Iain MacKintosh, a Scottish sing-a-song singer and writer, was born on July 20, 1932 in Glasgow as the only son among three sisters of a clockmaker–goldsmith. At the age of seven he began to study Scotch pipes. His mother died when he was 12. He started his working life as an apprentice in his father's workshop. In his mid-20s he visited a concert of Pete Seeger in Glasgow which impressed him very much. The very next day he bought a banjo and started to exercise; this was his instrument. He dived into the newly developing Scottish music scene and discovered also his own style. In 1960 at the age of 28 he founded his first band The Islanders. For another 10 years he played in different bands, as The skerries and The Other Half.
Finally in 1970 he gave up his father's shop after 10 years running it with his wife Sadie and began as a soloist to play and sing, touring around Europe. He became later one of the leading figures of Tønder Festival.
MacKintosh died on June 28, 2006, after losing his fight against cancer of the throat and Parkinson's disease.