Michael Curb is an American musician, record company executive, NASCAR and IRL race car owner. He was the Republican Party Lieutenant Governor of California from 1979-1983 under Democratic Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr. He was acting governor of California while Brown spent time outside of California pursuing presidential ambitions. He is also the founder of Curb Records, the only major country label based in Nashville that is independent.
As a freshman at San Fernando Valley State College, while working in the practice rooms of the Department of Music, Curb wrote the song “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda ” which the company selected for its ad campaign. Dropping out of college in 1963 at the age of 19, Curb formed first record company, Sidewalk Records launched the careers of West Coast rock and roll artists such as The Stone Poneys, The Arrows and the Electric Flag. Curb scored the music for the short film, Skaterdater ; he later scored Peter Fonda’s Wild Angels and The Born Losers – the first of the Billy Jack films – among others. In 1969, he merged his company with MGM and became President of MGM Records and Verve Records. Curb composed or supervised over 50 motion picture soundtracks and wrote over 400 songs.
Curb organized his own musical group, The Mike Curb Congregation in the 1960s; they had a Top 40 pop hit in early 1971 with the title cut from their album “Burning Bridges” which was used as the theme of Clint Eastwood’s film Kelly’s Heroes. They also sang the theme from The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart, and their hit recording of “It’s a Small World” was chosen by Disneyland as the park’s official tune. The group was featured on Sammy Davis, Jr.’s number-one Billboard Hot 100 hit of 1972, “The Candy Man” and in 1978, the Mike Curb Congregation was featured in the musical The Magic of Lassie, starring James Stewart. They recorded “Together, a New Beginning” in 1980, the theme song for Ronald Reagan’s successful presidential bid that year. The Mike Curb Congregation were weekly regulars on Glen Campbell’s CBS’ National Network Television Show.