The singer died on Thursday (07Jan16) at a nursing home in Mississippi from complications relating to both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, family friend K.J. Vigue tells The Associated Press.

Born Gary Shelton, he embarked on a music career as a teen and scored an early local hit with Kissin' at the Drive-In.

However, he will be best remembered for his most popular song, This Time (We're Really Breaking Up), which enjoyed a four-month run on America's Billboard Top 100 chart in 1961 and charted high in the U.K., too.

He later took a step back from the spotlight and became a songwriter and publisher in Nashville, Tennessee.