Getting involved with the folk music revival was, says Cannon, “a powerful thing and very counterculture. It was really intriguing to feel like we were part of an underground scene.” After his days as a Stormy Mountain Boy, Cannon eventually went on to form Uncle Lumpy, the Deseret String Band, Red Rock Rondo, and the Secondhand Band. (See ''A Modest Proposal: Hal Cannon, Poet Lariat" in the Fall 2004 issue of Continuum.)
As a student at the U, Cannon studied "anything that resembled folk-lore” he says, although the options in that area were few at the time. Instead, he received a degree in journalism, then turned his attention to photography and filmmaking, which led him to pursue a graduate degree in filmmaking (1972) at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Cannon has since carved out a notable career as a Western folklore specialist. In addition to founding the Western Folklife Center and the Cowboy Poetry Gathering, he has made a number of recordings about the folk arts of the West, including a bestselling anthology, Cowboy Poetry, A Gathering. He has also produced a number of public television and radio features, including Voices of the West, a six-part series focusing on folk art traditions, and co-produced the award- winning documentary Why the Cowboy Sings, which was aired on public television in 2003. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Utah Governor's Award in the Arts in 1999, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the U's Communication Department in 1999, and the Governor's Award in the Humanities in 2002. (From article The Revivalists by Linda Marion)