife, Maxine and we were blown away
    with Ray Hildebrand and his music and ‘down home’ words.
    Much has passed since as Maxine died from a brain tumor in
    2001. But in 2002 another neat lady came in to my life and we
    were married in 2003. We have lived in McPherson since as she
    was retired from McPherson College.
    How thrilled we were to learn from Dwight Goering that the
    original RH is coming to Moundridge, Ks. (again)!
    Only God knows our love for RH and the impact he has made
    on our lives. We are overjoyed and waiting with great exhuberance!!! Our love and prayers,
    Garrett & Patty Wheaton

    Reply
  49. Linda Hargenrader

    I was so surprised to hear your name on the news tonight. Many (many) years ago my boyfriend who knew you from Howard Payne gave me your album “He’s Everything To Me.” The songs have stayed with me through the years and the lyrics frequently come to mind, such as “So make the message clear and plain and don’t talk in the shadows….” The boyfriend is long gone, but I still have your album. Congratuations on your induction to the Kansas Music Hall of Fame.

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    1. Jeff

      I am a new fan of Paul and Paula. Im 45 and wish I had lived at the time of 1963/4. Fantastic talent Ray and Jill have. I listen to all of there music all the time on the net. What a wonderful voice Jill has. Thanks for the great music. Jeff

      Reply

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