Born in New York on March 5, 1938, Paul Evans (aka Paul Rapport) was not only a successful singer (Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat, Midnight Special, Happy-go-Lucky Me, Hello This Is Joannie etc.) but one of the era's most successful songwriters (Roses Are Red, When, and four Elvis cuts, I Gotta Know, Something Blue, Blue River, and The Next Step Is Love). "I owe my career to demos," he admits. "I made my first demo in the fabled Brill Building in New York City. I then made the rounds of all the publishers in the building with my demo in my hand. Most of them were playing cards (no kidding!) and not interested in me, my guitar, or my arcade booth demo.
Then I impressed my future manager/publisher, Stan Cooper at Fred Fisher Music, and the first thing he said to me was,'What should we change your name to?' So we walked around the Brill Building, saw the name of my manager-publisher's friend, Redd Evans - a rather important publisher - and voilà, Paul EVANS! I was seventeen years old at the time and my mother had to co-sign the contract." Paul was auditioned by Bob Rolontz, head of RCA's soon-to-be discontinued Groove Records, and it was Rolontz's R&B session crew who worked on his first session. "My first release was 'What Do You Know,'" said Paul, "and it was held up for several months.
When it was finally released, I hit the road to promote it. My RCA distributors took me to radio stations and introduced me to the disk jockeys. But then they'd quickly add, 'And look what else I've got for you, you lucky devil.' And they'd pull out a new Presley or Belafonte record." The hits finally came, of course, and came, and came….