Carol Sloane was born on March 5, 1937, in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1955, Carol married a Providence disc jockey named Charlie Jefferds, but divorced in 1958. Carol continued to sing in small bars and clubs until she met the road manager of the Les and Larry Elgart Orchestra, which was touring the amusement park ballrooms in the southern New England area. She auditioned for Larry Elgart, who then asked her to come to New York with his band. The brothers had recently split the organization, Les taking the territory west of Chicago, Larry to handle everything east of Chicago.