Chasing Moby Dick in East Texas

Look at File 58

Not too long ago, I went on a record hunting safari in Southeast Texas alongside some good friends. Though many East Texas towns have become rather malnourished and storm-beaten shells of themselves over recent years, this was quite the fertile soil musically speaking for many decades. From Port Arthur soul artists like Al Trahan to Beaumont garage rock scene runners SJ & the Crossroads, the guardians of our Eastern border forged sounds of their own and tended to do it well. Many artist traveled West to Houston for exposure and many local labels traveled East to the Golden Triangle to discover new talent. The symbiotic relationships produced such musical fruit as Huey Meaux catching a deal with Atlantic for Barbara Lynn and James Kelly Duhon recording for Mainstream.

To call such a geographically small area’s recorded output enormous would be to put it lightly. So it made perfect sense for us to go see what treasures still may be buried out East. After a long day of digging everywhere from antique malls to warehouses, we found ourselves in the back of a semi-trailer full of records.

I noticed a rather nice 45 singles tote box from the sixties and while scrounging through it, I found the above index card. These cards were sets placed inside 45 boxes to use as an index system as to not have to flip through all of your records to find the one single you wish to listen to. You would just flip the protruding tabs to the corresponding numbered card in question.

I scanned down the index card to see what the former owner had collected when I noticed number 58 on the list, Thursday’s Children “Help, Murder, Police.” A garage rock masterpiece recorded in the mid-sixties in Houston on the International Artists label. A fantastic single that has remained criminally rare.

A furious search through the semi-trailer ensued but to no avail. All I found was this index card and a 45 box who’s former owner had rather impeccable taste in the sixties. Moby Dick swims on.

Thursday’s Children “Help, Murder, Police”


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