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National Billiard News -- RIP
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Bob Jewett
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National Billiard News -- RIP - 06-01-2007, 12:28 PM

I was startled to read in the latest issue of The National Billiard News (not the April 1st edition) that they are ceasing publication with that issue. Current subscribers will be transferred to Prof. Q-Ball's Gazette for the remainder of their subscriptions.

The NBN started in the 60's and was for a long time the only national publication available that covered just cue sports. Bob Byrne has an amusing story in one of his books about Earl Newby, the original publisher, whose motto seems to have been, "All the pool news that fits, we print." For quite a while NBN has been published by Conrad Burkman, who was a referee at the first US Open I saw in 1969. If you have been to major tournaments, you have probably seen Conrad taking pictures.

Over its 40-plus years of existence, the NBN has published a lot of material you won't find elsewhere.


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06-01-2007, 01:07 PM

When I started playing, NBN was all that was available. The local room had a subscription, and I read every issue from front to back. Too bad.


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06-01-2007, 01:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pushout
When I started playing, NBN was all that was available. The local room had a subscription, and I read every issue from front to back. Too bad.
That is the way it was for me too. That thing would come in the mail and 2 or 3 would be reading it with a line behind them.
  
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06-01-2007, 01:28 PM

Never even heard of it. Guess I'm a young'in 'round these parts.


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06-01-2007, 01:30 PM

never heard of 'em.
  
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Earl Newby
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Earl Newby - 06-01-2007, 01:38 PM

I used to play at Earl Newby's parlor in the early 70's, which was located in the basement of a building between 11th & 12th street on Chesnut St, in Philadelphia.

I would go in at luchtime with a few co-workers, and there were a lot of older guys that would love to gamble their social security checks with you (1-pocket) on a 10 foot table with the tightest pockets that you can imagine.

I used to watch Earl take a piece of leather about 1 foot square and make his own tips for the house cues.

I believe Earl's closed down in the mid 80's, maybe someone else remembers?
  
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Terry Ardeno
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06-01-2007, 02:48 PM

I started my subscription in 1973 when I was 14. I used to carry each edition to school with me every day until the new issue came out. In study hall or if there was any time left at the end of each class, I would re-read them. I still have every one of them. My last issue was Sept 2001.

Remember "Puhka Sez", "Venzke's view from the bleachers", "Bull Shots", "Earl meets the Elite"?

Every once in a while when I'm looking up info on a particular player or tournament, I go thru them again. With almost each cover, I can remember what was going on in that time of my life. Very nostalgic reads. I also liked the old time ads of the P.P.P.A., Jim Rempe, ect. Good memories.
  
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NBN Cover
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NBN Cover - 06-01-2007, 06:21 PM

I was able to get a couple of shots on the cover of NBN about 20 years ago. Here it is. BTW, they misspelled Gary Spaeth's name.
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Billiard News
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Billiard News - 06-01-2007, 06:33 PM

Good publication is right. I have many of them from 1980-1998. They are fun to look back through and see older players when they were young. They are just full of the history of the game now. Good reference material and some of them have old cue brochures.


Joe G

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06-01-2007, 11:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Ardeno
I started my subscription in 1973 when I was 14. I used to carry each edition to school with me every day until the new issue came out. In study hall or if there was any time left at the end of each class, I would re-read them. I still have every one of them. My last issue was Sept 2001.

Remember "Puhka Sez", "Venzke's view from the bleachers", "Bull Shots", "Earl meets the Elite"?

Every once in a while when I'm looking up info on a particular player or tournament, I go thru them again. With almost each cover, I can remember what was going on in that time of my life. Very nostalgic reads. I also liked the old time ads of the P.P.P.A., Jim Rempe, ect. Good memories.
Terry...My subscription started in '71, and I got a "lifetime" subscription that they offered for $100. It followed me through 7 or 8 moves, across both CO and MT, and never failed to show up on time. Somehow, in the mid-90's it quit coming, and I was too busy traveling on tour to followup, so I just let it go. Sure was great for a LOT of years. I still have every issue I ever got (2 big boxes of newpapers...LOL)! Sorry to see it go... R.I.P. NBN!

Scott Lee
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Terry Ardeno
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06-02-2007, 01:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Lee
Terry...My subscription started in '71, and I got a "lifetime" subscription that they offered for $100. It followed me through 7 or 8 moves, across both CO and MT, and never failed to show up on time. Somehow, in the mid-90's it quit coming, and I was too busy traveling on tour to followup, so I just let it go. Sure was great for a LOT of years. I still have every issue I ever got (2 big boxes of newpapers...LOL)! Sorry to see it go... R.I.P. NBN!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Scott,

When you lived in Montana, did you ever get with Frank McGown in Billings?
I like him.
Terry
  
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jay helfert
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06-02-2007, 02:03 AM

The National Billiard News was the ONLY publication on Pool for many years. Billiards Digest and Pool and Billiard Magazine did not begin publication until the 80's.

It was a VERY amateurish paper until Conrad Burkman took over in the late 60's. He cleaned it up and made it much more comprehensive and presentable. I truly wish I had kept all my old issues dating back to the 60's.

My first printed article appeared in the Billiard News in the early 70's. I wrote Conrad a letter describing the action at Johnston Çity, and he liked it so much he published it, and sent me a check for $50. I was thrilled and sent him several more similar articles over the next year or so. My column was entitled The Diary Of A Pool Player. Does anyone remember it?

I'm sorry to see it go and always looked forward to receiving it. I wish Conrad the best in the future. He has been a dedicated contributor to the Pool firmament for decades. He would always be there at every major event, camera in hand, forever it seemed. I'll miss seeing him. I hope he shows up at Derby City anyway, just to reminisce. Also a special thanks to John Cash, who served as Editor of the Billiard News for the last many years.

Last edited by jay helfert; 06-02-2007 at 02:05 AM.
  
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06-02-2007, 04:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay helfert
My first printed article appeared in the Billiard News in the early 70's. I wrote Conrad a letter describing the action at Johnston Çity....
I have a great collection of The National Billiard News, Jay, and I must say that I have read every single one of your articles! GREAT stuff!

This paper, IMHO, is an historical archive of American pool. In the '80s era, from reading the articles in this paper, pool seemed to have quite a different popularity in the States than it does today.

In the early '70s, there was a lot of coverage in the 3-cushion and snooker arena, much more so than in today's pool media.

I have been wanting to learn more about Bruce Venzke. I really have enjoyed reading his detailed chronicles of pool, to include the "Pot Shots." In writing about my counterpart's pool career, Bruce Venzke's articles have really helped out and provided a lot of information and data that I have not been able to locate in other pool media.

For instance, in June 1983: Mike Sigel was the $15,000 winner (over Jim Reid, $7,000) in the first U.S. Professional Billiard Tour (Richie Florence) event, a 64-player Nineball test at Caesars Boardwalk Regency, Atlantic City.

These little tidbits are priceless. Thanks, Bruce Venzke, whoever you are!

JAM
  
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1pocket
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06-02-2007, 04:32 AM

I also started subscribing to the National Billiard News when I first got introduced to pool, in the early 70's -- wish I had save the old issues, too! They cost a lot more now

I've have found them to be the very best source for old tournament records for Bank Pool and One Pocket. I still lack many issues from the 60's and 70's, which would be very helpful in flushing out the One Pocket and Bank Pool tournament result 'Record Book' .

Speaking to Conrad recently, he told me about his impending retirement. He also said he is definitely planning to come to Derby City in January. We will definitely do something to give him a little special recognition at our hall of fame dinner.

Here is a recent photo of him (last DCC)...with Diana Hoppe
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06-02-2007, 04:40 AM

JG-IN-KY may have every issue every published , well according to his wife he does. Show us a few covers JG, will ya?


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