- From Marion, Virginia. Lived in Davidsonville, Maryland for many years.
- Began performing in the 1950’s.
- Formed his band The Virginians in the early 60’s. Recorded several landmark albums for United Artists and Monument Records. This group appeared regularly on the Jimmy Dean’s CBS-TV show.
- 1966, teamed up with Don Reno and the Tennessee Cutups, singing lead in place of the late Red Smiley.
- 1977, was involved in a traffic accident that left him with two broken legs. Reno and Harrell officially called it quits in September of that year
- 1978, re-organized “The Virginians” and continued to perform with this group (with numerous personnel changes over the years) until the mid-90’s when he retired.
- Was a good friend of the late singer Jim Reeves. Bill wrote several songs for him.
- Once considered changing his name to “Morgan Atkins” and going country. (Name is a combination of his wife’s and his mother’s maiden names.
- He performed for presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush.
- His son Mitch Harrell performed for many years with the Virginians and became a solo artist.
- 2008, recieved a “Distinguished Achievement Award” from the IBMA.
- 2009 (June 24), died after suffering a stroke.
- Classic Bluegrass (Rebel Records)