Local Performer Will Sing Anthem At Bills Game
Popular local singer R.J. Scouton has no doubt about his favorite song to sing and hear.
It’s the national anthem.
“I heard the song a million times and every time it still touches me and brings tears to my eyes,” the Noxen resident said.
Soon, he’ll be singing his favorite song in front of a huge audience.
Scouton has been invited to sing the anthem on Oct. 7 prior to the NFL game in which the Buffalo Bills host the Tennessee Titans.
The 35-year-old is hoping no players kneel during his rendition. Over the past several seasons, players have taken a knee during the anthem in protest of alleged misconduct by police around the country. The controversy has led television networks to not broadcast the anthem prior to games.
“This is where I gain fans and I lose fans. Our ancestors didn’t fight for their freedom on their knees. They fought strongly and bravely on two feet,” Scouton said. “I know that we are entitled to free speech, that we are free people, but I personally believe, if you are capable you should stand. I find it personally offensive when people take a knee.”
Scouton, who recently recorded a country album in Nashville, said this will be his biggest audience ever.
The opportunity presented itself after Scouton performed over the summer at a private party at the Moosic home of drag racing legend and real estate developer Joe Amato.
Terrence Pegula, the billionaire owner of the Buffalo Bills and friend of Amato, was at the party and enjoyed Scouton’s singing. Thurman Thomas, a Hall of Fame former running back for the Bills, was also there.
Scouton didn’t know that at the time.
After the party, Scouton inquired about singing the anthem at a Bills game.
Amato’s wife, Andrea, later spoke to Pegula’s wife, Kim, who helped arrange Scouton’s appearance.
Amato said he and his wife used to like going out to watch Scouton’s local cover band Stealing Neil. He’s hoping Scouton will get a national recording contract one day.
“He’s a great singer. Hopefully he catches a break,” Amato said.
Scouton describes his music as “Jason Aldean meets Pearl Jam.”
“That’s what happens when an alternative grunge guy turns country,” he said.
Scouton said he grew up listening to country but then strayed away to rock. After opening for country singer Aaron Tippin at the Luzerne County Fair, Scouton started to pursue a country act. He recorded an album at the same studio where Tippin records.
Scouton recently performed the national anthem at PNC Field during a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders playoff baseball game.
He is excited for his chance at the big stage at the Buffalo Bills game to sing the national anthem.
“When people ask me what my favorite song is, they laugh, because I tell them that is my favorite song,” Scouton said.
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