Help Me, Rhonda – The Beach Boys | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 2 weeks); 1965

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Christmas Eve 1964 found Brian Wilson in the grips of a full-scale emotional breakdown. Earlier that month he had married Marilyn Rovell and then embarked on a short tour of the Southwest.

A couple of days into it, Brian was back in L.A., overwhelmed by a lifetime of suffering at the hands his father and the pressures of success. While the other Beach Boys played concerts, Brian stayed home and poured himself into his music.

He had begun writing and recording the 1965 album, The Beach Boys Today! in 1964, and was already moving in a new direction. All Summer Long, the bouncy title track on the pervious album, was an affectionate summation of the classic early Beach Boys sound, while Today! delved more deeply into emotional terrain with When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) and Help Me, Rhonda b/ w Kiss Me, Baby.

For the single of Rhonda, Brian recorded a faster, punchier version (included on Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)) than the original one included on Today!.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Brian Wilson

Lyrics Written by:

  • Brian Wilson
  • Mike Love