I’ve completed item No. 368 on my bucket list: publicly humiliating myself while singing Sandy’s part in the “Grease” hit “Summer Nights.”
I owe it all to Happy Hour with Mike Scroggins.
I first met Scroggins, 38, through my annual coverage of local families’ holiday light displays. The Smiths, Ala., resident decorates his roof with a yuletide rock band.
When he recently called me, I figured it was time for an early Griswold report.
Scroggins, who is married with two young children, said he’d returned to the nightlife world after years as a stay-at-home dad.
He hoped I’d check out his weekly happy hour gig at Daileys.
I walked into the bar Saturday night half excited, half nervous.
It had potential to mirror the dreaded family wedding scene where dad seizes the mike for a slurred version of “Funky Cold Medina.”
But seconds into Scroggins’ performance of “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” I breathed a sigh of relief.
Extended “Barney and Friends” immersion hadn’t destroyed him after all.
I wasn’t entirely surprised.
Until about 10 years ago, Scroggins was the vocalist for a local band. Then, he became a family man and took an extended break from performing.
Fast forward to a couple months ago. After performing at a wedding reception, Scroggins had an urge to ditch the muppets for Margaritaville.
Well, for at least an hour every Saturday.
He spent a week fine-tuning his guitar skills and learning about 40 songs. Then, it was time to take his act beyond the “Barney”-driven household.
“You can only play at home so much before you drive everybody crazy,” said Scroggins, whose song list includes party standards like “Sweet Caroline” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.”
With the help of Dan Dailey from Daileys, he secured a happy hour slot at the Broadway hot spot.
For many musicians, it might seem like an intimidating setup.
There is no backup band — just Scroggins and his guitar.
Not to mention the 8:45 p.m. start time, which doesn’t necessarily scream “party hour.”
“I feel like I’m starting all over again,” said Scroggins.
Still, even in the absence of a crowded dance floor, Scroggins seems at home on the Daileys stage. He hopes to use it as a jumping-off point for more local gigs.
He knows it’s a learning process, one that often requires as much trial and error as his holiday fuse box mastery.
That’s why I said yes when Scroggins asked me to duet with him on “Summer Nights.”
If he can brave a nightlife comeback, I can certainly deal with a little humiliation videotaped for an infinite audience.
I think Barney would agree.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.