The musician, real name Thomas Lesslie Garrett, passed away in Tucson, Arizona on 16 December (15), reports the New York Times.

A former Texas DJ, he rose to fame after producing songs for Liberty Records in Los Angeles in 1959, when he helped label bosses recruit pop artists like Bobby Vee and Jerry Lewis' son Gary Lewis and his group the Playboys.

Garrett earned his first number one record in the U.S. with Vee's take on Carole King and Gerry Goffin's Take Good Care of My Baby, and also scored hits with Gary Lewis & the Playboys' This Diamond Ring and Vicki Lawrence's The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.

He also teamed up with Cher in the 1970s, producing her solo songs Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves, Half-Breed and Dark Lady, and later scored films starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds.