Ray Hildebrand Memories

Copyright ©2023 John Wm Beckner - All Rights Reserved

In Chapel Hill, 'neath Carolina's sky so blue,
In 2014, a moment cherished, a memory true.
Ray Hildebrand, a name that'll never fade,
In Sunrise Church, his melodies gently swayed.

I got his autograph, a treasured token,
Inscribed just for me, a memory unbroken.
In that hallowed hall, where his voice did soar,
Ray's signature, a keepsake I'll forever adore.

With grace and poise, he took the stage that day,
A timeless ballad, "Hey, Paula," he'd convey.
His voice, a vessel, carried years gone by,
And in that sacred place, our hearts did fly.

1963, when the world first heard his song,
A chart-topping hit, where love did belong.
In the chords and lyrics, a sweet serenade,
Ray's music, an ode to love's escapade.

His presence, a gift, in that Chapel Hill light,
A moment when the past and present unite.
We felt the history, the echoes of his fame,
As he sang his hit, his heart aflame.

With faith as his guide, his journey anew,
He shared his love for the Lord, in all that he'd do,
In melodies of worship, his soul found its home,
Ray's devotion to God, a legacy fully known. 

But beyond the spotlight, beyond the stage's gleam,
Ray's legacy persists, like a timeless dream.
For in our hearts, his melodies reside,
A tribute to the man who never could hide.

Though he's gone from this world, his spirit's alive,
In the lyrics he penned, in the songs that survive.
Ray Hildebrand, forever in our souls you'll stay,
In the Carolina breeze, your music will sway.

So let us remember this moment so dear,
When in Chapel Hill, Ray's voice we could hear.
A tribute to a legend, a memory to recall,
Ray Hildebrand, thank you for sharing your all.


8/22/23 My pastor called me today and asked that I put up a video that is available on his YouTube
channel of Ray Hildebrand performing at our church, Sunrise Church in Chapel Hill NC, in 2014. Ray
passed away about a week ago. This is the link to the video, where Ray sang his 1963 hit, “Hey,
Paula”. He signed a photo for me in 2017 that I still have where he posed with the Beatles. The
Beatles’ publicist thought having the Beatles pose with “Paul and Paula” would help with their
publicity before their first trip to America in 1964.

Ray Hildebrand at Sunrise Church, Chapel Hill NC
Ray Hildebrand