Stephen Koch is a native of Arkansas County, graduate of Arkansas State University, and a writer. He is a research associate with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and a committee member for the Center's Arkansas Music Conference planned for this fall. He is the author of Louis Jordan's biography in the University of Arkansas Press' forthcoming "Arkansas Biography" and organizer of the annual July 8 Louis Jordan Tribute held in downtown Little Rock. This event, entering it's fourth year, featured Jordan's widow, Martha, as guest of honor and was instrumental in getting Jordan inducted into the newly opened Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in Pine Bluff in 1998. Koch, whose byline appears as S. Koch, is a special projects editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and his writing, photography and drawings have appeared in the "Arkansas Times", "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette", "Memphis Flyer" and former Arkansas Secretary of State Bill McEuen's short-lived "Gaming Gazette", among other publications. As a freelance writer he has traveled to Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Nevis, the Abacos, Costa Rica and Holland. His awards include: Humorous Column, First Place 1996 Arkansas Press Association Humorous Column, Second Place 1997 Arkansas Press Association Humorous Column, Honorable Mention 1997 Arkansas Press Association Best Reporter 1995 Little Rock Free Press Reader's Choice Awards Woody Award for Environmental Reporting 1995 Sierra Club As a 12-string guitarist and harmonicist, Koch has performed, albeit irregularly, with a variety of Little Rock musicians including The Noah Beerys, Brad Brown (Ho-Hum) and Dan Limke (Chapter 13), and on a variety of Little Rock stages including Vino's, Whitewater Tavern, Wabi-Sabi, Andina's, the River Market and Juanita's. He writes his own songs, but also highlights several artists in performance like Louis Jordan, Casey Bill Weldon and Johnny Cash. In April, Koch spoke and performed at the Arkansas Historical Association's annual meeting in Pine Bluff, where he will present his paper, "Mop!: Louis Jordan, Cultural Homesteading and Arkansas' Forgotten Legacy", to the AHA.
Keith was born near Chicago so he is an Arkansawyer by choice. After graduating from Little Rock's Catholic High School he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Arkansas State University at Jonesboro. He began his radio career as a rock 'n' roll disk jockey and has worked off and on in radio for the thirteen years since doing stints at several Arkansas radio stations and even working for a period as a radio newsman in Alaska. He currently works as morning news anchor and assistant agri-business director for the statewide Texas State Networks following a stint as a reporter and anchor at the Arkansas Radio Network and top rated heritage station KARN AM/FM. His reports appear regularly on CBS News(radio) and have also been heard nationwide on AP Network News and National Public Radio. He is a correspondent with the Arkansas Radio Network and has apppeared as a guest on both the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as well as on morning shows in Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Seattle, Houston, Denver and Oklahoma City. Keith is an award winning reporter winning Associated Press awards for large market investigative reporting and continuing coverage. Most recently he won the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Horizon Award for the best up and coming farm journalist in the South Region. In addition to his regular job he is beginning to find success as a freelance writer with pieces appearing in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Little Rock Free Press. Keith is a research associate with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and serves on the committee for the Center's upcoming Arkansas Music Conference and was a featured speaker at the recent Louis Jordan Tribute held July 8th in Little Rock.
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