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Terry Ardeno
06-17-2009, 05:21 PM
It's my opinion that the Knoxville Bear was the greatest banker who ever lived. He was also an exceptional all around talent who was a killer in 1P, 14.1 & 9 ball besides banks.

Even though he's dead (Oct 1, 1918 - Sept 5, 2005) he's not forgotten.
Here's just one story about ET that I always thought was kind of funny...

Eddie had the habit of always wearing a suitcoat or overcoat along with a fancy men's hat since the age of 14. That was so he could get into pool rooms that around that time had an age requirement of 18 to enter. Eddie would venture into a strange bar and begin to talk real excitedly about how he's a great pool player, a "future world champion" because he had recently played "Ralph Greenfield" (instead of saying Ralph Greenleaf). He would go on to say that he ran "18 balls in a row! And I sure know that there ain't nobody here that can run THAT many!" Well, as pool lovers would guess, guys would trip over themselves to play this brash young kid.
When they would offer him a money game, he said he would tell them "Oh, you don't want to play for as much as I would want to play for!" After bantering back and forth, his mark would say "Just tell us how much you want to play for!" Eddie responded "Well, I want to play for $38.50!" Laughs abound when Eddie says that's all he's got with him. He would "luck" the 9 ball in and his opponant, sure he could beat him, would say "Let's play the next one for $50.00!" And so it went....

Guys like Taylor, Earl Heisler, Earl Schriver, Al Bonife, Puckett, Briet, Don Willis, Billy Burge, Rags Fitzpatrick, etc and etc had a zillion different routines to lay down the traps. Those past generations of road men were great pool players as well as shrewd, dare I use the term, "businessmen".:smile:

BigDogatLarge
06-17-2009, 05:57 PM
Awesome post, as usual, Terry. Thanks for the history lesson. Let me know when class convenes again.

Dwight

Fast Lenny
06-17-2009, 06:18 PM
Good post brother. :smile:

9BallPaul
06-17-2009, 06:21 PM
My only exposure to Eddie was at the old Family Fun Center in Denver, back in the late '60s. He was playing billiards on the old 5x10 that sat in front of the bar -- and I can't remember who he was playing. A local shortstop, for sure.

My memory is that he was a gentleman, shot a nice game of three-cushion (no high runs I remember) and attracted attention from a few of the railbirds, but not all. For some reason I remember him in a tie, although this was the late '60s, so memory could be faulty.

jay helfert
06-17-2009, 06:24 PM
No stories right now, just one major recollection. Eddie Taylor is the only man I ever saw who could make the object ball curve. I saw him do it in Dayton on a bank cross side that didn't go because there was a ball in the way. He bounced the cue ball into the object ball and it came bouncing off the rail and when it hit the table it curved around the edge of the impeding ball and went into the side pocket. I have no idea to this day how he did it. And I've never seen anyone else who could. Maybe Freddie knows what he did. I sure don't.

ShootingArts
06-17-2009, 06:38 PM
Guys like Taylor, Earl Heisler, Earl Schriver, Al Bonife, Puckett, Briet, Don Willis, Billy Burge, Rags Fitzpatrick, etc and etc had a zillion different routines to lay down the traps. Those past generations of road men were great pool players as well as shrewd, dare I use the term, "businessmen".:smile:



Terry,

Have I mentioned more than every time I reply to one of your posts how great it is to see you posting again? :D :rolleyes: :D

Having the right spiel used to be as important as being able to swing a stick if you wanted to get out of a place in one piece and even come back again next time through and do it all again. Things actually started going downhill the first time they got a bunch of the working men on TV.

I got your message but I was whupped when I drug in today. I'll give you a shout in the morning.

Hu

vagabond
06-17-2009, 08:42 PM
[QUOTE=Terry Ardeno Knoxville Bear

Even though he's dead (Oct 1, 1918 - Sept 5, 2005) he's not forgotten.
QUOTE]

I had the opportunity of meeting him few months before he passed away.It was in ? side pockets in shreveport,Louisiana when he was inducted to hall of fame.Grady was the master of cermony. knoxville Bear gave an exhibition of making a bank shot and then position play to the next shot.I don`t know how he was able to do that shot let alone at the age of (?) 87. I tried humpty number of times to imitate him and I finally gave up on that shot.:cool:

Scott Lee
06-17-2009, 09:03 PM
9BallPaul...Do you know when FFC opened, in Denver? I didn't start playing in there until '72.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

My only exposure to Eddie was at the old Family Fun Center in Denver, back in the late '60s. He was playing billiards on the old 5x10 that sat in front of the bar -- and I can't remember who he was playing. A local shortstop, for sure.

My memory is that he was a gentleman, shot a nice game of three-cushion (no high runs I remember) and attracted attention from a few of the railbirds, but not all. For some reason I remember him in a tie, although this was the late '60s, so memory could be faulty.

Lea A
06-17-2009, 09:30 PM
I used to post in the Snooker & Pool section of Yahoo Answers, and there was a man named Johnny who posted there, also. I remember his saying that as a young boy, he knew Eddie Taylor. Might anyone here know him? He'd have some great stories, I'm sure. He's in Texas, in his sixties or seventies, and runs or used to run a pool room with barboxes (I think). His nickname is Two Knives and I believe he may be part Native American.

Mr441
06-17-2009, 09:46 PM
Eddie Taylor was the best banker I've ever seen. The only other banker that's even in the same realm would be Bugs Rucker.

maha
06-17-2009, 10:17 PM
when we used to play one shot shootout no one would play taylor nine ball either as he would shootout to an impossible long rail bank. if you shot you sold out and if you let him he made it and got position and ran out.
same thing in one pocket.

him and lassiter were the only players i ever saw that almost no one would even think of playing even anything.

1pocket
06-18-2009, 04:37 AM
I had the opportunity of meeting him few months before he passed away.It was in ? side pockets in shreveport,Louisiana when he was inducted to hall of fame.Grady was the master of cermony. knoxville Bear gave an exhibition of making a bank shot and then position play to the next shot.I don`t know how he was able to do that shot let alone at the age of (?) 87. I tried humpty number of times to imitate him and I finally gave up on that shot.:cool:
Yes, that was his One Pocket Hall of Fame induction. His health wasn't up for making it to Louisville, so we arranged a special event in his home turf.

I had the honor of interviewing Eddie prior to that, and have two long sections up on OnePocket.org, for those who have not read them, they can be found here:

Part One Eddie Taylor Interview (http://www.onepocket.org/EddieTaylorInterview.htm)
Part Two
(http://www.onepocket.org/EddieTaylorPart2.htm)

9BallPaul
06-18-2009, 05:06 AM
9BallPaul...Do you know when FFC opened, in Denver? I didn't start playing in there until '72.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Scott -- I started hanging there in the mid-60s, and I believe it had been open a few years at least. May have been part of the pool boom that followed The Hustler. All Gold Crowns and many serious players.

Of the locals, Billy Stroud was top dog, along with Andy Hudson and a few others. Many, many road players came through -- Taylor, Bill Staton, Buddy Hall, Keith McCready, etc.

Later it morphed into Paradise Billiards, and now it's called Hank's. Funny thing is, depending on which door you enter, you'll find signs announcing each name.

Most of the Gold Crowns are gone now, replaced by Valleys (sigh). Don't know how much action occurs at night, but during the daytime, the only action is a bunch of geriatrics who gather around the snooker tables for golf.

Sorry to steer this thread off course, but trying to respond to a question.

Jack Justis
06-18-2009, 05:15 AM
Eddie told me the photo was taken in NYC when he was 23. The other photo was taken about a month before his death.

99905

99906

freddy the beard
06-18-2009, 07:53 AM
No stories right now, just one major recollection. Eddie Taylor is the only man I ever saw who could make the object ball curve. I saw him do it in Dayton on a bank cross side that didn't go because there was a ball in the way. He bounced the cue ball into the object ball and it came bouncing off the rail and when it hit the table it curved around the edge of the impeding ball and went into the side pocket. I have no idea to this day how he did it. And I've never seen anyone else who could. Maybe Freddie knows what he did. I sure don't.

The most impressive case for that curve shot is when he did it to Wimpy in the All-Around finals in Johnston City playing the OnePocket part. The match was broadcast on network TV but I dont know who or where you can find it. It was a long cross-corner and he made sure before he shot it that everyone knew that there was a ball in the way. He whacked it in and Wimpy just shook his head. Ironically, Wimpy won the match. I did learn the shot from him and I can, periodically, still make it. I just cant make it curve as much as he could. Basis formula: Very hard follow, no english.

the Beard

somms69
06-18-2009, 05:02 PM
The most impressive case for that curve shot is when he did it to Wimpy in the All-Around finals in Johnston City playing the OnePocket part. The match was broadcast on network TV but I dont know who or where you can find it. It was a long cross-corner and he made sure before he shot it that everyone knew that there was a ball in the way. He whacked it in and Wimpy just shook his head. Ironically, Wimpy won the match. I did learn the shot from him and I can, periodically, still make it. I just cant make it curve as much as he could. Basis formula: Very hard follow, no english.

the BeardI never had the pleasure of meeting Eddie but I truly appreciate Terry, Jay, and Freddy for the insight they so freely share.

Todd

tommywhsl1
06-18-2009, 08:44 PM
Eddie was a super nice guy i am from s'port and used see him playing once a week at sidepockets. It was truely amazing to watch, he couldn't hardly see, wearing thick glasses. He told me one day when I was watching that he just lined up the shoots the way he always had and hope for the best because all he saw was a blob(my word),but you could see he new so much about the game. If you ask him how to do a shot he would take time to explain the shot and almost always say hit it with a medium stroke dead center and you can't miss it. I would try and try and the only way I could come close was hit it almost as hard as I could with spin. His stroke was still great up until the day he died, it was smooth and effortless with such great power of control. I watched him set up shoots and fire them home with what would look like no effort, no slam, no nothing. I can't say that I was a friend of Eddie's but I can say that into his 80's he still played with enthusasim and was willing to spend a few minutes with us bangers(me). If you didn't know him or were not into pool or pool history you easily could pass him bye as just another old man acting like he new what he was about. In a world in witch making big money playing almost all sport brings fame and fortune it is sad that pool is so far behind. Eddie was a icon to the game to be missed by all that new him. RIP

PS

Being in s'port Bill Schick has many storys about Eddie and that many more about Buddy Hall because they spent time on the road together. He tells me story's but i can't remember them well enough to put them in text. So if anyone knows Bill well enough he's the man with the knowledge.

Scott Lee
06-18-2009, 09:29 PM
tommywhsl1...I'm going to be teaching in Bill's room, on the 11th & 12th of next month! I'll have to ask him for some ET stories! Stop in and say hi!:thumbup:

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Eddie was a super nice guy i am from s'port and used see him playing once a week at sidepockets. It was truely amazing to watch, he couldn't hardly see, wearing thick glasses. He told me one day when I was watching that he just lined up the shoots the way he always had and hope for the best because all he saw was a blob(my word),but you could see he new so much about the game. If you ask him how to do a shot he would take time to explain the shot and almost always say hit it with a medium stroke dead center and you can't miss it. I would try and try and the only way I could come close was hit it almost as hard as I could with spin. His stroke was still great up until the day he died, it was smooth and effortless with such great power of control. I watched him set up shoots and fire them home with what would look like no effort, no slam, no nothing. I can't say that I was a friend of Eddie's but I can say that into his 80's he still played with enthusasim and was willing to spend a few minutes with us bangers(me). If you didn't know him or were not into pool or pool history you easily could pass him bye as just another old man acting like he new what he was about. In a world in witch making big money playing almost all sport brings fame and fortune it is sad that pool is so far behind. Eddie was a icon to the game to be missed by all that new him. RIP

PS

Being in s'port Bill Schick has many storys about Eddie and that many more about Buddy Hall because they spent time on the road together. He tells me story's but i can't remember them well enough to put them in text. So if anyone knows Bill well enough he's the man with the knowledge.

jay helfert
06-18-2009, 11:10 PM
The most impressive case for that curve shot is when he did it to Wimpy in the All-Around finals in Johnston City playing the OnePocket part. The match was broadcast on network TV but I dont know who or where you can find it. It was a long cross-corner and he made sure before he shot it that everyone knew that there was a ball in the way. He whacked it in and Wimpy just shook his head. Ironically, Wimpy won the match. I did learn the shot from him and I can, periodically, still make it. I just cant make it curve as much as he could. Basis formula: Very hard follow, no english.

the Beard


He did hit it hard, so hard it hopped off the rail. And when it landed it made an immediate little left turn. Like a pitcher throwing a curveball. He had a more powerful stroke than just about anyone. I would only put Mizerak and Cornbread in his league for power strokes. At Banks, most of top players whacked the ball, but Taylor combined power with finesse. He had a feel for Banks like no one else. But I would not rate him above Bugs or maybe even Cannonball. I liked Bugs for his gambling ability and for pure firepower Cannonball was awesome. When he threw the balls on the table to practice, all the brothers would gather around to watch. And he could play all games, including 14.1, which made him a rarity.

I don't think Cannonball could hold up in the long run against Taylor or Bugs though. When Taylor was in L.A in the early 70's for the World Championship, Cannonball was in town too. Several people asked him about challenging Taylor to a Bank Pool game, and he said "he was just not feelin' it". Whatever that meant. I was a referee and Cannonball never showed his face around the tournament. They were both in Dayton a few years later and that's where Bugs offered to play Eddie again. I think Cannonball was already past his prime by then. His best years were in the 50's and 60's. He would go to Straight Pool tournaments that he couldn't get in and challenge anyone to play any game. I was told this by several old timers.

Taylor and Bugs had CLASS! Cannonball was sometimes quiet and reserved and at other times an "in your face" type hustler. He was far more emotional than the other two, but sure could bank like God! I saw him run fives and sixes rack after rack at Charley Neals in L.A. He was giving good players (like Iceman and California Shorty) 10-6 and beating them. A lot of games were over in four or five innings. There was no safety with him. He was not afraid to come off the end rail at full speed. Not enough is said about him. Cannonball (John Chapman) is the missing link between James Evans and Cisero Murphy, as far as champion black players go.

HollyWood
06-19-2009, 12:27 AM
How long was Eddie working with Mr. Danny Janes for Trade Expo. etc. Bussiness . If someone with free long distance and wishes to call (could be very interesting