Eddie Palmieri's mother Isabel moved from Puerto Rico to New York in 1925. His father Carlos Manuel did the same in 1926.
They married and Eddie's brother Charlie was born in 1927.
Eddie was born on December 15, 1936 in Manhattan, NY.
In 1941 the Palmieri family moved to Kelly Street in the Bronx.

Eddie's first piano teacher was a woman called La Boca Negra. He also studied with Miss Margaret Bonds and Luis Varona.

In 1949 Eddie started playing timbales in his uncle's "Orquesta de Chino Güeits y Sus Almas Tropicales". When Orlando Marin joined this group in 1950 to play timbales, Eddie switched to piano. Eddie made his first recording though with tresero Mario Hernández, playing timbales.
In 1951 Eddie Palmieri and Orlando Marin formed a nine-piece group with, amongst others, Joe Quijano (bongó and lead vocals), Chuckie Pérez and Louie Goicochea (percussion) and Davey Pérez (bass) and their first recordings were
'Abaniquito' and 'Sun-Sun Babaé'.
Eddie was the bandleader until he left in 1955 to join Johnny Següi, replacing his brother Charlie.

Prior to joining Següi's band, Eddie played with trumpeter Robertito (Bobby) Santiago, trumpeter Eddie Forrester (1953) and bandleader Ray (Raúl) Almo (1955).
After a few months Següi threw him out of the band because he always broke the keys of the old piano he had to play on.

During this period Eddie recorded with Charlie Palmieri on
'Hermanos en Mambo', playing clave.

In 1956 Eddie married Iraida González and joined the conjunto of Vicentico Valdés, but never recorded with him.

In 1957 Eddie was a member of vibraphonist Pete Terrace's orchestra. He can be heard on
'Kim's Cha-Cha' (from the Tico LP 'Pete with a Latin Beat').

In 1958 Eddie joined the Tito Rodríguez Orchestra. In 1960 United Artists (U.A. Latino) released 'Tito Rodríguez and his Orchestra - Live at the Palladium', recorded in 1959.
In 1960 Eddie left the Rodríguez band.

In 1961 Eddie Palmieri started his own orchestra 'La Perfecta'.