Fields grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and learned to play trombone at the Jenkins Orphanage. In the early 1920s he became a touring member of the Jenkins Orphanage bands, then relocated to New York City, where he was a house musician at John O'Connor's club. He played with Earle Howard in 1926-27, recorded with Jelly Roll Morton in 1928 and 1930, and with Charlie Skeete and Bill Benford in 1929. He also worked with Clarence Williams and James P. Johnson. In the 1930s he married singer Myra Johnson but left music to become a boxing coach.
- L. Wright: Mr. Jelly Lord (Chigwell, England, 1980)
- Tom Lord: Clarence Williams (Chigwell, England, 1976)
- John Chilton: A Jazz Nursery: the Story of the Jenkins Orphanage Bands of Charleston, South Carolina (London, 1980)