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Slim Whitman, Cowboy Copas, And Tom T. Hall

By Art van Bodegraven | 06/04/2017 | 3:25 PM

Once upon a simpler time, a local TV radio station attempted to reclaim past glories with a "barn dance"-style of counrty music, al la The Grand Ol' Opry or the WLS Barn Dance, or any number of variants on the theme.

A voice from the dim and misty past, Slim Whitman, was enjoying a renaissance of popularity, and headlined the debut broadcast. It was my pleasure to fly into CMH with Slim, who mostly napped and sampled small bottles of spiritous refreshment and revival.

Far from the legends of the genre, Slim was the consummate professional. He showed up, did his job, and avoided scandal. He broke little new ground; he was himself, at all times.And himself was pretty darn good on most every night.

Based on Slim's srong opening, the next show featured a unique writer and performer, Tom T. Hall. "The Storyteller" created a school and style of country music, and single-handedly wrote a heart-stopping, chart-topping string of hits beginning in 1971 and placing 26 singles in the BMI Top Ten.

The crowd, as we say, went wild.

There was not ever to be a Cowboy Copas show. The Country Gentleman, essentially a honky-tonk singer left over from the '40s, perished in the plane crash that also took Hawkshaw Hawkins and Patsy Cline from us.

But, the model was not a financial hit, anyway, and the concept folded, so there were no shows headlined by has-beens, up-and-comers, wanna-bes, journeymen or masters.

The lessons for supply chain practitioners are these: There's room for shooting stars, game-changers,  innovators, and thought/style leaders; we need them desperately.  There's also room—and a need—for journeymen and journeywomen—capable performers who've mastered their craft and are on top of the game.

Maybe not stars. But capable and reliable performers; we need them desperately, too.

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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.



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