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February 3, 2021 / rockroots

Maxi, Dick & Twink

In the mid-1960s members of the Young Dublin Singers were auditioned in the Gaiety Theatre (by either producer Fred O’Donovan or owner Eamonn Andrews), in a search for backing singers for studio recordings by the showbands and pop groups of the day. The Young Dublin Singers had their origins as the school choir of St Louis Convent in Rathmines. Three teenage girls were chosen and it was soon suggested that they should become a pop group in their own right. They were Irene McCoubrey (known as ‘Mac-C’ or ‘Maxi’), Barbara Dixon (‘Dick’) and Adele King (‘Twink’).

…helpfully posing in name order…

As Maxi, Dick & Twink, they toured Ireland and the UK between 1967 and 1970 and continued to be employed as session singers. They also recorded the singles ‘Things You Hear About Me’ and ‘Tangerines, Tangerines’. At the end of 1970 the trio were invited to join Irish pop group The Bye-Laws on an extended tour of Canada, billed collectively as ‘The Toybox‘. The grueling tour was a disaster and broke the girls’ professional relationship; Maxi and Dick left the tour in early 1971, while Twink continued as a featured singer with The Bye-Laws for a few more months.

Back home, singing star Brendan Bowyer left the Royal Showband to set up his own group, ‘The Big 8‘, and Twink sang with this and the spin-off Paddy Cole Band for the rest of the decade. Twink also had solo projects and was in the running to represent Ireland in the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest. She went on to become an all-round entertainer and an institution in Irish panto. Dick briefly sang with the Royal Showband before moving to Canada, where – now using her married name Barbara Law – she became an actress and released a pretty decent disco album (Take All of Me) in 1979. Maxi joined folk singer Danny Doyle’s Music Box but, like Twink, had parallel solo ambitions and was the Irish representative in the 1973 Eurovision (notwithstanding some last-minute wobbles). Her entry, ‘Do I Dream’, was released in multiple European territories by Decca Records. Follow-up ‘Young Love Is Afraid Of To-Morrow’ [sic] was co-credited with her imaginatively-named backing band, Maxi and Company. By 1978 Maxi was back with a new trio, ‘Sheeba‘ – as detailed elsewhere on this site – and subsequently became a prominent DJ on Irish radio.

Given the later success of all three singers, it may be surprising that only one brief reunion was staged, during a 1982 episode of Twink’s eponymous TV series. But their vocal harmonies actually worked really well together – check out ‘The Sweet Eye’ or ‘Catch The Bride’s Bouquet’ in particular. Unsurprisingly, Euro-pop is the general theme running through these songs, with ‘Things You Hear About Me’ and ‘I Got Dreams To Dream’ probably the the most Eurovisiony of all. There’s some great production and orchestral arrangements in the mix too. Pick of the litter, though, is ‘Tangerines, Tangerines’ – irresistibly upbeat, with hip staccato guitar and delightfully gibberish lyrics.

Maxi, Dick & Twink – The Singles (192 kbps):

  • Maxi, Dick & Twink – Things You Hear About Me
  • Maxi, Dick & Twink – Catch The Bride’s Bouquet
  • Maxi, Dick & Twink – Tangerines, Tangerines
  • Maxi, Dick & Twink – The Sweet Eye
  • Twink – It’d Take A Miracle (live INSC)
  • Maxi – Do I Dream
  • Maxi – Here Today And Gone Tomorrow
  • Maxi – Do I Dream (live ESC)
  • Maxi & Company – Young Love Is Afraid Of To-Morrow
  • Maxi & Company – I Got Dreams To Dream

See Also:

Irish Showbands.com: Maxi, Dick & Twink

Irish Showband & Beat Group Archive: Maxi, Dick & Twink

Wikipedia: Maxi, Dick & Twink

And although it’s arguably beyond the parameters of this site, do yourself a favour by visiting Dick’s disco:

3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. margadhnaseodra / Mar 6 2021 19:14

    Thank you so much for uploading these, you wouldn’t happen to have an mp3 of The Coterie’s performance in the 1971 National Song Contest? It used to be on youtube but disappeared about five years ago.

    • rockroots / Mar 6 2021 19:36

      Sorry, no – but it’s very frustrating when these things vanish!

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