Singing Lineman Hopes Song Sparks Industry Interest

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Chick Herrin of BTU is the only living member of the newly-formed International Linemans Hall of Fame. You've likely seen him working on Bryan's power lines, one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

But now, he is combining that love with his love of music.

On many nights during the holidays, you'll find Herrin on the stage at Santa's Wonderland.

"A lot of country singers started singing when they were in church, singing with their moms and dads, and that's really how I got started," he said.

For days and nights over the course of more than four decades, half of that with BTU, Herrin has been working the lines. One friend, singer/songwriter Jack Houston, said he should combine his professional passion with his prominent pastime. With Herrin's ideas and Houston's help, the song, "Somebody's Hero," was born.

"Your lights are out. Somebody's out there fixing your lights and you don't know who it is. That's kind of what it's all about," Herrin explained. "You're somebody's hero without them knowing."

Herrin's induction into the Linemans Hall of Fame alongside some guy named Thomas Edison and four others did help flip the switch on that lyrical lightbulb above Herrin's helmet.

"One brought about the other more or less, because that's when I really started thinking about it," he said.

The song is already sparking interest within the profession, and BTU and Herrin hope it's marketable to that industry. But Chick doesn't necessarily expect someone outside the world of the lineman to get it.

"He may listen to it," Herrin said. "He may listen to the words, but until you get into the business, that's when you're really going to know what I'm talking about."

Standing in a bucket some 45 feet in the air, the view of Bryan is outstanding. Mere inches away is a live wire, one Herrin has stood face-to-line with many times. So is singing something Herrin does while facing off with that kind of power.

"Yeah, years ago," he said. "I just kind of sing without even thinking about it."

But there's definitely one song Herrin put a little thought into.

Herrin was one of the people who helped start the Texas Lineman's Rodeo, which BTU regularly excels at. He was also among the crews that went to St. Augustine to help restore power following Hurricane Rita.