It was 57 years ago today (April 5th, 1965) that the Beach Boys released “Help Me, Rhonda” as a single. The song was first tracked on January 8th under the title “Help Me, Ronda,” but was not considered a strong enough contender for the group's new single, losing out to their cover of Bobby Freeman's 1958 Top Ten hit “Do You Wanna Dance” as their first single of 1965. The original version of “Help Me, Ronda” was released on the group's Today! album on March 8th, 1965.
As with many of the Beach Boys' early singles, “Help Me, Rhonda” was written and produced by Brian Wilson, with lyrics by the group's frontman, Mike Love. The song was guitarist Al Jardine's first shot at a lead vocal on one of their singles. Brian Wilson decided to re-record the song after hearing that his good friend and former songwriting partner Gary Usher was planning to record his own version of it.
On the afternoon of February 24th, the Beach Boys laid down the song's backing track at Western Recorders in Hollywood with the help of bassist Carole Kaye, pianist Larry Knetchel and guitarist Glen Campbell, who was then touring with the group, having replaced Wilson on the road the previous December.