Not to be confused with the New York based trumpeter (born 1957) Eddie Allen.
Ed Allen began to work in night clubs and on riverboats on the Mississipi River. In the 1920s he played in the band of Charlie Creath, and then had his own ensemble, the Whispering Gold Band.
In 1924 he moved to Chicago and played with Earl Hines until 1925. He then played from 1925 to 1927 in a revue called Ed Daily's Black and White Show, as a member of Joe Jordan's group, the Sharps & Flats. In the second half of the decade Allen recorded with Clarence Williams in the LeRoy Tibbs Orchestra. This ensemble also accompanied Bessie Smith on some recordings. He also recorded in several bands of King Oliver's.
Allen played in various dance bands in the 1930s and 1940s. He then played with Benton Heath in New York City from the middle of the 1940s up until 1963 when he retired from the music business.
His last appearance on record was in England with Chris Barber in the 1950s.