The Playlist

Joe's Last Playlist

  • Joy To The World Three Dog Night

    My first music purchase. A 45 rpm, single.

  • Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) - Remastered The Beatles

    So many great Beatles tunes, but this may be my favorite. What is yours?

  • Imagine - 2010 - Remaster John Lennon

    Let’s imagine this world together.

  • Wild West Hero Electric Light Orchestra

    Just a great song to crank up.

  • Kashmir Led Zeppelin

    Zeppelin carried me through high school and college. I saw them live in April 1977 with my good friend Travis Wayne.

  • Watching The Detectives Elvis Costello

    I just love Elvis Costello.

  • Solsbury Hill - 2002 album remaster version Peter Gabriel

    Another great song.

  • Lucky Number Lene Lovich

    This is just good music. Thanks Jeff Truchan.

  • Like a Rolling Stone Bob Dylan

    I agree with Rolling Stone magazine, this is the greatest song of all time

  • Is She Really Going Out With Him? - A Capella Version / The Night And Day Tour / 1983 Joe Jackson

    Can you believe Chris married me? And better yet, she stayed with me for life. I really like the a cappella version of this song. I saw Joe Jackson in concert at least three times.

  • Take Me To The River - Remastered Talking Heads

    Great beat. Great lyrics. And I love David Byrne’s voice.

  • Caribbean Blue Enya

    Enya was played often while I wrote my dissertation.

  • Dreams The Cranberries

    This song reminds me of a great ski trip I had with a young Kelly and Ally. We listened to this CD a lot on this trip. The songs still remind me of these girls.

  • Nutcracker Suite, Op.71a: Arabian Dance (Coffee) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Mallory danced so beautifully to this song. Just hearing it will always make me smile.

  • Monk's Dream - Take 8 Thelonious Monk

    This guy is jazz at its best and this is one of his best.

  • Sympathique Pink Martini

    Chris and I love these guys. Very creative. Very international. We saw them twice at Red Rocks.

  • Pinball Prison Puddles Pity Party

    My gift to you. This is such a great song. If you love it, check out the YouTube version to see Puddles in action.

  • Hakuna Matata Nathan Lane

    My aspirational philosophy.

  • Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life (Monty Python Sings) Monty Python

    More philosophy of life. I am pretty good at this one.

  • What A Wonderful World - Single Version Louis Armstrong

    More philosophy of life.

  • Over The Rainbow Sarah Vaughan

    There are so many great versions of this song but It think I love Sarah Vaughan’s version best.

My Playlist in Spotify

Just the facts. What happened in Joe Cannon's life?

I was born on April 11, 1960 the first of three boys born to Pat and Roseanne Cannon. I used to say, "I was born in Liverpool and then at age four I moved to Greece." This may sound exotic until you realize both are towns in upstate New York. Here are some other timeline highlights:

  • From age 8 to 14, I lived in Brown Deer, Wisconsin and became a cheesehead for life. This also explains my life long passion for the Green Bay Packers (and to a lesser extent the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers). 
  • I attended Algonquin Elementary and Brown Deer Middle School. I was a bit of a wild kid and one of my seventh grade teachers told my parents "Joe was the single biggest disappointment of her year." Yikes! Mom and dad were not happy. I think they were happy to move to a new town where I could make new friends. 
  • Right at the end of eigth grade, we moved to Wheaton, Illinois and I attended Glenbard South High School. I was still a bit wild -- more than a bit of a partier -- but I did get good grades (usually). 
  • While at Glenbard High School I met my favorite teacher -- Bob Glover. He was a great math teacher and a great friend all my life. Bob passed away too young. I miss him. 
  • I graduated high school in 1978 and moved on to Marquette University in Milwaukee, where I majored in marketing. 
  • I had a great college experience at Marquette. It started with lots of partying, but I got my act together in time to get a good education and a good job. 
  • In 1982, I graduated and took a job at Eastman Kodak. Kodak was a very successful company with a powerful brand. In six years at Kodak I lived in Rochester, NY, Sacramento, CA, Menlo Park, CA, and Brooklyn, NY. 
  • The most important thing that happened at Kodak was meeting a beautiful, smart, and kind woman -- Chris Brozovich. We later married. 
  • In 1988 I decided to pursue an idea that had percolated in my head for several years. I wondered if I should get a Ph.D. in marketing and become a professor. I was doing well at Kodak and going to grad school full time for 4-5 years was a big commitment. A big influence on my decision was a conversation with Don Sakamoto, a friend and customer in California. Don suggested one way to look at such a big decision was to project your life out about 25 years. Would I be likely to wonder, "should I have done that?" I decided to take the plunge...
  • And I made the best career decision of my life by pursuing a Ph.D. in marketing at the University of North Carolina. I worked with Bill Perreault which started a relationship I value to this day. I graduated in 1992 and...
  • Took my first academic position at Emory University in Atlanta. 
  • My eldest daughter Kelly was born during our last year in Chapel Hill, NC. Then, a couple of years later our daughter Alexandra (Ally) was born in Atlanta. 
  • I enjoyed Emory and Chris and I liked Atlanta. But we decided we really wanted to raise our kids in a smaller town. While we liked the idea of four seasons but didn't want the cold winters that we both experienced growing up in Wisconsin. So we were thrilled to move to...
  • Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1997. I very much enjoyed the department, college and university. I became a full professor, published some research, wrote a textbook, and won some teaching awards. I went from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, to Full Professor -- and even Dean's Distinguished Teaching Scholar. I had great colleagues and students. 
  • We made many close friends in Fort Collins. I learned about soccer from watching my kids. I gained an appreciation for craft beer and learned how to cycle. 

A visual stroll through Joe's life...

play slideshow
  • Birth announced - April 11, 1960

  • Growing up....

  • Family Christmas photo

  • With brothers, Pat and Mike

  • College education - with Packy and Barnie

  • I met a girl...

  • We got married...

  • Happy boy.

  • College buddies

  • First child - Kelly

  • Three girls

  • Ally - Soccer

  • A year in Madrid, Spain

  • Mallory - soccer

  • Girls grow up...

  • Discovered cycling...

  • A trip to Africa

  • A constant - in good years and bad

These are a few of my favorite things...

Photo - A young (still dating) Chris and Joe on a Vancouver Island hike

  • Pizza – especially a good BBQ chicken or Hawaiian
  • Hamburgers – check out the recipe for “Chris’ Bay Area Burger” on AllRecipes
  • Sushi – I learned how to eat this from a customer and friend David Otsuki decades ago.
  • Beer. A good craft beer -- an IPA, Belgian Ale, Lager, even a lighter Kolsch after a long bike ride. New Belgium and O’Dell’s usually brew my favorites.
  • Chocolate - brownies, dark chocolate with sea salt, hot fudge (on vanilla ice cream) are among my favorites.
  • A good science fiction movie – Star Wars (all of them – but the first one was the best), Star Trek movies (all were great), Avatar, Gattaca, Planet of the Apes, A Clockwork Orange, The Matrix, ET the Extra-Terrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and many more
  • A good science fiction book – some of my favorites include  A Wrinkle in Time (my first sci-fi book), Ender’s Game (and that whole Enderverse series), We Are Legion (the Bobiverse books), Ready Player One, the Foundation series (Asimov), and Kindred.  
  • A good sci fi TV show – Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Files, Orphan Black,
  • A good bike ride – Rist Canyon, The Dams, Eden Valley, Heritage Trail, Southwest Wisconsin,
  • A good hike – favorites include Milford Track (New Zealand), Hanging Lake (Colorado), some hike outside Vancouver where a young couple took a vacation while still dating (see photo). 

Remember me...

How do I hope to be remembered

  • Great (or at least very good) dad. Someday Kelly, Ally, and Mallory can maybe find a way to write something here. Sometimes I worked too hard. Sometimes I pushed too hard. But I think I did a decent job being a dad. Probably the most important job I had.
  • Great (or at least very good) husband. Someday Chris can fill in this one. Did we have our ups and downs? Yes, but many, many more ups than downs. I think I did a pretty good job as provider and friend.
  • Good teacher. Someday, maybe some of my students will come to My Last Soundtrack and add their own stories. In the meantime, I think I was a pretty good teacher. I put a lot into it. I was a hard teacher -- I challenged my students. Many of my students and peers recognized my teaching efforts and I have won awards. One of those awards was a keychain that included the quote, “A teacher affects eternity…” The original quote continues “…he can never tell where his influence stops.” I hope I taught my students critical thinking skills they carry on and pass to others. I also like to believe, “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” Brad Henry
  • Good textbook author. I was the author of two textbooks—Basic Marketing and Essentials of Marketing – through more than 10 editions.
  • Good researcher. I published a number of influential journal articles. In 2007, I was ranked #65 among the “100 Most-Cited Scientists in Economics & Business.”
  • Creative person – an innovator. I taught creativity and innovation. In my later career, I was involved in an educational technology innovation (ACTIV82LRN) and a startup My Last Soundtrack. I tried to innovate in the classroom, with my research, and in my textbooks. I hope these innovations added value to my students, fellow scholars, businesspeople, and others.

Sports Successes and Failures

We learn from both...

Sports have always been important in my life. I love to compete. I have never been a great athlete—I didn’t play any varsity sports in high school. But I have continued to try to play all my life. Here are a few of the highlights and lowlights of my sporting life.

  • Fourth grade little league. 10 years old. I go the whole season without getting a hit. I was devastated (and afraid of the ball). It was my only year playing little league baseball.
  • Fifth Grade Flag football.  10 years old. In spite of the little league experience, I was a pretty good athlete back in elementary school. We played for the Fifth Grade Flag football championship -- mainly because Craig Erdmann was an awesome quarterback who could run and pass. The game was the only one that year in the high school stadium (big time for a fifth grader). it was six-on-six. I was the wide receiver on the right side and Craig called a sweep left. So I had no blocking to do and just ran a crossing pattern. When the run didn’t seem to work, Craig passed to me and I streaked downfield to score the game’s first touchdown -- probably a 50 yard play (well it seemed like that). As I rand, I heard some guy on the sidelines say, “That kid is fast.” Insert beaming pride photo here if we had one.
  • Strip Free Throw Shooting contest. 1974. Freshmen “B” Team basketball. Coach Randy Pfund (who would later go on to be head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers – one of my few claims to fame) had a strip free throw shooting contest. If you missed a free throw, you took off an article of clothing and ran to the other end of the court and back. Until you got down to your jock strap and were eliminated. Coach Pfund took the winner to McDonald’s in his Triumph Spitfire for french fries. I won! It was the highlight of my short-lived high school basketball career.
  • Joe’s First (and only) 5K. 1990. While in grad school, I took up running (sort of). I decided to run a 5K race -- with no experience on how to do this. When I arrived, I figured, the biggest risk was getting stuck behind slow people (yes, naive). So I sprinted out of the start and was in first place after a quarter mile. From there I never passed anyone else and finished middle of the pack. There was never another 5K where I could have learned from that failed strategy.
  • Church League Basketball game. This was probably around 2005. I played basketball for the St. Elizabeth Anne Seaton Catholic Church basketball team in the Fort Collins Church league. I had one of those games where I made every shot I took. That did not happen very often.
  • The 1000 mile bike ride. 2017. Someday I plan to ride from coast-to-coast. To prepare for that ride and see if I could do it, I rode solo from Fort Collins to DeForest, Wisconsin (1015 miles). I did this in 12 days. This was one of those “set a goal you are not sure you can accomplish” moments. I recommend those. You feel awesome when you achieve something that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Favorite quotes

Because often someone else says what you believe better than you do

  • “Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” Robert Holden
  • “Let your hopes not your hurts shape your future.” Robert H. Schuller
  • “The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.” Swedish proverb
  • “There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.” Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Chinese Proverb
  • “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Thomas Edison
  • “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer
  • “You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Marcus Aurelius
  • “Be weird. Your strangeness is your magic.” Parker Lewis
  • “Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.” Khalil Gibran
  • “Don't surround yourself with yourself. Move on back two squares. Send an instant karma to me. Initial it with loving care (Don't surround yourself).” Yes, “I’ve Seen All Good People”
  • “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” Colin Powell

My advice to others...

For whatever it may be worth

  • “First things first.” My kids have heard this phrase many times. Get done what must be done before you work on what would be nice to do. “Eat your frogs first” makes a similar point – do the hard stuff you don’t want to do first thing in the day. 
  • “Never stop learning.” We are in a world that is changing faster every day. With this accelerating pace, you should know that learning does not stop when you “graduate” from school. Lifelong learning is essential in the world today.
  • Work hard. I guess I grew up with that Protestant work ethic. “Your dreams don't work unless you do.” John C. Maxwell
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone. I have learned that BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals) are empowering. Set a hard goal for yourself and then go after it. Whether you achieve it or not, you will be a winner.
  • Find some passions. It just makes life more fun when you have some things you are passionate about. My passions include learning, teaching, writing, basketball, cycling, the Green Bay Packers, the North Carolina Tarheels basketball team, my kids, and my wife. When I found a passion, working on it, toward it, or with it, life was more worth living. Plus, working on a passion it often put me in a state of flow, where I became more creative, lost track of time and simply enjoyed life.
  • Be creative! Innovate! For many years I taught my students about creativity. I believe that we can all be creative – just try. And creative solutions are needed to solve the world’s most vexing problems. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Albert Einstein

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Joe Cannon