Quinn was born Edward Quinn in Pike County, Mississippi in 1906 or 1907. He and his family moved to Bogalusa, Louisiana when he was a toddler. In his teens and early twenties he was a member of the Paul English Traveling Shows, Mart Britt's Sylvan Beach Orchestra and Peck Kelley's band, Peck's Bad Boys. For a brief period Snoozer also led the Louisiana Ramblers. Documentation shows he performed in and around Galveston, Texas and San Antonio, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana.
Perhaps most notably, Snoozer joined the Paul Whiteman Orchestra after Whiteman heard him backstage at the St. Charles Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 28, 1928. Snoozer was in New York City for a brief period of time, approximately from January-May 1929.
Quinn had a series of recording sessions in the 1920s, including solos and records with Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer, that were inexplicably lost and never issued. His only commercially issued sides in this era are some with the Whiteman's full orchestra, where he is mostly inaudible, and a few rare cuts backing singers Bee Palmer and possibly Bing Crosby. In 1931, Quinn recorded some accompaniments for country singer Jimmie Davis.
Quinn contracted tuberculosis. In 1948, musician and educator Johnny Wiggs brought a home recording machine and some blank discs to the sanatorium where Quinn was bedridden and persuaded Quinn to record. These amateur recordings were later issued and are Quinn's best known.
(Details of Quinn's life have been obscure. His death date is listed as 1952 in many places, but this is incorrect. Also, he is listed in many places as being born in 1906 but according to his passport and death certificate, he was born in 1907. 1910 census records from Pike County indicate Quinn was about three years old in 1910. Official birth certificates were not kept in Mississippi until beginning in 1912.)