She was born to Swedish-American parents in Yakima, Washington. She played in nightclubs throughout the northwest in the 1930s, toured with the Chuck Austin Band in the 1940s across the U.S. She had retired from professional singing by the early 1950s, and was working as an accountant for the state of California in West Sacramento; after singing with Turk Murphy, she drove to San Francisco frequently for a couple of years to perform. She remained active through the 1970s. Her singing style has been compared to Peggy Lee. She was married to Chuck Austin, with whom she had three children.
- "Claire Austin". SecondHandSongs. Retrieved 2014-07-12.
- Blues Who's Who. ISBN 0-87000-425-5.
- Ron Wynn (1918-11-21). "Claire Austin | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-12.
- Glackin, William (May 24, 1996). "REVISITING JAZZ GREATS: A FORCE THAT SHAPED THE MUSIC". The Sacramento Bee.
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- "Claire Austin Sings When Your Lover Has Gone : Claire Austin". Concord Music Group. Retrieved 2014-07-12.