My friend Jamie calls Ray Boltz, "the Thank You guy."
"Whenever an offering plate is passed, they play that song," says Jamie, who grew up Southern Baptist. The song in question is "Thank You," a contemporary Christian paean to a Sunday school teacher. The singer, Ray Boltz, shocked some evangelicals by coming out as a proud gay Christian in the pages of the Washington Blade this past September.
After racking up two gold albums and 12 number one singles as a contemporary Christian artist, Ray debuted his latest single, "Don't Tell Me Who to Love," at a protest against Prop 2 in Florida. Now Soulforce has produced a video to highlight the song.
To learn more about the video and the collaboration with Soulforce, read an interview with Soulforce Executive Director Jeff Lutes after the jump.
How did you first hear about the song "Don't Tell Me Who to Love"?
Jeff Lutes: I got an email from Ray's ex-wife, Carol Boltz, just introducing the song and announcing the fact that it was available as a free download from Ray's web site. I immediately loved the song and was really moved by it, and I got a wild hare to try to make something with it.
How did you choose the images? Jeff Lutes: I just put together images that came to mind. The photos of couples are all friends of Soulforce and friends of mine, with a few stock photos for emotional impact. The majority of the couples are people who participated in the Soulforce American Family Outing. How did you reach out to Ray? Jeff Lutes: I sent the video to Carol and then she shared it with Ray. He went bananas and loved it and said it was just exactly the kind of thing he had hoped people would do with it. So he gave it the thumbs up.
A lot of the people who have watched the video are Ray and Carol's friends. That seems to be how the word is getting out. Do you listen to contemporary Christian music?
Jeff Lutes: I don't so much any more, but I grew up with it. That's probably why I was so hooked in by Ray's song.