Roy Barnes’ career as a radio singer spanned six decades. He premiered in 1934 on KGHL, Billings, Mont. with a weekly radio show on Wednesday evenings featuring his five-piece band, The Wyoming Range Riders. In 1941, when Powell’s first radio station, KPOW, went on the air, Barnes began a 50-year association with them including his popular morning show. His trademark opening theme “Hello there, neighbor, how do you do?” marked time at 6:50 a.m. for hundreds of rural families. Listeners heard Barnes’ music on stations all over Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado, and as far away as Texas and Ohio. For his long-time service to the industry, Barnes was inducted into The Wyoming Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2003.
Barnes and his band also performed around the Big Horn Basin for Saturday Night Jamboree Dances. As he grew older, he could also be heard at community events, club socials and fundraisers until arthritis overtook his hands.
Rocky, as he was affectionately called, is also remembered as a school bus driver who sang to the students over a P.A. system he installed in his bus. “Roy was known by many for his music,” said Donna Ford, a colleague of Barnes from his days at KPOW. “He was loved by thousands because he was Roy. He had an impish smile along with a gift of thinking fast on his feet.”