Cornbread Red

Cornbread Red was a folk-hero around Detroit in the '60s and '70s. Red's ability as a top-flight pool-hustler, his outrageous high-rolling behavior, and his fearless spirit won the admiration of the people in Motor city. Red was one of their own, and the locals loved hearing about his escapades.

One of the most unique descriptions of Cornbread Red came from Detroit Whitey. At the 1972 Stardust tournament in Las Vegas, Whitey sidled up to me and said that he had a backer to play big-money Blackjack in the casino later. Whitey had won about $70, 000 playing Blackjack the year before. During his run, he had all pool players barred for sweating his action at the Blackjack table. Whitey told me that only Cornbread and I would be allowed to sweat his action this time, and we would both be in with him. He said, "You're in, kid, because you're young, broke, and I like you. Red? Red is a dirty, stinkin', no good, low-down motherfucker, and that's why he's in." -Freddy the Beard, The "Encylcopedia of Pool Hustlers" available for purchase on