"Woods can carry a show of any magnitude,
but what sets her apart is a heartfelt connection to the music
that cannot be taught or practiced; it truly has to come from the soul."


Carol was born and raised in Jamaica, New York. Her maternal grandparents immigrated from the West Indies and set out to raise their nine children in a home next door to the Pentecostal church where her grandfather was the pastor and Bishop. It was in that church that Carol learned to sing and it's those gospel influences that you can still hear in her singing today.

Though she knew she'd been given a gift, Carol never dreamed of being a singer, let alone making a living at it. All she ever wanted to be was a nurse, so she went to nursing school and got a job at New York's Queens General Hospital. It was her dream come true...except for the salary!

"Nurses didn't make anything back then. I loved nursing, but the economics weren't working for me and my two children." So, she became a postal worker. A friend asked her to to sing at an office party. After the party, that same friend goaded her into auditioning for his friend who owned a nightclub. That's when things began to change for Carol. The club owner loved her, and she realized that singing brought out the passion she'd lost when she left nursing.

The only problem in those early days, was that Carol's repertoire consisted of mostly gospel songs, with the exception of three popular songs, Summertime, Stormy Monday Blues and Sunny. So, each week she'd have to learn a few more songs to be able to play a complete set. Today her repertoire is so large, she can't remember the last time she sang Sunny.

Between 1965 and 1970, she performed with a group known as Carol Woods and the Executives. They recorded just one song called Ooh Baby, which is still in circulation today. That led to an association with the UK label Ember Records and a number of disco/soul-themed recordings which can now be found on the recently re-issued CD Carol Woods: Out Of The Woods.

After a couple of years working in Europe, where she be-friended Freddie Mercury and ended up singing back-up for him on some recordings, Carol returned to the states a bit disillusioned with the whole industry. Lucky for audiences everywhere, she was persuaded to give show business another try.

She is now a veteran of Broadway, music/cabaret, television and motion pictures, and is respected by the who's who of the theater and music industry. Her Broadway credits include Chicago, for which she is best known, having played Matron "Mama" Morton in hundreds of performances, but she's also starred in The Full Monty, One Mo’ Time, Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Goodbye Girl, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She was nominated for an Olivier award for her performance in Blues in the Night and received a standing ovation at the 50th Grammy awards for her powerful rendition of Lennon and McCartney’s Let it Be. Her television and screen credits include Across the Universe, Honeymooners, Stepping Out, Steam, Sweet and Lowdown, The Parent ‘Hood, The Practice, Third Watch, Law and Order and most recently The Good Wife. Her steady and rewarding career also includes concert halls and nightclubs from New York to London to Tokyo to Russia. She has received outstanding reviews for her shows including her solo Carnegie Hall concert “An Evening with Carol Woods”, and her cabaret show “From Blues to Broadway.”

Along the way Carol has worked with the best and brightest in the business, all while relishing her role as mother and grandmother.

Look forward to her newest project, “Ain't We Got Fun: The Music of Richard Whiting.”



  • Chicago: The Musical as Matron Mama Morton
  • One Mo' Time as Ma Reed and Big Bertha
  • Stephen Sondheim's Follies as Stella
  • Smokey Joe’s Café
  • Tommy Tune directed Stepping Out as Rose
  • The Goodbye Girl as Mrs. Crosby
  • Blues in The Night
  • Grind as Maybelle
  • Big River
  • The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas as Jewel
  • The Crucible as Tituba
  • A Little Hotel On The Side
  • Taking My Turn
  • First Lady Suite as Lorena Hickok
  • The Full Monty as Jeanette Burmeister
  • Dreamstuff as Aladdin's mother Vy
  • Hot L Baltimore as Mrs. Oxenham
  • C'mon and Hear: Irving Berlin's America
  • A Christmas Carol as the Ghost of Christmas Present
  • Greensboro: A Requiem as Rose
  • One Touch of Venus as Molly Grant
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom as Ma Rainey
  • Stephen Sondheim's Side by Side
  • Triplets: The Diva Musical with Ruth Brown
  • King as Alberta Williams King
  • Hallelujah, Baby!


  • Across the Universe as Gospel Singer
  • Sweet and Lowdown as Helen Minton, she sings All Of Me
  • The Honeymooners as Alice's Mom
  • Across the Universe singer of Let It Be
  • Steam as Ella, with Ruby Dee
  • When the Evening Comes as Mrs. Anderson
  • Eddie Murphy Raw as Aunt Bunny
  • Night And The City as secretary
  • Stepping Out as Rose opposite Liza Minnelli
  • Copland
  • Broklyn Babylon as Cislyn
  • The Blues as Aunt Patsy


  • The Parent 'Hood
  • Law & Order
  • Third Watch
  • The Practice
  • The Big C
  • The Good Wife
  • 50th Annual Grammy Awards


  • The Village Gate
  • Carnegie Hall An Evening with Carol Woods November 27, 2000    Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall: An Evening With Carol Woods
  • Benefit concerts for the Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation honoring Johnny Mercer (2001), Kander and Ebb (2003), and Marvin Hamlisch (2006).
  • 92nd Street Y - Various Lyrics and Lyricists shows
  • Downtime - Her CD Bosom Buddies was recorded there live
  • Arci's Place - Stick Around ran from January 30 through February 24, 2001
  • Rainbow and Stars - 'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous, 'S Gershwin (1992) with Jo Anne Worley
  • Michaels Pub - Tribute shows to Sammy Davis, Jr. and Pearl Bailey (1991)
  • Freddy's Supper Club - June 1985
  • Nell's
  • B. Smiths
  • 54 Below
  • Iridium
  • New York Pops
  • The Village Gate
  • B. Smith’s
  • Rainbow and Stars
  • Michael’s Pub
  • 54 Below
  • 92nd Street Y
  • MAC Awards
  • Town Hall


Click here to read Carol's entry on Wikipedia.

Click here to read Carol's entry on IMDB.