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Eclectic Pop Producer Snuff Garrett Dies

Tuesday, 29 December 2015 09:05 AM Written by 


You've probably heard some pop hit produced by Tommy "Snuff" Garrett, who died at his Tucson, Arizona home on December 16 at 77. He'd been battling cancer. A Dallas, Texas native, Garrett, who worked as a Lubbock, Texas disc jockey and got to know Buddy Holly, who hung around KDAV radio in Lubbock. He got his nickname as a play on the Garrett brand of snuff.

Wanting to move from spinning records to creating them, Garrett got himself hired at Liberty Records in Hollywood and quickly became a pivotal producer, working with top artists and session musicians. He created hits by Bobby Vee, Gary Lewis (Jerry's son) & The Playboys, Johnny Burnette, Del Shannon, Cher and Vicki Lawrence. He later produced material for Tanya Tucker and Brenda Lee.

Garrett also created a series of guitar-driven, easy listening instrumental albums under the name of The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett, a virtual guitar orchestra made up of a number of LA's top session pickers including session legend Tommy Tedesco. Among his associates in the LA studios were Leon Russell, who worked with him as a pianist and arranger on recording sessions.

This Texas Radio Hall of Fame video celebrating his induction earlier this year, sums up Garrett's career succinctly.


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