Entrepreneur hoping for ‘something big’ from reality show

MCCOMB — Scott Johnson has a lot on his calendar.

The 46-year-old owner of Chilly Willy’s — a sno-ball stand, restaurant, bar and concert hall — is busy preparing to defend his business in a chancery court lawsuit, a misdemeanor criminal trial in justice court and a noise ordinance violation charge in municipal court.

The business has been the scene both of police complaints and top-name country music concerts. The Enterprise-Journal reports Johnson’s hoping some of that notoriety will translate onto the small screen as the subject of a new reality television show.

“It could turn into something big,” Johnson said. “I’ve seen shows that aren’t as interesting as what we have here.”

Johnson said he pitched the idea for a reality show to Nashville film director Ryan Hamblin, who’s worked with country stars Kris Kristofferson Jamey Johnson and John Rich of Big & Rich, as well as other pop, rock and rap performers.

“They’re just intrigued that something started out as a little sno-ball stand and is getting groups out of Nashville,” Johnson said.

Johnson, Hamblin and a video team will meet at the Hard Rock Cafe in Biloxi on Memorial Day weekend. The pilot episode will focus on the week leading up to the Aug. 10 concert featuring country acts Frank Foster and Big Smo at Chilly Willy’s.

Hamblin will then pitch the segment to networks and cable channels.

“This could actually put Fernwood or Magnolia or McComb in a different light,” Johnson said.

“Everybody that comes here says this is a unique place,” he said of Chilly Willy’s. “We’ve got Southern hospitality, and obviously a great sound system. Everything here is set up professionally.”

The focus of the show will be the concerts, which have featured such country music acts as John Anderson, Daryle Singletary and Sammy Kershaw.

“It definitely revolves around the music industry,” Johnson said. “You’re running a full-service restaurant, you’re running a full bar, you’re running music. Around here there’s nothing like it from Jackson to New Orleans.”

Johnson faces a noise complaint in Magnolia Municipal Court on May 13. He will go to trial June 4 in Pike County Justice Court on misdemeanor charges of simple assault-threatening, disturbance of family and trespassing for allegedly threatening Dr. Andy Watson, who filed a noise ordinance complaint against Chilly Willy’s in March. Johnson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

And Johnson faces a civil trial Sept. 9 in Pike County Chancery Court on a noise ordinance lawsuit filed by Watson.

Johnson said he doesn’t want the court cases to interfere with his reality show filming, but “that’s part of my reality.”

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