William Edward Chiaiese was born on October 20, 1934 to John and Emily Chiaiese(key-ah-tze) in Dorchester , Massachusetts . The family later moved to Squantum , Mass. John changed the family name to Chase, understanding that the Italian name Chiaiese was both hard to spell and pronounce.
While Bill was growing up his parents felt that he needed to broaden his horizons and arranged for him to take violin lessons. Bill did not even touch the trumpet, until the middle of his high school years. A newspaper clipping dated 1956 pictures Bill listed as a Corporal in the 26th Yankee Infantry Division Band holding a bass drum. Bill's experience as a drummer changed his life and the lives of many others. During a St. Patrick's Day parade he had to lug his huge drum for five miles enduring the miserably cold pouring rain. It hurt so bad that he decided never to do it again, he asked his father to dig out his old trumpet for him.