Brian Wilson wrote this in 1963 as "Thinkin' 'Bout You Baby," a record the Beach Boys mastermind produced for Sharon Marie, a girlfriend of Mike Love
's. Marie was a previously unrecorded teenager who had informally auditioned for Wilson and Love by singing opera standards stageside after a Sacramento Beach Boys concert.
When the Beach Boys formed Brother Records in 1967, the plan was that everybody would produce outside artists. Brian's first signing was Redwood, a group formed by his friend Danny Hutton, who, up until that time, was best known for the 1965 hit, "Roses And Rainbows." Wilson resurrected this song, re-wrote it and named it "Darlin'," for Redwood. They cut the track, which Wilson produced but it and other Redwood recordings were never released. Soon after, Redwood changed their name to Three Dog Night, and went on to become one of the most commercially successful American bands of its time.
The other Beach Boys members insisted that they should record the song. It was produced by the band and featured Carl Wilson on lead vocals. The tune was included on their 1967 album Wild Honey
and also released as a single, peaking at #19 in the United States and #11 in the United Kingdom.