Long time local Gardendale resident Clay Barnes spent years in the print and radio industries. He was born and raised in Gardendale and graduated from Gardendale High School in 1981. You may remember Clay and his writing from his time with the North Jefferson News that began publishing in 1970. Clay began writing for the paper around 1992 and has fond memories of the paper and his time covering sports in Gardendale and North Jefferson. He spent time at different radio stations and newspapers throughout the U.S. during his career in media.
Clay says he has two passions, “sharing the gospel and doing radio.” He studied Bible in college.
Clay said he has never wanted to fully retire because he still has a passion for radio and for bringing a local station to Gardendale and North Jefferson. He focused in on starting a digital radio station and called it K98 Rocket Radio. Clay says that the format of the station is classic country, with “plenty of George Strait and a little early Luke Bryan as well as artists like Merle Haggard and George Jones. We will also sprinkle in some of your favorite southern rock tracks.”
Radio stations usually also keep their listeners informed about news and weather and I asked Clay if K98 Rocket Radio would be more than just music? Clay told me that he is “passionate about giving folks fresh and factual information.” Clay even has a passion for weather. “I am also an advanced storm spotter with NWS (National Weather Service). As a broadcaster, I have access to the NWS chat just like the folks at the TV stations.” Clay says the station will definitely share weather updates to listeners.
As for drive-time and other shows within the K98 Rocket Radio programming, Clay told me that he is looking at those all with a local flavor. He also expects to include local and school updates within the format of the station.
You can find K98 Rocket Radio by going to their website here.
You can also download the “Online Radio Box” app on your iPhone or Android device and find the station and listen in your car or on the go.