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Iain MacKintosh was born on 20 July 1932. His father was from the Outer Hebrides, a watchmaker and goldsmith who owned a pawnshop in Glasgow, his mother came from Northern Ireland. At the age of seven he started learning the Highland pipes and played in a pipe band in his youth. His mother died when he was twelve, and he and his three sisters were brought up by his grandmother. After grammar school, he started his working life as an apprentice watchmaker and goldsmith and later took over his father's business. After doing his time in the British Army where he saw service in the Near East he married Sadie; the couple had two daughters, Isla and Fiona.
In the late 1950s MacKintosh went to a Pete Seeger concert in Glasgow. He was so impressed he bought a banjo and started to practise. His other instrument of choice was the concertina. He joined the Scottish folk music revival that was just getting under way. In 1960, at the age of 28, he formed his first band The Islanders, with whom he made one album before leaving. It contained one of the first songs he wrote; the Pawn Song drew on his experiences in the business. For the next ten years he played in two more bands, The Skerries and The Other Half, and was in demand as a session musician for the likes of Hamish Imlach, Gaberlunzie or Watt Nicoll.
In 1970 MacKintosh went professional as a solo singer, accompanying himself on the long-necked banjo, and also playing the pipes or the concertina. For thirty years he toured Europe, the United States and Australia. His repertoire, which had never been confined to Scottish traditional material, broadened out, and he was credited with "impressive good taste in song". He took most of his material from other songwriters, the late Harry Chapin and Glaswegian Adam McNaughtan being particular favourites. Scottish audiences voted him Scotland's "Folk Musician of the Year" several times. Of his self-penned songs, 'I Wouldn't Change A Thing', an account of his career in five verses, is probably the most popular; he recorded it for Stage By Stage.
MacKintosh became one of the best-loved artists of Tønder Festival where he used to run the Saturday afternoon concert at the Mill. For years he also did joint tours with other notable folk artists, mainly Hamish Imlach and Brian McNeill. He retired at the age of 68, after a final tour of several European countries in 2000.
|By Request||Encore||A Man's A Man||Straight To The Point||Live In Glasgow||Singing From The Inside||Home For A While||Live In Hamburg||Standing Room Only||Gentle Persuasion||Risks and Roses||Just My Cup of Tea||Stage By Stage||Live and Kicking|
|feat.||feat.||feat. Brian McNeill
& Alan Reid
- Sing Out!, 1 January 2007
- Kalweit, Susanne: I Wouldn't Change A Thing! 40 years of Iain MacKinosh, from 'The Living Tradition', issue 49 (Sept/Oct 2002), pp 38–39, 60
- McVicar, Ewan: One Singer One Song. Old and new stories and songs of Glasgow folk, Glasgow 1990
- Siniveer, Kaarel: Folk Lexikon, Reinbek b. Hamburg 1981