The song was written by Paul Simon over several months in 1963 and 1964. A studio audition led to the duo Simon & Garfunkel signing a record deal with Columbia Records, and the song was recorded in March 1964 at Columbia Studios in New York City.
Released on October 19, 1964, the album was a commercial failure and led to the group disbanding. In 1965, the song began to attract airplay at radio stations. The growing airplay led Tom Wilson, the song’s producer, to remix the track, overdubbing electric instruments and drums. This took place in the Columbia 30th Street Studio. Simon & Garfunkel were not informed of the song’s remix until after its release. The single was released in September 1965.