According to Cyrkle guitarist Tom Dawes, Simon offered it to The Cyrkle when they were opening for Simon and Garfunkel on tour. The song's tracks were recorded in stereo, with the bass, lead guitar, and percussion on the right track, acoustic guitar and electric organ on left, and the vocals on both.
The Columbia picture sleeve issued with the "Red Rubber Ball" single is a very rare and oft-sought item amongst record collectors with near-mint copies fetching three figures.
The Seekers also recorded "Red Rubber Ball" for their 1966 album Come the Day (US-title: Georgy Girl). It also appears on 'Disc Three – 1966 – 1967' of the CD box set The Seekers Complete.
In an interview on The Colbert Report, Paul Simon said he wrote "Red Rubber Ball" while living in England to get a £100 advance from The Seekers. This came in response to Colbert's request for a song that was "on the cusp" and barely made it into his songbook Lyrics 1964–2008.
In the US, the song spent a single week at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart at the same time Paperback Writer by The Beatles was at #1, during the week ending July 9, 1966. It was the fifth week during 1966 in which songs written by Simon and by John Lennon and Paul McCartney were simultaneously at #1 and #2 on the chart.