Born in 1907, Edward McIntosh ‘Snoozer’ Quinn was by all accounts a virtuoso banjo player and guitarist. Appearing at local dances and minstrel shows as an adolescent, he went on to perform with jazz greats Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, Louis Armstrong, Paul Whiteman, the Dorsey Brothers and many other notable musicians of the 1920s and 1930s.
Unlike his contemporary Eddie Lang however, Quinn’s reputation is based largely on anecdotal evidence, the only surviving recordings from this era being with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra (where his unamplified guitar is barely audible) and a few cuts backing singers Bee Palmer and Jimmie Davis (recordings with Beiderbecke and Trumbauer are now lost).
In 1948, musician Johnny Wiggs recorded Quinn at the New Orleans Charity Hospital where he was being treated for tuberculosis. Despite their poor quality, these recordings bear witness to the excellence of his playing. Quinn died the following year aged 42 and though largely forgotten today, he remains an important figure in the development of jazz guitar.
Frankie Trumbauer: “I met Quinn, the only boy who has it on Eddie Lang, I believe.”
For an in-depth look at Snoozer Quinn and his work, go to this website