Gimme 5: The Bouncing Betty

The Bouncing Betty is a Columbus-based cover band that is known throughout the Golden Triangle of north Mississippi and beyond for their unique take on 80s Rock-and-Roll classics.

I recently spoke with the band’s co-founder, Mark Ellis, to learn about the band, its members, and more.

  1. Can you tell us how The Bouncing Betty came to be formed?

When posed with this question, Ellis, a local physician specializing in Radiology at North Mississippi Medical Center – West Point, began by explaining that he had taught himself how to play guitar when he was 40. Over the years, he continued to hone his craft, and, in 2015, he got together with his friend, Robert Staggers, and they decided to form The Bouncing Betty.

The original band members were Staggers on drums, Slade Guin on lead guitar, Amber Gibson on vocals, the late Mike Chain on bass, the late Hayden Allen on lead vocals, and Ellis on rhythm guitar.

  1. What is the origin of the band’s name?

Ellis explained that the inspiration came from an anti-personnel mine that was used extensively in World War II, that, when stepped on, bounced up and inflicted grave wounds onto its victim. Ellis had the idea of turning something so negative into a positive, stating that the band wanted to use their music to get in people’s faces and get their attention focused on something positive, so they could forget their cares for a time.

When asked whether there is any connection between the stuffed Betty Boop figure that is with them on-stage at every gig and the band’s name, Ellis replied that “she” is just their mascot.

  1. Who are the current band members and what are their roles?

Ellis explained that over the years – as is the case with most bands – members have come and gone.

The band’s current line-up consists of Staggers on drums, David Taylor on lead guitar, Wes Davis on bass guitar, Tabatha Pollard on lead vocals, Natalie Staggers on harmony vocals, Brad Sims on keyboard, and Ellis on rhythm guitar.

  1. For those who are not familiar with the band, what genres of music do you play?

Ellis stated that the band focuses on covers of 80s Rock. While the band’s style of play and their musical prowess appeal to music lovers of all ages, Ellis identified their target audience as 35–60-year-olds.

  1. What types of gigs do y’all play?

Ellis said that, although they play a variety of types of gigs, such as nightclubs and private parties, they are always looking for more community-based opportunities.

Bonus: Tell us something about the band that nobody knows.

Ellis replied that the band is very interested in establishing a music-based nonprofit organization, with one focus being on providing music camps to instill in area youth a love of music and to teach them how to play an instrument.

The Bouncing Betty will be appearing at Th Burning Piano (2222 Military Rd., Columbus) July 7-8, August 11-12, September 8-9, October 13-14, November 10-11, and December 8-9.

For more information on The Bouncing Betty or booking inquiries, visit their Facebook page (, email, or call 662-574-8019.

To learn more about The Burning Piano, visit