The Year the Buffalo Bills ‘Shout’ Song Was Almost Banned
It's a song every Buffalonian knows; it's "AY-AYYY-AY-AYYYE" hook, a Bills Mafia mating call.
But there was one year where the Isley Brothers-inspired fan anthem was almost banned.
"It's a good song, it's good for the team, it's good for the players," Patrick Ruffino a devoted Bills fan and Chairman of the Buffalo Save the Shout Committee told WKBW back in 2017.
"It's just great for the community, it brings the community together."
The year was 1993 when Ruffino created the Buffalo Save the Shout Committee after the Bills administration announced they wouldn't pay the rights fee for the original song.
Bills Daily recall contract for the song variation expired, and the Polaroid Corporation recently acquired the rights. They were asking for $10,000.
The Buffalo Bills refused.
Ruffino garnered the support of Bills fans and started a letter-writing campaign, called in to radio stations, and even got national coverage for his efforts.
In the meantime, the advertising agency responsible for creating the Shout song was tasked with making a replacement after Polaroid secured the rights.
A remake of the 1962 Ernie Maresca song “Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) was chosen, but fans hated it.
The Buffalo News recalled the storied history of the Shout song in a 2015 article. Marilyn Singer, of the Singer Agency which produced both songs, took it upon herself to try to get the rights to the original Shout song to use:
Singer called a Polaroid public-relations executive to ask for regional rights to the song. She recalls the PR person snickering and telling her, “You lost the Super Bowl three times. Maybe you should have gotten rid of the song.”
Singer sent a letter to the CEO of Polaroid, including that quote from the company’s publicist and politely asking for the regional rights.
Two weeks later, the Bills had their song back.
“I love music that much”
The Buffalo "Shout" song was brought to life by Scott Kemper, who you can see performing the song in this video.
The fans ultimately applied enough pressure to the Bills front office to save the song.
Then owner, Ralph Wilson and the Bills organization realized how important the song was for the 12th man. Because of the fans' persistence and the help of the Buffalo Save the Shout song committee, the Buffalo "Shout" song was played as the Bills stormed out of the tunnel on opening day, September 5th, 1993. -WKBW