He first becomes involved in music at the local Baptist church in 1925.
He joins Milt Larkin's band in 1936 as a saxophonist.
In 1939 or 1940, Eddie meets Charlie Parker, and his fellow saxophonist's innovative approach changes Eddie's attitude to playing that instrument.
Eddie moves to New York in 1941 on the advice of his father, who believes the air there will help to combat his asthma and the following year he joins Cootie Williams' big band.
'Cherry Red Blues' is a hit for the Cootie Williams band in 1944. Eddie's part on it brings him widespread attention, but he quits the band in 1945, with its leaders good wishes, to form his own band.
'Kidney Stew', one of Eddie's most popular numbers, is a hit in 1947.
Eddie returns to Mercury record in 1954, but with the advent of rock'n'roll he finds his style is becoming less and less popular.
In 1961 he attempts one of several comebacks, this time with jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, but it is unsuccessful.
Eddie is invited to tour France in 1969 with pianist Jay McShann, and this leads to the saxophonist's gradual rehabilitation as a performing artist.
Exceptional interest is generated by Eddie's appearance at Johnny Otis's Legends of Rhythm and Blues concert at Monterey in 1970.
Accompanied by fellow saxophonist Hal Singer, Eddie plays the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival.
He records some sessions in 1986 for the Muse record label with Etta James.
Eddie Vinson dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles on 2 July 1988.