Before there was "Rhonda", there was "Ronda". Not quite the beloved single released later in 1965, the original version of "Help Me, Ronda" that appears on The Beach Boys Today! still has its strengths.
When “Help Me, Rhonda” was released as a single in mid-1965, it became the Beach Boys’ second number one hit, following “I Get Around” from the previous year. But it’s not “Help Me, Rhonda” that’s on The Beach Boys Today!, it’s “Help Me, Ronda”. After recording the original version of the song in January of 1965, the Rip Chords—a band featuring Bruce Johnston, who would later join the Beach Boys officially in 1966—expressed interest in recording a version to release as a single. Instead, Brian Wilson reworked the song, added an “h”, and the Beach Boys released it for themselves. But the first recording still ended up on side one of Today! After the success of “Rhonda” as a single, the group placed it on its next album, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), and the Rip Chords did record the song, but never ended up releasing it.