Lee Duffy was born Ernalee Mitchell in Lawton, Oklahoma. Number 11 of 13 children; there were teen-agers in her home and therefore popular music, in her life, from birth. At age seven her family moved to a 110 acre farm in Horatio, Arkansas. Her father sang and played the guitar, piano, organ, mandolin, violin, and harmonica. Many of her brothers and sisters sang and played instruments. She began singing in pre-school and sang in her kindergarten graduation, 6th grade graduation, and numerous school talent shows. She sang in the choir at Sunset High School in Dallas, TX. After high school she maintained her interest in singing by performing and jamming with friends in Dallas who were aspiring singer/songwriters.
Her professional singing career began when she moved to Austin, Tx. in 1975. She sang with the popular local band “The Geezinslaw Brothers” led by Sammy Allred, as well as her own group “The Leonard Mitchell Band”. Other members included Elliott Leonard, Alan Jones, Mark Parrish and John Dunne. This band played for several years in the late 70's to mid 80' at venues such as Spellman's, the Buckhorn Saloon, The Split Rail, and the legendary Armadillo World Headquarters opening for great artists such as the late Townes Van Zandt. Through the kindness of Lana and Willie Nelson the band recorded an unreleased album at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio. Before the record was finished Lee was blessed with her second child, Colin. Her daughter Angela was three years old. Shortly after the recording the group dis-banded and Lee stopped singing for a time to raise her two children.