Three Careers, One Heart

From the love song that started it all to solo success and amazing collaboration.

A sweet and simple love song launched Ray and his friend Jill on a meteoric ride from Brownwood, Texas to countries all around the world. Paul & Paul were the “Sweethearts of the Sixties”, and their musical success garnered gold and platinum records as they shared a spotlight with many musical legends from Dick Clark to The Beatles.

“Hey Paula” had become #1 in the United States and Europe, and in Japan it stayed in the top spot for fourteen weeks.

Ray spent the next year and a half traveling around the world. But by the time Ray returned to Texas the sweet success of “Paula” had begun to sour.

“I was tired of chasing around the world after something that I wasn’t even sure that I wanted. I had recorded a hit album, but the royalties were slipping off. I couldn’t see devoting my life to dirty jokes and nightclubs. What for?”

“That’s when I started reading the Bible again. I had been raised in a Christian family, but I had never really asked the real questions about life or my faith. That’s when I realised the Good Lord was trying to teach me something.”

So Ray started his second career in pop music – the first for himself – fun and fame, and the second for a higher purpose – faith.

It’s no accident that in early 1983 Ray asked Paul to “share the shame” at a coffee house in northern Missouri. Paul Land & Ray Hildebrand, have over 60 years of combined experience in their chosen field, all over the world. Since then, they have spent that time harmonizing & “humorizing”, developing their own special brand of musical mayhem. Some of the songs they sing are results of that time together, & some have been borrowed from other waggish minstrels.


Ray Through the Decades

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