The Beach Boys recorded their version on September 23, 1965. Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean is featured on lead vocals along with Brian Wilson. Torrence is not credited on the album, but Carl Wilson is heard saying "Thanks, Dean" at the song's conclusion.
The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week ending January 1, 1966. The week ending January 29, the song leaped from No. 15 to No. 2 and was in position to replace "We Can Work It Out" by The Beatles as the next No. 1 song. However, "My Love" by Petula Clark unexpectedly vaulted into the No. 1 position the week ending February 5, 1966. Consequently, "Barbara Ann" peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (No. 1 in Cash Box and Record World) and at No. 3 in the UK in January 1966. It also topped the charts in Germany, Switzerland and Norway. It was The Beach Boys' biggest hit in Italy, reaching No. 4.
In 1987, the group re-recorded the song as "Here Come the Cubs" with re-written lyrics about the Chicago Cubs. It became the team's official theme that year, replacing "Go, Cubs, Go".
The Who perform "Barbara Ann" in the film The Kids Are Alright with Keith Moon on vocals. Moon, a massive Beach Boys fan but a notoriously limited singer, plays and sings much to the delight of his fellow band members.