Thomas Lesslie “Snuff” Garrett was born on July 5, 1938, and died on December 16, 2015.
Thomas was an American record producer whose most famous work was during the 1960s and 1970s.
His nickname is a derivation of Levi Garrett, a brand of Snuff.
At seventeen, Thomas was a disc jockey in Lubbock, Texas, where he met Buddy Holly.
Thomas is often still mentioned on the Lubbock oldies station KDAV on a program hosted by his friend Jerry “Bo” Coleman.
He also worked in radio in Wichita Falls, Texas, where he performed on-air stunts.
On February 3, 1959, Thomas broadcasts his own tribute show to Holly after he was killed (along with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper) in a plane crash in Iowa.
In 1959, Thomas became a staff producer at Liberty Records in Hollywood at the age of 19, after having joined the label to work in the promotions department.
Although not a musician, Thomas showed he had a knack for finding hit songs, going on to produce a string of hits and becoming the label’s head of A&R until he left Liberty in 1966.
His first job as producer for the label was on Johnny Burnette’s “Settin’ the Woods on Fire” on July 9, 1959.
Among Garrett’s roster of artists were Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, Gene McDaniels, Buddy Knox, Walter Brennan, Gary Lewis & the Playboys and Del Shannon.
Thomas Garrett passed away due to cancer in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 77.