Bill DeArango was self-taught on guitar. While he attended Ohio State University, he played with Dixieland bands at night. After serving in the Army from 1942-44, he moved to New York City and worked first with Don Byas and Ben Webster. A year later, he played on an album with Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. He worked as a sideman with Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Ike Quebec, Slam Stewart, then led his own band with Terry Gibbs.
In 1947, DeArango returned to Cleveland. In the '60's he opened up a guitar store and taught guitar lessons. DeArango also performed locally for two decades. He recorded an album with pianist John Williams in 1954. Late in the 1960s, he managed the rock band Henry Tree and performed regularly in the 1970s at the Smiling Dog Saloon in Cleveland with Ernie Krivda and Skip Hadden, mixing hard rock and free jazz.
His next recording was on the album Another Time/Another Place (Muse, 1978) by Barry Altschul, then 298 Bridge Street (1981) by Kenny Werner, and Names (1983) by Jamey Haddad. In 1993, he released his second solo album, Anything Went, with Joe Lovano. He entered a nursing home in 1999 and suffered dementia until his death seven years later, although he continued performing locally until late 2001. Recorded a trio CD with guitarist Michael Bocian and drummer Tom Rainey entitled I Am The Blues Recorded by Bart Koster in Cleveland Ohio.