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Firefighter Lives a Country Music Dream

'Old Friends' CD cover.
'Old Friends' CD cover.

After working as a small town firefighter for several years, Anthony Michael James made a momentous decision. He moved to Nashville to pursue his life long dream: becoming a country music singer. With the release of his well-received debut CD Old Friends, it looks like his dream is about to come true.

James tells NPR's Liane Hansen that he started to feel the effects of his stressful work experience after almost a decade on the job.

"I realized that I was getting too emotionally drawn in," he says, describing a defining moment when he was first on the scene of an accident where a young girl had been hit by a car. "I got to the point where I had to turn it off."

While James is proud of his time as a firefighter, he's much happier measuring his progress on the country music charts. "To be able to make a living in the music business doing what I love -- that would be success for me."

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