Trudy Lynn, born Lee Audrey Nelms, grew up surrounded by music in Houston. Duke and Peacock Records, two Black-owned labels were blocks from her home. She saw legends like Joe Hinton and Bobby "Blue" Bland by the Club Matinee on her way to school. Her parents loved blues, and Trudy sang while her father tap-danced and played harmonica on the porch. She also sang in church, started a girl group, the Chromatics, with her school friends, became a vocalist with Clarence Green, and opened for Ike and Tina Turner. In 1989, she went solo on a recording called Trudy Sings the Blues.