These are a few songs I'm interested in that were not Top 30 hits.

Colinda - This song is based on the melody of ‘Madame Young Donnez-Moi Votre Plus Jole Blonde’ by Dennis McGee, with Sady Courville [‘29, Vocalion 5319]. It was recorded by Happy, Doc & the Boys as ‘Allons Dance Colinda’ [‘46, Fais-Do-Do]; this is Happy Fats LeBlanc, with Doc Guidry on vocal. Jimmie Davis added some English verses in his recording; as ’Colinda’ is on a Decca 45 9-28748 [‘53] but may have come out in 1949 as a 78. A version, ’Allons Danser Colinda’ by Roy Brule appears on Folkways 4938 [‘58], Cajun Songs from Louisiana. ‘Colinda’ appeared by Wallace ‘Cheese’ Read, recorded between 1956 and 1959, and issued on Folklyric LP A-4 Folksongs of the Louisiana Acadians [‘59], reissued on Arhoolie 5009. I first heard the song in a version which ‘bubbled under’ the Hot 100, but received some radio play in Boston: Rod Bernard [‘62, Hall-Way 1902] doing a remake of the Jimmy Davis version. Zachary Richard performed it in the 1987 film The Big Easy.
Kum Ba Yah - The title of this folk song sung around countless campfires is a variation of ‘Come By Here.’ Some say it originated as a Gallah spiritual from the Georgia Sea Islands, but a Wikipedia article says there is no evidence of this, and that the song was written in the ‘30s by Martin V. Frey, and appeared in printed form in Portland, Oregon, in 1939 on the lyric sheet The Revival Choruses of Martin V. Frey. It then returned in its present form from Angola with a missionary family who popularized it (in 1946 or in the ‘50s). The title ‘Come By Here’ turns up on some Library of Congress recordings. Edna Gallmon Cooke and the Radio Four [‘53, Republic 7086] and the Chosen Gospel Singers [‘52, on Specialty LP SPCD 7014-2] recorded the title, but I don’t know if it is the same song - Rypens lists the Cooke version as the first recording of the song; there are other gospel recordings with the same title, but I have heard portions and rejected them. B.B. King did a secularized version [‘59, Kent 2`9]. ’Kum Ba Yah’ was brought into the folk world first by the Folksmiths, with Joe Hickerson, in 1957 on We’ve Got Some Singing To Do [Folkways F2407], then with Pete Seeger at Carnegie Hall with Sonny Terry [‘58, Folkways FA 2412], and the Weavers followed up on Traveling On [59, VRS 9043]. The Journeymen released it as a single [‘62, Capitol 4678] and Joan Baez included it on In Concert (as ‘Kumbaya‘)[‘62, Vanguard 2122]. Its only chart appearance was by journeyman pop singer Tommy Leonetti [‘69, Decca 32421].
We Shall Overcome - This anthem of the Civil Rights movement had its origin either the hymn ‘I’ll Be Alright’ (from 1794?) or in a 1901 hymn by Charles Tindley, ‘I’ll Overcome Someday.’ It was adapted, using ‘we’, by Lucille Simmons in 1946 for use on the picket line in a labor dispute against a tobacco company. Zilphia Horton, a white activist, heard Simmons’ version and brought it to the attention of Pete Seeger (in 1947) and Guy Carawan. The song was developed into its present form in Carawan’s ’Singing in the Movement’ workshop, and he sang it in 1960 at the founding convention of SNCC (Students Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). Pete Seeger may be the one who changed ’We will’ to ’We shall’; he recorded the song in his 1963 Carnegie Hall concert [Columbia 45312] and for Folkways [‘64, Broadsides F2456]. It appeared late in 1963 on Joan Baez In Concert, Vol. 2 [Vanguard 2123]; released as a single [Vanguard 35023], it charted for one week in November ‘63.
Faded Love (Wills, Wills) charted as a 1950 country single by Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys [MGM 10786], but was first recorded as a Tiffany radio transcript. It had country success again in 1963, a posthumous hit for Patsy Cline [Decca 31522]. It grazed the pop charts later that year in an unusual interpretation by Jackie DeShannon [Liberty 55526], and had country success again in 1980 for Willie Nelson & Ray Price [Columbia 11329].
Hey Joe (William Roberts; although often credited to Chester Powers aka Dino Valenti) was first recorded by the Leaves, as ‘Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go?’, on Mira 207, released 11/65. The promo version and the commercial version are different, with the promo being the first recording of the song. They issued the song again on Mira 222, and this version charted 5/21/66. The Surfaris version was released in March ‘66 [Decca 31954]. This was followed by versions by Love [charted 5/66, Love Elektra 74001] and by the Byrds [rec. 5/66, charted 8/66, Fifth Dimension Columbia 2549]. All of these bands were from the Los Angeles area. Tim Rose, a New York folk singer who had worked with Cass Elliott in the Big Three, issued a much altered version of the song [c. 6/66, Columbia 43648], and this formed the basis for the Jimi Hendrix Experience version [charted 1/67 in U.K.; Reprise 0641, from Are You Experienced Reprise 6261]. Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention did a parody of it, ‘Flower Punk’, on We’re Only In It For the Money [Verve 5045].
Roadrunner (Bo Diddley) charted for Bo Diddley [‘60, Checker 942] and for the Mississippi garage band, the Gants [‘65, Liberty 55829, originally Statue 605]. British versions include Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders [‘63, Fontana TF 404], the Pretty Things [‘65, self-titled debut LP Fontana TL 5239], the Zombies [‘65, Decca LK 4679, not on U.S. debut LP] and the Animals’ [‘65, U.K. version of Animal Tracks Columbia SS 1708, not released in the U.S.]. (The song of this name by the Wailers and the Ventures is a different song, as is Jr. Walker’s.)
I Put a Spell On You (Slotkin, Hawkins) was issued by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins [‘56, Okeh 7072], a remake of a 1955 version for Grand as a slow ballad which was not released. It was recorded in 1965 by Nina Simone [Philips 40286, title song of LP Philips 600172]. A version by the Animals was released, in 1966, in the U.K. on Animalisms [Decca LK 4791] and in the U.S. on Animalization [MGM 4384]. Alan Price had left the Animals by this time, and his new band, the Alan Price Set, recorded it and had a U.K. hit, also charting U.S. [‘66, U.S. issue Parrot 3001]. It appeared on Manfred Mann’s U.S. album Pretty Flamingo [Mercury 6549], with no U.K. release; on Them Again [’66, Parrot 1008]; on The Crazy World of Arthur Brown [‘68, Track 8198]; and on Creedence Clearwater Revival [‘68, Fantasy 8382; single charted ‘68 on Fantasy 617].
The Jealous Kind (Guidry) was first issued by Clarence Henry on Argo 5426 [‘62]. It appeared on albums by Joe Cocker [’76, Stingray A&M 4574] , Ray Charles [’77, True to Life Atlantic 19142], Rita Coolidge [’78, Love Me Again A&M 4699], Delbert McClinton [’80, title song of Capitol 12115] and Etta James [’88, Seven Year Itch Island 7 91018-2].
Something You Got (Kenner) was first recorded by Chris Kenner [‘61, Instant 3237], and charted for Alvin Robinson [’64, Tiger 104], the Ramsey Lewis Trio [‘64, Argo 5481] and Chuck Jackson & Maxine Brown [‘65, Wand 181].
Baby Let Me Follow You Down has had many variations. It began its recorded history in 1936 as ‘Mama Let Me Lady It On You’ by Walter Coleman [Decca 7157] and Blind Boy Fuller [ARC 6-08-54], with an answer song by Georgia White: ‘Daddy Let Me Lay It On You’ [Decca 7323]. Professor Longhair recorded ‘Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand’ [‘57, Ebb 121]; Snooks Eaglin: ‘Mama Don’t You Tear My Clothes [‘59, That’s All Right Bluesville LP 1046]; Rev. Gary Davis - who is supposed to have taught it to Fuller in the ‘30s - as an instrumental [‘Please Baby’ ‘64, Prestige 14033] and live at Newport as ‘Baby, Let Me Lay It On You’ [‘68, Kicking Mule LP 1]. On Bob Dylan [‘62, Columbia CK-8579], Dylan says that he learned ‘Baby Let Me Follow You Down’ from fellow folk singer Eric Von Schmidt; ‘Baby, Let Me Lay It On You‘ appeared on Just Dave Van Ronk [’64, Mercury SR-60908]. Bert Berns produced ‘Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand’ for Hoagy Lands & the Mustangs [‘64, Atlantic 2217], and this reportedly inspired the Animals’ ‘Baby Let Me Take You Home’ [‘64, MGM 13242], their first charting record in the U.K. It also appeared on the Band’s live 1976 concert/film The Last Waltz [‘78, Warner 3146].
When the Saints Go Marching In (Purvis, Black) was developed in the Bahamas and New Orleans, and was published in an 1896 Negro gospel anthology (these writers); it was also published as a Baptist hymn in 1916 by Edward Boatner. ‘When All the Saints Come Marching In’ was first recorded by the Paramount Jubilee Singers [‘23, Paramount 12073]. Other versions include Bo Weavil Jackson [‘26, ‘When the Saints Come Marching Home’ Paramount 12390], Blind Willie Davis [‘26, Paramount 12658], Louis Armstrong [‘38, Decca 2230], the Weavers [‘51, Decca 27670], Red Foley [‘52, Decca 9-46411], Bill Haley & the Comets [‘56, ‘The Saints Rock ‘n Roll’ Decca 29870], Jerry Lee Lewis [‘57, self-titled debut LP Sun SLP-1230], Fats Domino [‘59, Imperial 5569] and Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers (aka the Beatles) [‘62, ‘The Saints’ Decca 31382 and ‘64, MGM 13213].
You’ll Never Walk Alone (Rodgers, Hammerstein) is from the 1945 musical Carousel, where it was performed by actors Christine Johnson, John Raitt and Jan Clayton. Popular versions were recorded by Frank Sinatra [‘45, Columbia 36825] and Judy Garland [‘46, Decca 23530]. It was a #1 R&B hit for Ray Hamilton in 1954 [Epic 9015]. Other charting versions are by Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles [’63, Nicetown 5020 and Parkway 896], Gerry & the Pacemakers - a U.K. #1 [‘64, Laurie 3218 and ‘65 Laurie 3302], Elvis Presley [‘68, RCA Victor 47-9600] and the Brooklyn Bridge [’69, Buddah 139].
Gentle On My Mind (Hartford) was s single for its writer, John Hartford [‘67, RCA 9175], and helped propel Glen Campbell to fame [‘67, Capitol 5939]. Other charting versions were by Patti Page [‘68, Columbia 44353] and Aretha Franklin [’69, Atlantic 2619].
Long Tall Texan (Strzelcki) has been recorded by the Four Flickers [‘59, Lee 1003], Jerry Woodard [‘60], Murray Kellum [‘63, M.O.C. 653], the Kingsmen [’64, The Kingsmen in Person Wand 657], and the Beach Boys [’64, Beach Boys Concert Capitol 2198], who reprised it with country singer Doug Supernaw [‘96, Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 River North 1205].
Universal Soldier (Sainte-Marie). Buffy Sainte-Marie’s song was first recorded by the Highwaymen [‘63, One More Time! United Artists 3323]. Buffy’s version appeared on her debut LP [‘64, It’s My Way Vanguard VRS 9142], and it charted simultaneously in 1965 for Donovan [Hickory 1338] and Glen Campbell [Capitol 5504].
You Can Have Her (Cook) has charted for Roy Hamilton [’61, Epic 9434], Timi Yuro [2/65, ’…Him’ Mercury 72391], Dionne Warwick [3/65, ‘…Him’ Scepter 1294], the Righteous Brothers [5/65, Moonglow 239], Jim Edward Brown [’67, RCA Victor 9077], Waylon Jennings [‘73, RCA Victor 0886], Sam Neely [‘74, A&M 1612] and George Jones & Johnny Paycheck [‘79, Epic 50708].
Distant Drums (Walker), a B-side for Roy Orbison [‘63, ‘Falling’ Monument 815] became a posthumous #1 hit on the country charts and in the U.K. for Jim Reeves [‘66, RCA Victor 8789].
Say You (Hicks) - Ronnie Dove’s first hit [‘64, Diamond 167] is a remake of a single by Jamie Coe [‘60, ABC-Paramount 10149].
When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (Hayes, Porter), the classic Sam & Dave hit [‘67, Stax 210] was recorded a month earlier by Charlie Rich, for Hi, but not released. Sonny James had a country hit with it in 1976 [Columbia 10335].
A Love Like Yours (Holland, Dozier, Holland) was a track on the Phil Spector production for Ike & Tina Turner River Deep-Mountain High. It was recorded as Philles 4011 in 1966, but not released until 1969 [A&M SP-3179]. The song was released as a B-side [‘67, Philles 136] and an A-side [‘70, A&M 1170]; it charted in the U.K. in October 1966. The song originated as the B-side of ‘Heat Wave’ by Martha & the Vandellas [‘64, Gordy 7022].
Soothe Me (Cooke) was produced for the Sims Twins by Sam Cooke on his SAR label [‘61, SAR 117]. Cooke’s version appeared on Twistin’ the Night Away [‘62, RCA Victor 2555]. Sam & Dave revived it in 1967 [Stax 218].
Misirlou (unknown authorship) was recorded by the Greek rembetico band of Mihalis Patrinos in 1930 or ‘31; they had been performing it as early as 1927. There were were recordings in the 1930s by Danae (Greek) and Jack Mayesh (Yiddish). An American recording of ‘Misirlou (Turkish Dance)’ by Nicolas Matthey & his Oriental Orchestra [‘40, Decca] claims authorship for Matthey under his real name, N. Roubanis. Other recordings include Woody Herman, vocal [’41, Decca 4024], Harry James [’41, Columbia 36390], Xavier Cugat, with a vocal chorus [’41, Columbia 36360], Jan August [’46, Diamond 2009, the highest charting version], Leon Berry [’53, Dot 15063], the Cardinals (a doo-wop version) [’54, 1054], and Arthur Lyman [’58, Taboo HiFi 806]. The famous surf version is by Dick Dale & the Del-Tones [’62, Deltone 5019], used in the 1994 film Pulp Fiction and sampled by the Black Eyed Peas in ‘Pump It’ [2005, Monkey Business A&M B0004341]; it was recorded by many other surf groups.
She Wears My Ring (Bryant, Bryant) was a single for Jimmy Bell [‘60, Hickory 45-1136] and appeared on Roy Orbison’s Crying [‘62, Monument 4007]. It charted R&B for Jimmy Sweeney [‘62, Buckey 1101], top 10 U.K. for American Solomon King [‘68, Columbia DB 8325], and top 10 country for Ray Price [‘68, Columbia 44628]. It is based on the Spanish song ‘La Golondrina’ by Señor Francisco [1906, Victor].
My Little Red Book (David, Bacharach) appeared on the soundtrack of What’s New Pussycat? [‘65, United Artists 5117] by Manfred Mann [Ascot 2184]. Burt Bacharach released a version with Tony Middleton [‘65, Kapp 685]. It became the first chart success for Arthur Lee’s group Love [‘66, Elektra 45603, from Love Elektra 74001].
Harlem Nocturne (Hagen) was originally by Ray Noble [‘40, Columbia 35708]; Hagen was a band member. Other recordings include Randy Brooks [‘45, Decca 1844], Johnny Otis [‘45, Excelsior 142 and Savoy 815], Herbie Fields [‘53, Parrot 775] and the Viscounts, who charted with it twice (same version) [‘60, Madison 123 and ‘65, Amy 940].
(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons (Watson, Best) was first recorded by its writer Deek Watson & his Brown Dots, as ’Sentimental Reasons’ [‘45, Manor 1009 and ‘46, Manor 1041]. There were several hit versions at the end of ‘46, beginning of ‘47: the King Cole Trio [Capitol 304], Eddy Howard [Majestic 7204], Dinah Shore [Columbia 37188], Charlie Spivak [RCA Victor 20-1981], Ella Fitzgerald [Decca 23670] and Art Kassel [Vogue 781]. It later charted for Sam Cooke [‘58, Keen 3-4002].
Take Me For a Little While (Martin) was first recorded by Evie Sands [‘65, Blue Cat 118] and released at the same time by Jackie Ross [Chess 1938]. It charted for Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles [‘66, Atlantic 2373] and Vanilla Fudge [‘68, Atco 6616].
Red Hot (Emerson) was first recorded by Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson [Sun 219], then by Billy Lee Riley [‘57, Sun 277] and Bob Luman [‘57, Imperial 8313]. It charted for Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs [‘66, MGM 13452] and Robert Gordon with Link Wray [‘77, Private Stock 45,156].
Real Wild Child (O’Keefe, Greenan, Owens) was first recorded by Australian rocker Johnny O’Keefe & the Deejays, as ’The Wild One’ [‘58, Brunswick 55067], and charted for Ivan (aka Jerry Allison, featuring Buddy Holly on guitar) [‘58, Coral 62017]. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded it for Sun in 1958 but it was not released until 1974. It was recorded by Iggy Pop on his 1988 LP Blah-Blah-Blah [A&M 5145].
Grizzly Bear (Jerry Corbitt) was a Memphis jug band song by Jim Jackson [‘28, ‘This Morning She Was Gone’ Victor V38003]. It was recorded by Jack Scott (as ‘Grizzily Bear’) in 1962 [Capitol 4689], with writer credits to Schroeder, Ross & Neil. A recording by Mark Spoelstra as ‘She’s Gone’ appeared on the compilation LP The Blues Project [‘63, Elektra EKS-7264]. It charted for the Youngbloods {Corbitt was a group member) in 1966 [RCA Victor 9015].
With Pen in Hand (Goldsboro) was first recorded by Johnny Darrell, who had a country hit with it [‘68, United Artists 50292]. Bobby Goldsboro’s version appeared on Honey [‘68, United Artists 6642] and eventually charted when released as a single in 1972 [United Artists 50938]. Meanwhile, it had charted for Billy Vera [‘68, Atlantic 2526] and Vikki Carr [‘69, Liberty 56092].
The French Song (Lucille Starr), a minor hit in French for Canadian Lucille Starr ('64, Almo Int'l 204] is a remake of a 1945 French Canadian song "Bonjour mon soleil" (Carmen Richer, Larry Vincento & Harry Peace) ['45, Starr 16648], which in turn appears to be a French translation of a song in English, "When the Sun Says Goodnight".
Darling Baby (Holland, Dozier, Holland) by the Elgins [V.I.P. 25029] was originally recorded by Lamont Dozier, its writer, as “Let’s Talk It Over” by Lamont Anthony [‘60, Anna 1125].
A Lifetime of Loneliness Steve Alaimo [‘63, Checker 1042].