18 December 1917, Houston, Texas, USA, d. 2 July 1988, Los Angeles, California, USA. Taking up the alto saxophone as a child, his proficiency at the instrument attracted local band leaders even while young Vinson was still at school, and he began touring with Chester Boones territory band during school holidays. Upon his graduation in 1935, Vinson joined the band full-time, remaining when the outfit was taken over by Milton Larkins the following year. During his five-year tenure with the legendary Larkins band he met T-Bone Walker, Arnett Cobb, and Illinois Jacquet, who all played with Larkins in the late 30s. More importantly the bands touring schedule brought Vinson into contact with Big Bill Broonzy, who taught him how to shout the blues, and Jay Hootie McShanns Orchestra whose innovative young alto player, Charlie Bird Parker, was kidnapped by Vinson for several days in 1941 in order to study his...
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