Lee was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England. and was a founding member of his first band, The Falcons. He was also a drummer for Ricky Storm and The Mansfields, which he was persuaded to leave in August 1965. Soon he took over drumming duties for The Jaybirds, with guitarist Alvin Lee, and bassist Leo Lyons. In 1966 they arrived in London, where a keyboardist, Chick Churchill also joined the band.
In 1994, Lee formed The Breakers with an old friend, Ian Ellis (ex-Clouds) and together they wrote and produced their first studio album "MILAN", which was released in July 1995. Along with tours of the UK and Europe, The Breakers were guests with Bryan Adams and Bonnie Raitt, on NBC Super Channel's "Talking Blues" programme that aired in Europe in March 1996.
In 2011, Lee formed the 'Ric Lee Blues Project' which was later renamed 'Ric Lee's Natural Born Swingers' for their 2012 album release 'Put a Record On'. The band featured Bob Hall of Savoy Brown, Danny Handley from The Animals and British session bassist Scott Whitley who has worked with many major acts from around the world. The album received substantial airplay on European and internet radio.