Eddie ‘cleanhead’ Vinson

A skilled stylist on alto Saxophone, Eddie Vinson was bald and lost his hair in an early bout with a hair-straightener containing lye. His distinctive vocal delivery made him a popular choice for blues fans. Vinson was in high school when he first started playing a horn. He was part of an amazing horn section that Milton Larkins had in the late 1930s. It included Arnett Cobb and Illinois Jacquet. Vinson learned a few vocal techniques while on tour with Bluesman Big Bill Broonzy after he left Larkins’ company in 1941. Vinson was a member of the Cootie Williams Orchestra between 1942 and 1945. Their wartime success was largely due to Vinson’s vocals on trumpeter Williams renditions of “Cherry Red”, and “Somebody’s Got to Go”. Vinson broke out on his own in 1945. He formed his own band and signed with Mercury. In 1947, Vinson enjoyed a double-sided hit with his R.

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