Cornbread Red

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Cornbread Red at the Derby City Classic, Louisville, Kentucky, January 2003

Billy Joe "Cornbread Red" Burge (December 17, 1931 – February 13, 2004), was an American pool player.[1] Inducted into the One-pocket Hall of Fame in 2004 and Legends of Bank Pool in 2005, Cornbread Red is revered as "one of the most talented and entertaining characters in the history of pool".[2][3]

Professional Days[edit]

Red was born in Paducah, Kentucky to a sharecropping family during the Great Depression, which is when he acquired a passion and talent for billiards. He learned the rules of the road from notorious hustlers, gamblers, con men, and world-class pool champions.[4]

Burge frequented The Rack, a popular pool room in Detroit, Michigan,[5][clarification needed] in an era when gambling was considered the norm in American pool. Though he never had a job, he devoted his life to pocket billiards. He was always looking for a game, and it did not matter what game because he could play all games well.[6]

Burge is an American legendary pool player. He is heralded as one of the greatest money players and proposition men of all time. When asked how much was the most money he ever played for, he said it was a race to 6 for US$100,000.[7][verification needed]

He died at the age of 72 and will be remembered as one of the great professional billiard players. He was featured in Pool and Billiard Magazine, May 2000, in the "Legends of the Road" section.[8]



  1. ^ "The New Cool of Pool", Harriet Barovick, Time magazine, June 2003. Retrieved June 17, 2007
  2. ^ Hall of Fame, Retrieved June 17, 2007.
  3. ^ "Billy 'Cornbread Red' Burge", by Jimmy Reid, Retrieved June 17, 2007.
  4. ^ "From the Fields of Kentucky to the Lights of Las Vegas. Ozone Billiards. Retrieved June 17, 2007
  5. ^ Cornbread Red: Pool's Greatest Money Player, Bob Henning
  6. ^ "Cornbread Red, A Living Legend", Bob Checaloski. Retrieved June 17, 2007
  7. ^ Conway, Bennie "The Goose" (February–March 1990). "The Hustler Cornbread Red, the Hustler Hustlers Talk About". The Snap. 1 (4). p. 39. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2007. 
  8. ^ Pool Legend 'Cornbread Red' Dead at 72, The Kentucky Post, February 19, 2004. Retrieved June 17, 2007
  9. ^ "Cornbread Red vs. Strawberry Brooks, Part 4" on YouTube Retrieved June 17, 2007

10. The Lions and the Lambs; Pool Players and the Game Today by Thomas Fensch 1st edition 1970