History of THE OUTER LIMITS by Terry Olson and Mark Kimmel
The Outer Limits formed in 1967 while most members were sophomores in Madison High School, Madison, South Dakota. They included David Hein, Rob Hein, Bob Mildenberg, Mark Reynolds, Ken Reynolds, and Terry Olson. Their first on-stage performance was on the auditorium stage of Madison High School for an East River Electric convention using the name of “Melody Sextet” on April 1, 1968.
Using the moniker “The Outer Limits,” their first gig was April 6, 1968, in Ramona, South Dakota, at Norma’s. At the beginning none of the members had a driver’s license, and they were too young to perform where alcohol was served, prompting two of their mothers to chaperon the band. The group played such places as Lake Madison Ballroom (several times), Rest Haven Resort in Lake Andes, Twin Lakes Resort in Woonsocket (three times) and high school homecomings and proms. Terry Olson booked the band and ran the light show during this time and added brass with trumpet.
In 1970 after Dave Hein, Rob Hein, and Bob Mildenberg left the band, a reorganization occurred. The group then consisted of Ken Reynolds, drums; Mark Reynolds, keyboards; Mike Rieger (formerly of the Cavaliers), bass guitar; Gary Nyland, vocals; and Mark Kimmel, guitar-vocals. As a new group, they played at Watertown's Casino Ballroom on June 5, 1970, and the following night at a dance in the Howard, South Dakota, Legion Hall.
Dave Cecil (formerly of the Cavaliers) soon replaced Gary Nyland as lead singer. This group would go on to play the Mocamba Club, Aberdeen's Depot Club, Lake Benton's Showboat Ballroom, Mitchell Roller Drome and many other ballrooms, bars, and school dances in five states. Dave Cecil left the group in 1973. After Dave and Mike Rieger departed, other musicians who joined the Reynolds brothers and Kimmel included Randy Bowman, Dale Callies (deceased), Bob Mildenberg, and Butch Zierath. Ultimately, Kimmel switched from guitar to bass. During this time Terry Olson was still booking the band and running the light show along with John Oines. In the latter part of 1973, Thomas Booking Agency (Jimmy Thomas) took over their booking duties.
In 1974 this group of players broke up and a new lineup of Outer Limits players was formed. This group consisted of Ken Reynolds, drums; Gary Snow, lead guitar-vocals; Bruce Beyer, bass guitar-vocals; and Larry Green, guitar-vocals. This group would stay together until 1980, playing such places as Japanese Gardens Ballroom, Milltown Ballroom, Sherburn Minnesota's Fox Lake Ballroom, Swan Lake Ballroom, South Dakota State Fair, county fairs, Czech Days, and numerous clubs, taverns, and school dances throughout South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa. They also played local venues including the Grandview Ballroom on Lake Madison (known earlier as Lake Madison Ballroom), The Tap, Dakota State University, and Madison High School socials. After Larry Green left the group, he was replaced by Randy Bowman. Other fill-in players through the years included Daryl Skancke and Arlene Beyer.
The Outer Limits as a group played their last performance at the Grandview Ballroom on the shores of Lake Madison in 1980.
For a dozen years the members of The Outer Limits kept crowds dancing and listening to hits from the '50s, '60s, and '70s in a region covering five Midwestern states. Many former Outer Limits musicians are still performing today.