b. 15 January 1931, Ruleville, Mississippi, USA. Carroll sang from infancy in the local church and by her late teens was performing in Chicago clubs. Through the 50s she shared stages and sometimes performed with noted blues and jazz artists of the period. Singing the blues, she also toured nationally with jazz and blues package shows, occasionally travelling abroad. In the 60s, Carroll appeared in Canada, performing at concerts and on television. She sang often with Franz Jackson’s Chicago-based band, making records and also touring US military bases in the Pacific and southeast Asia. Among other artists with whom she has performed is Little Brother Montgomery, recording in Chicago with the pianist’s trio in 1968/9 for FM, Matchbox and Adelphi Records. Also in the group were bass player Truck Parham and drummer Red Saunders.
In the 70s Carroll continued to work mainly in Chicago, recording there with pianist Erwin Helfer. In the early 80s, she recorded in Chicago with pianist and singer Marc Lincoln Braun, drummer J.C. Heard and others. She also toured Europe where she was met with considerable acclaim. In the early 90s she recorded in Germany with the Jumping Jivers, a multi-national band that also included saxophonists Bob Ruckerl and Diane Ellis, jazz journalist Mike Hennessey on piano, and Al Merritt on drums. By the late 90s, Carroll had decided to settle in Germany where she sang with her own trio, which included pianist Christian Rannenberg and blues harpist Ignaz Netzer. Her daughter, Karen Carroll, is also an accomplished blues singer.