McGuinness Flint

McGuinness Flint was an English folk-rock combo, best-known for the 1970–71 UK hits “When I’m Dead and Gone” and “Malt and Barley Blues.” They released the albums McGuinness Flint and Happy Birthday, Ruthy Baby on Capitol Records, followed by the 1973–74 titles Rainbow and C’est la Vie on Bronze.

Tom McGuinness (ex-Manfred Mann) and Hughie Flint (ex-Bluesbreakers) formed the band with singer–songwriters Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle, who later charted as a break-off duo.

Members: Tom McGuinness (bass, guitar, vocals), Hughie Flint (drums, vocals), Benny Gallagher (guitar, vocals, 1970-71), Graham Lyle (guitar, vocals, 1970-71), Dennis Coulson (guitar, keyboards, vocals, 1970-72), Dixie Dean (bass, harmonica, 1971-75), Neil Innes (multi-instruments, 1971), John Bailey (1971), Jim Evans (guitar, steel guitar, violin, 1972-75), Lou Stonebridge (guitar, harmonica, keyboards, vocals, 1972-75)


McGuinness Flint formed in 1970 when guitarist–bassist Tom McGuinness and drummer Hugh Flint formed a quintet with their keyboardist friend Dennis Coulson and the Scottish songwriting team of Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle.

McGuinness (b. December 2, 1941) had brief stints alongside Eric Clapton in the pre-fame beat combos The Roosters and Casey Jones & His Engineers. He joined Manfred Mann in time for their 1964 fifth single “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” a transatlantic No. 1 evergreen of the British Invasion. Initially their bassist, he switched to guitar after the 1965 departure of Mike Vickers. McGuinness plays on the five Manfred Mann studio albums. His writing contributions include  the album tracks “L.S.D.” (Mann Made, 1965), “A Now and Then Thing,” (As Is, 1966), “Cubist Town” (Mighty Garvey!,  1968), and the b-sides “You’re Standing By,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “There Is a Man,” and “What Did I Do Wrong?”

Flint (b. March 15, 1940) hailed from the original lineup of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. He plays on their 1965–66 albums John Mayall Plays John Mayall and Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton. His late-sixties activity included brief stints with Alexis Korner and Savoy Brown.

Gallagher (b. June 10, 1945) first teamed with Lyle (b. March 11, 1944) in 1959 in the Largs-based rock ‘n’ roll combo The Bluefrets. Benny co-wrote his first-published song (“Mr Heartbreak’s Here Instead,” recorded by Marmalade precursor Dean Ford & The Gaylords) with singer Andrew Galt of Gallagher and Lyle’s next band, The Tulsans. They back the singer (billed James Galt) on his 1965 Pye singles “Comes The Dawn” and “With My Baby.”

In 1966, the pair moved to London in search of a publishing deal. They cut the 1967 Polydor standalone single “Trees” (b/w “In the Crowd”) as Gallagher–Lyle and signed as songwriters with The Beatles‘ Apple Records label.

McGuinness Flint

McGuinness Flint released their self-titled debut album on December 4, 1970, on Capitol. It features eight Galllagher–Lyle originals, including “Bodang Buck,” “Brother Psyche,” “International,” and the single “When I’m Dead and Gone.” Tom McGuinness and Dennis Coulson co-wrote “I’m Letting You Know” and (with third writer Hughie Flint) “Lazy Afternoon.”

A1. “Lazy Afternoon” (3:53)
A2. “Bodang Buck” (3:06)
A3. “Mister Mister” (2:04)
A4. “Heritage” (2:17)
A5. “I’m Letting You Know” (3:26)
A6. “Let It Ride” (3:50)
B1. “Dream Darling Dream” (1:44)
B2. “When I’m Dead and Gone” (3:35)
B3. “Brother Psyche” (5:00)
B4. “Who You Got to Love” (2:38)
B5. “International” (3:19)

Recorded at Olympic Studios, England
Producer, Engineer – Glyn Johns

Guitar, Bass – Tom McGuinness
Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals – Benny Gallagher
Guitar, Mandolin, Bass, Vocals – Graham Lyle
Keyboards, Vocals – Dennis Coulson
Percussion – Hughie Flint

“When I’m Dead and Gone” preceded the album on October 23 as McGuinness Flint’s first single (b/w Lazy Afternoon”).

“Malt and Barley Blues”

On April 16, 1971, McGuinness Flint released the standalone single “Malt and Barley Blues,” a Gallagher–Lyle song backed with “Rock On,” which McGuinness co-wrote with singer Dave Kelly of the John Dummer Blues Band.

A. “Malt and Barley Blues”
B. “Rock On”

Happy Birthday, Ruthy Baby

McGuinness Flint released their second album, Happy Birthday, Ruthy Baby, in July 1971 on Capitol. It features eleven Gallagher–Lyle originals, including “Fixer,” “Klondike,” “Reader to Writer,” and “Piper of Dreams.” Side One contains the Flint–McGuinness co-write “When I’m Alone With You.”

A1. “Happy Birthday, Ruthy Baby” (3:21)
A2. “Conversation” (3:01)
A3. “When I’m Alone With You” (2:36)
A4. “Fixer” (3:51)
A5. “Faith And Gravy” (2:41)
A6. “Klondike” (2:11)
B1. “Reader to Writer” (2:37)
B2. “Changes” (2:43)
B3. “Friends of Mine” (2:48)
B4. “Piper of Dreams” (3:39)
B5. “Jimmy’s Song” (3:28)
B6. “Sparrow” (3:00)

Producer, Engineer – Glyn Johns

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Mandolin, Bass, Vocals – Graham Lyle
Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Electric Guitar, Bass, Piano, Vocals, Ocarina – Benny Gallagher
Drums – Hughie Flint
Vocals – Dennis Coulson
Vocals, Electric Guitar, Bass – Tom McGuinness

Keyboards – Nicky Hopkins (A1 to A3, B1, B5, B6)
Saxophone – Jimmy Jewell
Trombone – John Mumford

Capitol lifted “Happy Birthday Ruthy Baby” as a single backed with two non-album tracks: “Wham Bam” (Gallagher–Lyle) and “Back On the Road Again” (McGuinness–Flint–Coulson).

B1. “Wham Bam”
B2. “Back On the Road Again”

Gallagher & Lyle

In early 1972, McGuinness Flint lost Gallagher and Lyle, who favored studio work over the band’s live activities. Between 1972 and 1979, they released eight studio albums as a duo. Their 1976 album Breakaway spawned the UK Top 10 hits “I Wanna Stay with You” and “Heart on My Sleeve.” Art Garfunkel charted with a version of the title-track, recorded before the Gallagher–Lyle version. Garfunkel’s version (spelled “Break Away”) appears on his 1975 second solo album, also titled Breakaway.

“Let The People Go”

On March 3, 1973, McGuinness Flint released the standalone single “Let The People Go,” a political Tom–Hughie original. This was their only release on the Island Records subsidiary Blue Mountain, which issued the single in multiple variations of a picture that presents the group (seen as a trio with Coulson) behind bars.

A. “Let The People Go”
B. “Cheeky Chappy”

McGuinness, Flint, and Coulson welcomed bassist–singer Dixie Dean, who also played harmonica and cornet. Dean co-wrote “Cheeky Chappy” with outsider, Mac McGann, a onetime member of folksters The Levee Breakers.

Coulson, Dean, McGuinness, Flint – Lo and Behold

In September 1972, the configuration of Coulson, Dean, McGuinness, and Flint released Lo and Behold on DJM Records. It features ten songs written but unreleased by Bob Dylan.

A1. “Eternal Circle” (2:58)
A2. “Lo and Behold” (4:14)
A3. “Let Me Die In My Footsteps” (4:15)
A4. “Open the Door Homer” (4:25)
A5. “Lay Down Your Weary Tune” (4:05)
B1. “Don’t You Tell Henry” (2:00)
B2. “Get Your Rocks Off” (4:50)
B3. “The Death of Emmett Till” (3:35)
B4. “Odds and Ends” (2:33) Hughie sings lead.
B5. “Sign On the Cross” (7:25)

Recorded At – Maximum Sound Studios
Producer – Manfred Mann
Engineer – Dave Hadfield

Guitar, Banjo, Accordion, Vocals – Tom McGuinness
Drums, Tabla, Percussion, Vocals – Hughie Flint
Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Cornet, Jew’s Harp, Vocals – Dixie Dean
Lead Vocals – Dennis Coulson

Piano, Electric Piano – Mike Hugg
Alto Saxophone, Clarinet – Jimmy Jewell
Trombone, Euphonium – Paul Rutherford
Flugelhorn – Harold Beckett
Backing Vocals – Barry St. John, Judith Powell, Liza Strike

Design – John Van Hamersveld
Photography By – Geoff Drury

New Lineup

Dennis Coulson went solo with a 1973 self-titled album on Elektra. Flint performs on Dennis Coulson, which also features backing by Gallagher, Lyle, and an eight-piece horn section that includes trombonist Paul Rutherford (Centipede, Mike Westbrook), tuba player Dick Hart (Michael Gibbs, Neil Ardley), and trumpeters Henry Lowther (Colosseum, Keef Hartley) and Kenny Wheeler (Nucleus, Norma Winstone).

McGuinness Flint hired steel guitarist Jim Evans and singing multi-instrumentalist Lou Stonebridge, who played guitar, keyboards, and harmonica.

Evans hailed from folk-popsters Blue Skies, which cut the 1970–71 singles “Happy” (“Nightingale”) and “Julianne” (b/w “The Three Sweet Dreams of Adam, Sarah and Mary-Jane”).

Stonebridge originated in Machester beatsters The Glass Menagerie, which cut five 1968–69 pop-psych singles on Pye and Polydor. He then joined Grisby Dyke, which cut the 1969 Deram single “The Adventures of Miss Rosemary La Page” (b/ “Mary Anne She”). With Gribsy’s Derek Foley, Stonebridge formed the jam-rock band Paladin, which released two albums in 1971–72 on Bronze Records, the label started by Uriah Heep manager Gerry Bron.


McGuinness Flint released their third album, Rainbow, in September 1973 on Bronze. It features individual compositions by Tom McGuinness (“High Again,” “Bye Bye Baby”), Lou Stonebridge (“Rocking Chair,” “Dear Folks at Home”), and Dixie Dean (“Take It Down,” “Just One Woman”).

Rainbow includes one song each by Hughie Flint (“If You Love Me”) and Jim Evans (“This Song”). Evans co-wrote “Berry Blue Tuesday” with Dean, who co-wrote “Ride On My Rainbow” with outside partner McGann.

A1. “Ride On My Rainbow” (2:54)
A2. “If You Love Me” (3:11)
A3. “High Again” (2:21)
A4. “Berry Blue Tuesday” (3:35)
A5. “Rocking Chair” (5:52)
B1. “Take It Down” (3:58)
B2. “Dear Folks at Home” (3:22)
B3. “Bye Bye Baby” (4:53)
B4. “Just One Woman” (3:35)
B5. “This Song” (2:46)

Producer – Tony Ashton

Drums, Vocals – Hughie Flint
Vocals, Bass Guitar, Horns, Harmonica – Dixie Dean
Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin – Tom McGuinness
Vocals, Guitar, Steel Guitar – Jim Evans
Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Harmonica – Lou Stonebridge

Bronze lifted “Ride On My Rainbow” as a single, backed with the non-album Tom McGuinness number “Virgin Mary.”

C’est la Vie

McGuinness Flint released their fourth album, C’est la Vie, in October 1974 on Bronze. Tom McGuinness wrote the first three songs and the Side Two opener “Fast Eddie.” The album features two songs apeice by Dixie Dean (“Please Give Me,” “Siren Sadie”) and Lou Stonebridge (“Union Hall,” “Rabbitt Isle”).

Dean and McGann co-wrote “(I Don’t Like Your) Country Music,” which features Family violinist John Weider, session banjoist Keith Nelson (Steamhammer, Leo Sayer), and mandolin by C’est la Vie producer (and guitar legend) Big Jim Sullivan.

A1. “Catfish” (3:28)
A2. “C’est La Vie” (3:04)
A3. “Ride That Horse” (5:02)
A4. “(I Don’t Like Your) Country Music” (3:45)
A5. “Please Give Me” (3:37)
B1. “Fast Eddie” (4:28)
B2. “Siren Sadie” (5:09)
B3. “Union Hall” (3:01)
B4. “Rabbitt Isle” (7:20)

Recorded At – The Music Centre, Wembley
Engineer – Dick Plant
Producer – Big Jim Sullivan

Percussion – Hughie Flint
Vocals, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Horns, Harmonica – Dixie Dean
Vocals, Guitar, Dobro, Mandolin – Tom McGuinness
Vocals, Guitar, Steel Guitar, Fiddle – Jim Evans
Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Harmonica, Accordion – Lou Stonebridge

Photography – David Smith
Design [Mirror] – Grierson Gower
Design [Sleeve] – Ethan Russell, Mike McGann

“C’est La Vie” appeared on July 26 as an advance single, backed with the non-album Tom McGuinness number “Poppadaddy.”

Post-McGuinness Flint

David Byron

The Blues Band

Charlie Fawn

Stonebridge McGuinness

Lyle McGuinness Band


  • McGuinness Flint (1970)
  • Happy Birthday, Ruthy Baby (1971)
  • Rainbow (1973)
  • C’est la vie (1974)


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