Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I just learned that Snuff Garrett, a premier record producer of the vinyl era, died of cancer nearly a month ago (December 16, 2015). He was 77.

I didn't see a word about it on any of the leading news sites.

He may not be as familiar to the media as Phil Spector, or have as many hit songs, but I believe his passing should have been more newsworthy than it was.

Agree or disagree?
—Evan Costello, Covington, Ky.

DEAR EVAN: I agree wholeheartedly!

Since you mention Phil Spector, you may be surprised to know that in 1960 Thomas "Snuff" Garrett (age 22), based in Los Angeles, hired Phil Spector (age 20) as his assistant producer. Working out of the Brill Building in New York, Phil gave Garrett Productions a presence on both coasts.

Their association was brief, however, as Spector's Philles label took flight in 1961, and the rest is history. Phil no doubt learned a few things from Snuff.

Meanwhile, beginning in 1960 at Liberty Records with Johnny Burnette, Bobby Vee, and Buddy Knox, Snuff Garrett Productions quickly became a juggernaut, cranking out one hit after another.

From 1960 through 1983, there are 149 songs by 52 different artists, each of which made one or more of the record charts, and all are Snuff Garrett productions. In that regard, no American record producer is his equal.

During the same era, and in nearly the same number of years as Garrett, Phil Spector produced 49 charted songs (1958-1980).

Our "Snuffography" is alphabetical by artist with tunes shown in order of chart appearance:

Rex Allen Jr. (With Roy Rogers and Rex Allen Sr.)
1982 "Last of the Silver Screen Cowboys"
1982 "Cowboy in a Three Piece Business Suit"
1982 "Ride Cowboy Ride"

Molly Bee
1963 "She's New to You"

Walter Brennan
1962 "Old Rivers"
1962 "Houdini"
1962 "Mama Sang a Song"

Dorsey Burnette
1969 "The Greatest Love"

Johnny Burnette
1960 "Settin' the Woods on Fire"
1960 "Dreamin'"
1960 "You're Sixteen"
1961 "Little Boy Sad"
1961 "Big Big World"
1961 "I've Got a Lot of Things to Do"
1961 "God, Country and My Baby"
1962 "Clown Shoes"

Glen Campbell
1980 "Any Which Way You Can"

Al Capps
1973 "Shangri-La"

Vikki Carr
1962 "He's a Rebel"
1962 "I'll Walk the Rest of the Way"
1972 "Big Hurt"

Ray Charles & Clint Eastwood
1980 "Beers to You"

1971 "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves"
1972 "The Way of Love"
1972 "Living in a House Divided"
1973 "Half-Breed"
1974 "Dark Lady"
1974 "Train of Thought"
1974 "I Saw a Man and He Danced with His Wife"
1977 "Pirate"

Eddie Cochran
1961 "Weekend"

Peter Courtney
1967 "The Loser"
1967 "Dr. David's Private Papers"

1961 "He's Old Enough to Know Better"
1963 "My Little Girl"

Sonny Curtis
1966 "My Way of Life"
1967 "I Wanna Go Bummin' Around"
1968 "Atlanta Georgia Stray"
1968 "The Straight Life"

Fats Domino
1980 "Whiskey Heaven"

Cliff Gleaves
1960 "Long Black Hearse"

Merle Haggard & Clint Eastwood
1980 "Bar Room Buddies"

Brian Hyland
1966 "The Joker Went Wild"
1966 "Run, Run, Look and See"
1967 "Hung Up in Your Eyes"
1967 "Holiday for Clowns"
1967 "Get the Message"

Jan & Dean
1962 "Tennessee"

Buddy Knox
1960 "Lovey Dovey"
1960 "Ling-Ting-Tong"

Vicki Lawrence
1972 "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"
1973 "He Did It With Me"
1974 "Ships in the Night"

Brenda Lee
1976 "Takin' What I Can Get"

Gary Lewis And The Playboys
1965 "This Diamond Ring"
1965 "Count Me In"
1965 "Save Your Heart for Me"
1965 "Everybody Loves a Clown"
1965 "She's Just My Style"
1966 "Sure Gonna Miss Her"
1966 "My Heart's Symphony"
1966 "(You Don't Have to) Paint Me a Picture"
1966 "Where Will the Words Come From"
1967 "Ice Melts in the Sun"
1968 "Sealed With a Kiss"
1968 "Main Street"
1969 "Rhythm of the Rain"

Julie London
1963 "Slightly Out of Tune (Desafinado)"
1963 "I'm Coming Back to You"

Manhattan Transfer
1982 "Route 66"

Gene McDaniels
1961 "A Hundred Pounds of Clay"
1961 "A Tear"
1961 "Tower of Strength"
1961 "Chip Chip"
1961 "Funny"
1961 "Point of No Return"
1961 "Spanish Lace"
1963 "It's a Lonely Town (Lonely Without You)"

Maureen McGovern
1975 "Love Songs Are Getting Harder to Sing"

Garry Miles: see Statues (Featuring Garry Miles)

Ronnie Milsap
1980 "Cowboys and Clowns"

Nana Mouskouri
1974 "Danny Come Home (A Town Near Montreal)"

Nick Noble
1962 "My Heart Comes Running Back to You"
1962 "Hello Out There"
1963 "Gee Little Girl"

Ray Price
1982 "San Antonio Rose"
1982 "One Fiddle, Two Fiddle"
1983 "Scotch and Soda"

Eddie Rabbitt
1978 "Every Which Way But Loose"

Raiders Featuring Tommy Allsup
1962 "Dardanella"

1972 "It's So Easy (To Be Bad)"

Burt Reynolds
1980 "Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial"

Charlie Rich
1978 "I'll Wake You Up When I Get Home"

Roy Rogers
1974 "Hoppy, Gene and Me"
1980 "Ride Concrete Cowboy, Ride"

1961 "The Continental Walk"

Bobby Russell
1971 "Saturday Morning Confusion"

1973 "Lovin' Naturally"

Telly Savalas
1974 "If"

Troy Shondell
1961 "Tears From an Angel"
1962 "Island in the Sky"

Frank Sinatra
1975 "I Believe I'm Gonna Love You"

O.C. Smith
1972 "Don't Misunderstand"

Sonny & Cher
1971 "All I Ever Need Is You"
1972 "When You Say Love"

Jim Stafford
1981 "Cow Patti"

Statues (Featuring Garry Miles)
1960 "Blue Velvet"
1960 "Dream Girl"
1960 "Look for a Star"
1960 "White Christmas"

1963 "Mindreader"

Travel Agency
1969 "What's a Man"

Tanya Tucker
1975 "Lizzie and the Rainman"
1975 "San Antonio Stroll"
1980 "Pecos Promenade"

Billy Vaughn Singers
1967 "Sweet Maria"
1967 "I Love You (And You Love Me)"

Bobby Vee
1960 "What Do You Want?"
1960 "One Last Kiss"
1960 "Devil Or Angel"
1960 "Since I Met You Baby"
1960 "Rubber Ball"
1960 "Stayin' In"
1961 "More Than I Can Say"
1961 "How Many Tears"
1961 "Baby Face"
1961 "Take Good Care of My Baby"
1961 "Run to Him"
1961 "Walkin' With My Angel"
1962 "Please Don't Ask About Barbara"
1962 "I Can't Say Goodbye"
1962 "Sharing You"
1962 "Punish Her"
1962 "Someday (When I'm Gone From You)"
1962 "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes"
1962 "Anonymous Phone Call"
1963 "Charms"
1963 "Be True to Yourself"
1963 "A Letter From Betty"
1963 "Yesterday and You (Armen's Theme)"
1963 "Never Love a Robin"
1964 "Stranger in Your Arms"
1964 "I'll Make You Mine"
1964 "Where Is She?"
1964 "Hickory, Dick and Doc"
1964 "Pretend You Don't See Her"
1965 "Cross My Heart"
1966 "A Girl I Used to Know"
1969 "Let's Call It a Day Girl"
1970 "In and Out of Love"

IZ ZAT SO? For 114 consecutive weeks, from May 28, 1960 to August 4, 1962, every Cash Box Top 100 has from one to five records produced by Snuff Garrett. During that amazing streak, his weekly average was over three songs per chart.

Snuff also produced recordings by other noteworthy artists, whose records simply didn't chart in the U.S., but may have elsewhere.

A few of those are: Edgar Buchanan; J.J. Cale; Chipmunks; Ray Conniff & Singers; James Darren; John Davidson; Joe & Eddie; Phil Everly; Peter Lawford; Lennon Sisters; Trini Lopez; Liza Minnelli; Jim Nabors; Anthony Newley; Tommy Sands; Nancy Sinatra; Rudy Vallee; and Roger Williams; Flip Wilson; and Si Zentner With His Orchestra.

With the focus of this lengthy column being charted singles, no attempt was made to document LPs produced by Snuff, including his own "Tommy Garrett" series.

Obviously he produced albums for many of the artists listed here.

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