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  Joe Johnston (JanW)
Posted: 11:32:46 am on 9/13/2011 Modified: Never
I got out of OSU with a bachelor's in advertising and masters in mass comm. My first job was as a writer for the in-house ad agency for Donrey Media Group (now extinct). Became director of that little 3-person agency. Went to Cleveland with Grishwold-Eshleman Advertising (now extinct), where I worked on General Motors, B.F. Goodrich Tires, etc. We invented McDonald's Happy Meal, which is a fairly interesting story. Had several good years at Tracy-Locke Advertising (now extinct) in Dallas working on Haggar Slacks, Korbel Wines, etc. After a brief stint with The Richards Group I started Johnston Advertising & Public Relations (now extinct). Sold that, worked for another local agency (now extinct). During those advertising years I was a writer, art director, creative director and account supervisor. Over the years I wrote everything from TV and radio to mail coupons, and speeches to tech manuals for conveyor belts. I won a lot of awards.<BR><BR> Since '87 I've been self-employed, taking various staff jobs along the way.<BR><BR> I came to Nashville for the music and wrote songs in country and gospel. I was a staff writer for Curb Records. My songs have been on hit albums, in movies, and on tv. I produced records, developed artists, and worked with Vince Gill, Alabama, Restless Heart, LeAnn Rimes, Glen Campbell, and others. I still manage a music publishing company, but the music business has changed drastically, and is no longer my career. Just can't make substantial money at it any more. <BR><BR> I've always made art, including paintings, cartoons, and such. For the past 10 yrs I've been the storyboard artist for a film production company. It's sometimes fun, and thanks to the march of technology, I can do it at home in my pajamas. My current art "thing" is building "People Tables" - coffee tables with human legs wearing cowboy boots.<BR><BR> One of the funniest things about my career has been teaching public speaking at various small colleges. I qualify because of my mass comm degree, but I've never taken a speaking class in my life - not even Doris Niles'. <BR><BR> I've self-published two books. "The Mack Marsden Murdery Mystery: Vigilantism or Justice?", a work of narrative non-fiction, was released by Missouri Historical Society this summer. Another book on vigilantes of frontier Missouri will be out next year. Other articles are pending at various magazines.<BR><BR> I've studied Native American culture for several years, mainly Lakota, speak a little of the language, and lead some ceremonies. To me, it blends nicely with Christianity.<BR><BR> OK, so I've been married four times. The product of those marriages is two awesome sons. Dr. Luke Johnston teaches religion at Wake Forest, and is married to Dedee, Wake's director of sustainability. They're giving me a grandson in Nov. What keeps me young is Will, 15. He inherited the music gene. He's a drummer, and plays professionally with some top pros, as school allows. He plays baseball and football, and was baptized at the age of 5, and again at 13. He's on his way to being an Eagle Scout, and both of the boys are heavily into hiking and camping. Me too.<BR><BR> I wised up and stayed single for the past 10 yrs. Stopped drinking 12 years ago, which probably explains why I've been able to stay single. Now I'm in a deeply committed relationship with Becky Asling, a graduate of Hale and OSU, whom I met in first grade at Franklin. It's a most amazing change in my life, and the last chapter promises to be the best.

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