Tommy "Snuff" Garrett

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One of the great renaissance men of the music industry, Snuff Garrett was a successful DJ, TV host, promo man, A&R man, producer, arranger and the founder of his own publishing company. Born in Dallas,…
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One of the great renaissance men of the music industry, Snuff Garrett was a successful DJ, TV host, promo man, A&R man, producer, arranger and the founder of his own publishing company. Born in Dallas, TX in 1938, Garrett's first exposure to the music industry came through hanging around local radio stations. Taken under the wing of popular DJs Gordon McLendon and Todd Storz, Garrett's vast knowledge of pop music and keen sense of what makes a hit were formed at Dallas station KLIF. After a year stint in Hollywood during his teens, he moved back to Texas where he eventually landed a job as both a disc-jockey and a TV host. Yet Garrett wanted desperately to be involved in the business of music so when he finally scored a gig as a local promotion man he spent the next several years working nearly non-stop for Liberty Records. It was at Liberty that Snuff really began to blossom, branching out into production and eventually becoming the head of A&R. His hit productions with Gary Lewis & the Playboys, including "This Diamond Ring," are considered pop classics, and over the course of several years he built the label into a factory of hit singles. At the height of his powers Garrett left Liberty to form his own production/publishing company and then turned around and sold it to Warner for $2.5 million, cashing out of the industry temporarily. After a restful few years Garrett was back producing--this time scoring hits with Cher ("Half-Breed") and Eddie Rabbit, among others. As the '80s rolled around, though, Garrett finally left the music business for good, retiring to an Arizona ranch.