Born Lizzie Douglas in Louisiana and moved to Walls, Mississippi when she was 10. She began playing on Memphis street corners and joined Ringling Brothers Circus and toured the south. In 1929 she was discovered by Columbia Records.
She was married to Casey Bill Weldon and later to Kansas Joe McCoy. Minnie and Joe moved to Chicago in 1930 and became a big part of the blues scene but spent her final years in a nursing home. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980. She is buried in Walls, Mississippi at the New Hope Cemetery.