The Bounders 50 years later

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From left, Bill Langley, Tom McKamey and Don White. (Submitted photo)

From left, Bill Langley, Tom McKamey and Don White. (Submitted photo)

By Dawn Pearson

It was 1963, hippies were evolving, Beatlemania slammed America, John F. Kennedy was President of the United States, Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights movement, and The Bounders became the first rock n’ roll band out of Zionsville.

America was in the midst of major growing pains; it was a tremulous time for everyone. But four young Zionsville High School boys were determined to be a part of the rock n’ roll movement. For several years beginning in 1963, The Bounders rocked the bricks.

Bill Langley played lead guitar, Tom McKamey played the bass guitar, Richard Ulander played drums and Don White played the rhythm guitar and belted out the tunes in the original band. Later a fifth Bounder, Ron Drew, joined the band as a bass player.

After 50 years, they will rebound for a “one more time” free show from 8 to 10 p.m. Dec. 21 at the American Legion. According to White, this is on the band’s bucket list, even though Ulander won’t be able to join due to health issues.

“He was a Green Beret in the Vietnam War and the war took its toll on him,” White said.

White’s interest in music started with his family.

“We were a very musical family,” Sharon DeLong, White’s sister and Zionsville resident, said. “Don and I started out singing on a radio show when we were very young, and we’ve performed in many church events. We starting singing out at our grandparents’ church as kids.”

White kept his interest in music and, after witnessing some of Langley’s jam sessions, White was hooked.

“After hearing Bill play in the old Zionsville High School gym, finding out my cousin Tom could play, Richard banging on the drums in a solo performance and knowing I wanted to sing, our dream of fame and fortune began practicing in our parent’s living rooms and garages, we were ready to go public,” White said.

The group’s name, The Bounders, was inspired from a movie White had seen.

“There was a movie back in the day in which one of the actors was called a bounder and this is how we chose our name. A bounder is a man of objectionable social behavior,” he said with a laugh. “We were typical small town boys going to a small school and wanted to be cool.”

Growing up they all watched American Bandstand and were inspired by many of the performers on the show.

“We thought The Beatles were on a different level than any other performers at the time. I think we all dreamed of becoming a famous rock n’ roll band, but I’m sure we would not have enjoyed the business aspect of it. We just loved to play music,” White said.

They were four young teenagers having a blast and finally landed their first real gig playing at a private party in Zionsville.

“Our second gig was in one of the aisles of a shopping center called Jubilee City. And then we started getting better jobs, sock hops, college parties and teen clubs,” he said.

And what was their favorite song to play? Well whatever got the crowd up on their feet, dancing and rocking out.

“Our favorite song was whatever the crowd was into the most on that night. Some nights we could be asked to play “Louie-Louie” several times; other nights it might be a Paul Revere and the Raiders tune.”

But 50 years ago they were having the time of their lives and “we all probably drank, smoked and ran around too much,” White said.

Langley’s father, Bill, 96, a lifelong Zionsville resident, asked his son, “Do you think you can remember all the words and chords to all those songs from 50 years ago?”

Fast forward to 2013.

“Things are different now; we are all older, wiser and have settled down. At our age we have to settle down or it will kill us! We will start jamming at 8 p.m. and play until around 10 p.m., maybe longer, as long as the audience wants, which will be past our bedtimes,” White said.

The concert is free. The Bounders are very grateful to the Legion and hope the community comes out to support the Legion and to see Zionsville’s first rock n’ roll band.

 

After the Band

  • Langley played in a band, Chuck Dean and the Music City Review, in Indianapolis
  • McKamey joined a band, Macon Dew, and traveled the Holiday Inn Circuit
  • Ulander was stationed in Vietnam
  • White got married and had two sons

 

Location

  • Langley moved to Texas in 1980, and back to Zionsville in 2013
  • McKamey is a lifelong resident of the Boone County area
  • White moved to Greenwood in 1970
  • Ulander lives in Iowa

 

Careers

  • Langley, 68, worked as an auto-body shop man in Texas and Florida
  • McKamey, 61, works in maintenance at a health facility in Lebanon and does home remodeling work
  • White, 69, retired from Roche Diagnostics in 2011 and is back playing music
  • Ulander became a Green Beret
  • Unfortunately, the “Fifth” Bounder, Ron Drew, has not been located.

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