Bill moved to Wilkes County from Florida in 1976, and he immersed himself in the mountain music of the region. Bill’s music endeavors started when his wife bought him an old guitar shortly after they were married in 1983. He learned to play rhythm guitar and met guitarist Steve Kilby at American Drew where they both worked. Bill had been playing the “doghouse” bass some too. His first on-stage gig was playing bass with Ramona Church and her band at Fiddlers Grove in Union Grove, NC. Bill continued his association with Steve Kilby and did his first studio recording with Steve at Heritage Records in Galax, VA. The name of this recording was “Sunday Night” and all the songs were originals written by Steve. Bill was a founding member of Steve Kilby’s “Sunday Night Band” along with John Akin and Tim Lewis. He stayed with this band, later renamed “Kingsberry Run”, for about five years. While with Steve’s band he won numerous ribbons and trophies at fiddlers’ conventions throughout North Carolina and Virginia.
Around 1994, Bill met Drake Walsh and Floyd Williams. They had a band called “Southland’ and Floyd asked Bill if he would be interested in playing bass with them because their bass player, Marshal Craven was leaving the band. He stayed with this band until 2003. In 2001 Bill and Drake were approached by Jerry Lankford, editor of The Record newspaper, and asked if they would be interested in playing with a band that was being formed to play live music for a play written by Karen Wheeling Reynolds called “Tom Dooley, A Wilkes County Legend”. The play was being put on annually by the Wilkes Playmakers at Benton Hall in North Wilkesboro. Bill agreed to join the band which also included Jerry Lankford, Drake Walsh, Herb Key and Nicole Vidrine. A name was needed for the band so Her Key came up with the name “Elkville String Band” due to the fact that Tom “Dooley” Dula was born in Elkville, a small town in Wilkes County, now called Ferguson. The band played for four seasons of the Tom Dooley play and the group recorded four CDs of the music for the play. After Jerry Lankford and Nicole Vidrine could no longer play with the band, Jeff Michael stepped in and played with the band for several years. At that time “The Elkville String Band” was made up of Herb Key, Drake Walsh, Jeff Michael and Bill Williams. After Drake passed away in 2010, Jim Lloyd started playing banjo and Trevor McKenzie started playing fiddle in the band.
Bill has also played and recorded with “The Lloyd Church Band” and several other groups from this area. He is still a member of “The Elkville String Band” along with Herb Key, Jim Lloyd and Trevor McKenzie but is currently not active with the band right now due to his wife having a stroke. He is her primary caregiver but hopes to be able to play music again in the near future.