2 July 1926, Pittsburg, Kansas, USA, d. 18 October 1994, Los Angeles, California, USA. One of the great tenor saxophonist session men of the classic R&B era, Allen played with a verve and excitement equalled by few musicians. He is best known for his notable instrumental hit from 1958, Walkin With Mr. Lee (number 54 pop). Allen began his professional career in 1947 playing in the Paul Gayten band in New Orleans. By the 50s he was a key member of the famed Dave Bartholomew session band that played behind just about every R&B artist who recorded in New Orleans. Behind such artists as Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, Amos Milburn, Lloyd Price and Little Richard, Allen played exciting solos as well as great riffs in tandem with baritone saxophonist Alvin Red Tyler. Allen recorded his first solo record in 1956 for the Aladdin label, Rockin At Cosimos. Following his Walkin With Mr. Lee hit, he charted once more in 1958 with Tic Toc (number 92 pop). During much of the remainder of his career he worked in Fats Dominos touring band. During the late 60s, however, he left the music world for a time to work in an aircraft factory in Los Angeles. In the 80s, he recorded with the Los Angeles band the Blasters.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.