Ken Mackintosh

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For the Scottish Labour MSP, see Ken Macintosh.
For New Zealand rugby league coach, see Ken McIntosh.

Ken Mackintosh ((1919-08-04)4 August 1919 – 22 November 2005(2005-11-22) (aged 86)[1] was an English saxophonist, composer and bandleader. Mackintosh was born in Liversedge, Yorkshire, and died in Mitcham, Surrey, England.[1]

Mackintosh was one of Britain's most distinguished bandleaders of the 20th century, accompanying singers such as Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Matt Monro. He was born in Halifax Road, near Knowler Hill, in 1919 and devoted his life to music, after buying his first alto saxophone, at the age of 15. After a period in the Army he went to London and joined various big bands such as the Oscar Rabin Band. He then formed his own orchestra and toured extensively at home and abroad. The orchestra was featured on BBC Radio, almost every week, in the 1950s and early 1960s.

When travelling to a one-night stand in the West Country, Ken stopped to give a lift to an RAF serviceman hitch-hiking back to his base near Gloucester. The topic of conversation turned to the young man’s appreciation of various entertainments put on by the authorities and how much he had enjoyed the visits of Joe Loss, Johnny Dankworth and Ted Heath. There was one band which he could not stand, however, and that was Ken Mackintosh who he thought was “lousy”. Before the aircraftsman departed at the gates, Ken handed over his card - whereupon the car was vacated rather rapidly!

He also wrote his own music such as "The Creep". He had three entries in the UK Singles Chart between 1954 and 1960, with "The Creep" being his highest placed hit record, reaching #10 in January 1954.[2] Among his fans was the Queen Mother, for whom he played twice at Windsor Castle. Towards the end of his life he was awarded Freedom of the City of London. He died in November 2005.


  1. ^ a b Willey, Brian (2005-12-01). "Ken Mackintosh, Swinging big band-leader". Obituary. The Independent. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 340. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.