Beulah "Sippie" (Thomas) was born in Texas in 1898 and grew up in Houston where she sang and played the piano in her father's church. While still in her early teens, and with her brothers Hersal and George, she began playing and singing the blues in the travelling shows that moved around Texas. When she was 17 years old she moved to New Orleans, marrying Matt Wallace in 1917. During her stay there she met many of the great Jazz musicians like King Oliver and Louis Armstrong who were friends of her brother George. During the early 1920s she toured the vaudeville circuit where she was billed as "The Texas Nightingale". In 1923 she moved to Chicago and began performing in cafes and taverns and about this time she recorded her first records for the Okeh label. She went on to record over forty songs for them between 1923 and 1929. Wallace was unusual among the great female blues singers in that she wrote a great deal of her own material, often with her brothers supplying the music. She was accompanied by some of the greats on her recording sessions including musicians like King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Clarence Williams, and Sidney Bechet. Sadly her younger brother Hersal died of food poisoning in 1926 aged only sixteen. Sippie moved to Detroit in 1929 and gave up performing in the early 1930's as interest in blues music declined.

Her life was marred by further tragedy during an 18 month period in 1935/36 when her aunt Lillie, to whom she was very close, her husband, and her brother George, all died. She found comfort in the church and for the next forty years she was a singer and organ player at a Baptist Church in Detroit. She occasionally returned to the blues and gave infrequent public performances, but did little until her great friend Victoria Spivey persuaded her to launch a comeback in 1966, and they recorded an album together called "Sippie Wallace and Victoria Spivey". Sippie Wallace suffered a stroke in 1970 but managed to carry on recording and performing. With the help of Bonnie Raitt she landed a recording deal with Atlantic Records and recorded the album, "Sippie", which featured Raitt, and which was nominated for a Grammy in 1983 and won a W.C. Handy Award for best blues album in 1984. She died in 1986 on her 88th birthday.