Will Lee was greatly influenced to pursue music because of his parents. His father, William Franklin Lee III played piano, trumpet and the upright bass professionally. Lee's mother sang with big bands. Lee took up drums after seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, and by the time he was 12 had formed his first band in Miami. The band played popular surfing tunes characteristic of the 1960s. With the great numbers of drummers in Miami, Lee shifted to bass, an instrument that offered more opportunities.
Lee was part of a succession of bands including top 40 bands with names like "Chances R" "The Loving Kind", and "Green Cloud."
Upon moving to New York City, Trumpeter Randy Brecker called Lee and invited him to audition for Dreams. In New York, Lee's career as a session musician flourished, and he toured with many artists.
Lee played in the New York "24th Street Band" which had great success in Japan, giving him a solo artist career that yielded him a top 5 single.
In 1982, Lee became one of the original members of The World's Most Dangerous Band, the house band on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman. He holds the distinction of playing with Paul Shaffer, on both Late Night and the Late Show, longer than any other member of the CBS Orchestra.
On the May 13, 2015 episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, as Letterman was interviewing Paul Shaffer, Shaffer gave recognition to the members of his band, and lastly mentioned Lee as the "man who has been with us on bass since the first night we were on Late Night, Will Lee."