Carry's mother was a music teacher, and his brother Ed Carry was a Chicago-based bandleader and guitarist in the 1920s and 1930s. He started on horn at age eight, later studying at the Chicago College of Music and Iowa University. He worked with Cassino Simpson, the Midnight Revellers, and Boyd Atkins's Firecrackers in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
In 1931 he played with Lucky Millinder in RKO theater palaces. He reunited with his brother in 1932, and the pair co-led an orchestra through the middle of the 1930s. Following this Scoops played with Zutty Singleton, Fletcher Henderson, and Roy Eldridge; in 1938 he was with Art Tatum, and in 1939 with Horace Henderson. At the end of the decade he worked briefly with Darnell Howard before joining Earl Hines's band in 1940.
Carry remained in Hines's employ until 1946, working with him in both large and small ensemble settings. After his tenure with Hines, Carry left music and entered law school in 1947, eventually working in the office of the Illinois state attorney.