I love private press records. Today, with the Internet, anybody can make a recording and release a "record" online. But to bypass the record labels and release a record independently back "in the day" took time and effort. To buy studio time, create album art, and go through the process of releasing a record was a serious undertaking; it was not for the random hobbyist. There are private press records in just about any genre you can think of. Of course, they are abundant in gospel, Christian, and Pentecostal circles.
These records can also be a challenge to find and collect. Not everybody who sells these records puts them under the keyword "Pentecostal." To unearth these treasures takes time, patience, and did I say time? I can spend a lot of time scrolling through or flipping through records until I find a gem. It is a rewarding experience.
Not every cover is an indication that it is a Pentecostal album. Not every musician is a big name that attracts the eye right away. It takes looking at the back cover art/text to determine if it's Pentecostal. Often, the names involved are not found in any online search. They served their time for the Lord and shed the mortal coil. All their moments are lost in time like tears in the rain. (Time to die.) Without the private press records, little would still be around to track their journey through this Earthly sod.
Effie Shelton is one such voice for the Lord. She received the Holy Ghost on March 2, 1929, and was called to the ministry. In 1968 she felt called by God to record this record album. She reports God gave her three songs for the album ("Over in Glory," "I Have Found It Sweet Over Here," and "He's Divine.") Save for this record, what would we have to remember Effie by? There are a lot of private press records. Finding a treasure like this is like finding that proverbial needle in a haystack. But I believe records are a better way to preserve these songs over digital media.
(Of course, here I am, sharing it digitally!)
Not much is found online about her or Rev. Ramsey, but I found that Sister Shelton passed away December 1984. She was 81 years old.
Here is a piece of herself she left behind for us. Another great thing about this record is that it features two sermons. How many Pentecostal records these days offer that? This is a great find, and it is my pleasure to share it with you.