Ernie Fields Jr. is the son of the bandleader and promoter Ernie Fields Sr. Ernie Jr. grew up in the family business, playing the range of saxophones in the Ernie Fields Orchestra from an early age. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High , young Ernie showed interest in upcoming blues, soul and later funk genres as well as jazz. Ernie worked regularly with such greats as Bobby "Blue" Bland, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Rick James, and Marvin Gaye. He found a niche as a Hollywood session musician and is featured on numerous recordings. Ernie began to develop a talent for arranging and doing music for television as well. His TV recordings include music for the smash hit American Idol and specials devoted to the history of soul.
Ernie has also been associated with trombonist Fred Wesley and his group the JBs, which started as backup for James Brown in the 1970's. Ernie has toured and recorded often with the band in recent years. Ernie has recently begun to explore more unusual instruments; he played the bagpipes alongside Fred Wesley while touring during the 1990s, and performed on the didgeridoo for American Idol in April 2010.
- 1978: Here, My Dear - Marvin Gaye
- 1979: Wild and Peaceful - Teena Marie
- 1995: Conversation Peace - Stevie Wonder
- 2008: One Kind Favor - B. B. King