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As a lifelong lover of American jazz Ken Meades began “The Softer Sounds of Jazz” first on WNOS Radio in New Bern and later, Public Radio East. It is designed as a different kind of jazz program aimed at a wider audience. “Softer Sounds” features soloists and small groups/singers doing songs from the Great American Songbook; Gershwin, Ellington, Berlin and others from the golden era of popular music. The players range from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins and Art Tatum to the present day stars Harry Connick Jr., Diane Krall and Bucky Pizzarelli.
Ken Meades was born in London and survived the Blitz. He served two years in the British Army as a Special Operator. He and his wife Pauline just celebrated 60 years of marriage. They have three children, one born each in England, Canada and the USA. They emigrated to Canada in 1957 and then moved to the USA in 1963 As Technical Director of a small company making high tech coatings for industry and Ken was instrumental in multiplying sales by over 1200%; including a paint used on every USMC vehicle in Operations Desert Shield/Storm and patented in his name. He stayed with that company thirty years until retirement in 1993
Ken formed the first Toastmaster’s Club in Cortland NY and won the Upstate Speakers Championship four times – no one else in more than 50 years ever won it more than once. In 1989 he competed in the International Speakers Competition as one of nine finalists from the English speaking world.