He was born Todd Washington Rhodes, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Rhodes attended both the Springfield School of Music and the Erie Conservatory, studying as pianist and songwriter.
In the early 1920s he played with Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller, Rex Stewart, Doc Cheatham, and Don Redman in McKinney's Cotton Pickers, a jazz group. Rhodes lived and played in Detroit in the 1930s. In the late 1940s he started his own group, Todd Rhodes and His Toddlers, and started doing more R&B arrangements. With his Toddlers, he recorded "Your Daddy's Doggin' Around" and "Your Mouth Got a Hole In It." Rhodes also worked with Hank Ballard, The Chocolate Dandies and Wynonie Harris. He featured African American female lead singers, such as Connie Allen, who recorded "Rocket 69" in 1951. After she left the band in early 1952, her position was taken by LaVern Baker.
Rhodes died in June 1965 in Detroit, at the age of 64.