MICKEY and SYLVIA star MICKEY 'GUITAR' BAKER has died, aged 87.

The guitarist, real name MacHouston Baker, passed away at his home in Toulouse, France on Tuesday (27Nov12).

Baker was best known for the 1956 hit Love Is Strange, which he recorded with Sylvia Vanderpool.

The tune enjoyed a huge revival three decades later when it Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey lip-synced their way through it during the famous seduction scene in Dirty Dancing.

Baker was also renowned for his session work.

He worked on thousands of songs in the 1950s, and played on seminal recordings including It's Gonna Work Out Fine by Ike and Tina Turner and Shake, Rattle and Roll by Big Joe Turner.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Baker was placed in an orphanage at the age of 11 but kept running away and finally set up home for himself in New York, where he took guitar lessons.

He moved to France in the mid-1960s.

Baker also authored a popular instruction book, The Complete Course in Jazz Guitar.

His former partner, Vanderpool, died last year (11).