The word legacy is weighty. Denoting a lifetime full of accomplishments and trials, the word can encapsulate what a person’s true impact is to the world. Bishop Paul S. Morton looks toward a legacy that includes over 38 years of preaching, over 30 years of singing and recording music and a lifetime called by God.
Bishop Morton is a visionary leader, accomplished author, renowned pastor and popular recording artist. When talking about his album he said “In my music I refuse to get stuck, I could just do the oldies all the time but I challenge myself … you have to go to the next level [in my music, in my church]. If you are going to make a difference … the future belongs to those who are open to positive change.”
Living the truth of those words, Morton releases BEST DAYS YET his 10th solo album which features a first time collaboration with Grammy Award winning producer Donald Lawrence.
BEST DAYS YET is diverse but not confused. The songs reflect Morton’s command of a variety of styles. “I love variety and I don’t want to get locked into one style,” said Morton. “It is all on here … the different styles I like to embrace ‘the churchy style, the contemporary style, ‘worshipping style’ so many different qualities that each of the songs have.” But the album’s strength comes in the flawless combination of Morton’s strong vocals and Lawrence’s masterful vocal arrangements and production.
Morton expertly threads a common theme throughout the different styles so there is a definite sense of cohesion when listening to BEST DAYS YET from beginning to end. Resounding with themes of encouragement, hope and transformation, BEST DAYS YET opens with a timeless song for the church, the title track, “Best Days Yet.” Though studio-recorded, the song’s powerful instrumentation gives it a live feel.
Continuing the themes throughout are album cuts “Times Like These,” and upbeat “It’s Over.” And the highlight tying the theme together is the Kurt Carr-penned “Something Happens (Jesus)” which is pure gospel music. The vocals come together beautifully on the powerful song.
Bishop Morton calls BEST DAYS YET a “prophetic project.” It speaks right to the heart of society’s current issues. “When you think about ‘you ain’t seen your best days yet,’ I’ve seen so many depressed people in this recession … people who are about to give up,” said Morton. “I want to lift their spirits. [Let people] know they can succeed. If people really know that their best days are ahead, that things are changing in their life … That something [does] happens when you call the name Jesus. That is what I want people to get out of this album – for people to know something IS going to happen … it’s not going to stay the same if you trust God. It’s going to get better.”
There are stellar guest artists on BEST DAYS YET including Marvin Winans on “Things Are Changing.” “I love the contemporary vibe of this song but it has such an important message,” said Morton. Winans’ smooth and rich vocals over the cool groove make the song a standout.
Also on the album is the incomparable Karen Clark Sheard. A nod to Thomas Whitfield, an early mentor to Morton, “The Grass Withereth” is an absolute modern take on a classic. “Thomas Whitfield produced one of my first national CD’s and he saw something in my music way back then,” said Morton. “He was really a genius before his time and for Donald Lawrence to come in and take it to the next level.”
Achieving a definitive release with BEST DAYS YET, Morton makes the album a family affair working with his son, PJ and daughter Jasmine Morton-Ross. PJ, well known for his amazing songwriting pens several songs on the album lending his signature sound. PJ’s hit “Go Through” and “The Promise” led by Jasmine are high points. “I am so proud of her [Jasmine]” said Morton. “I really want to see her do her own project, she’s so gifted and I love her voice that I think it’s time for her to go to the next level in music.”
Morton went on to explain, “working with my children is very key to helping keep relevant … [my son] who produced several songs … gave me one of the greatest compliment saying ‘hey Dad you still got it’ I tried to hang on in there … of course it was a different experience for me for him to produce some of my songs.”
“I love singing and am so excited about what I do, Morton continued. “I just believe there so much more in helping others … like my daughter and son who are carrying on the mantle for me.”
BEST DAYS YET is well rounded, powerful and encouraging. As he does in his role as pastor & Bishop, Morton lifts people’s spirits through this album giving them honest messages of hope. “There is so much in each of the songs,” he said. “I want them to really minister to people [they] need hope in this day and time. The songs really center around that.”
Bishop Paul Morton is the International Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship and Sr. Pastor of Changing a Generation church in Atlanta, GA. With over 30 years of singing and recording, Morton has plans to start a new season in his life.
He announced recently his retirement from Presiding Bishop of FGBCF in 2015 as well as retire from pastoring in 2020. Morton won’t rest on his laurels. His legacy is pass on his vast knowledge. “I want to share with people the experience I’ve had in life … I want to be able to teach in school … show people how to be successful,” Morton said. “I have the experience of longevity and know how to make success last.”