b. 24 December 1944, Savannah, Georgia, USA. Curb was a record company executive who later became the lieutenant governor of the state of California. He moved to Los Angeles with his family at the age of four and later attended Valley State College in the San Fernando Valley area. In 1964 he decided to become a record producer and sold a single he produced to Capitol Records. He then turned to writing jingles, and his music for the Honda motorcycle firm, You Meet The Nicest People On A Honda, became a successful advertising campaign. Curb then recorded the group he had assembled for the commercial, the Hondells, performing a song written by Brian Wilson, Little Honda. It became a Top 10 single and Curb quit college to enter the music industry full time. A contemporary of Kim Fowley and Michael Lloyd, he excelled at finding aspiring ‘street’ musicians, transforming them into temporary groups and leasing the resultant masters to a variety of independent labels. He wrote the score for a film called SKATER-DATER, and then started his own company, Sidewalk Productions, which in turn engendered Sidewalk Records, a subsidiary of the Tower label.
He became renowned for assembling soundtrack albums for exploitative, ‘quickie’ films by director Roger Corman for American International Pictures, including the Peter Fonda- Nancy Sinatra vehicle, THE WILD ANGELS (1966) and Fonda's THE TRIP (1967). Although such ventures occasionally featured established acts— THE TRIP was scored by the Electric Flag—many were indebted to Curb's studio protégés, in particular Davie Allan And The Arrows. Other b-movie ‘classics’ whose scores were provided by Curb included WILD IN THE STREETS (1968) , which boasted a US Top 30 single Shape Of Things To Come by Max Frost And The Troopers. Curb established other short-lived outlets through the auspices of American International Pictures and by 1968 had amassed a library of over 40 film scores which he sold for $3 million to Transcontinental Incorporated. In 1968 Curb sold Sidewalk to Transcontinental Entertainment Corporation, for which he worked. He expanded the firm's interests into film, stage, records and more. He was involved in numerous pursuits, among them purchasing or launching other companies, such as Forward Records, a subsidiary of which, Together Records, released an album of early recordings by the Byrds, PRE-FLYTE. Curb also signed talented new producers to TEC, including James Guercio, producer of Chicago and Blood, Sweat And Tears.
In 1969, at the tender age of 25, Curb was appointed president of MGM Records. His tenure began with the firing of the entire A&R department, their engineers, staff producers and promotions department, as well as much of the publicity, accounting and distribution staff. The conservative Curb made headlines in 1970 by announcing that he was evicting any artists who used drugs from the MGM roster. When Eric Burdon of the Animals admitted being a user and asked to be released from his contract, the request was denied. However, this high-handed approach failed to raise the ailing company. A champion of soft-rock with the Mike Curb Congregation, he achieved a US Top 40 hit in 1971 with Burning Bridges, the theme tune to the film KELLY'S HEROES. Curb continued to write and record with his group and sold songs to other artists while involved with MGM. He released several albums with the Congregation on MGM until he retired from the company in September 1973.
Curb's next move was to build a political base, and his aggressiveness in the arena paid off in 1978, when the Republican was elected lieutenant governor. Upon leaving that position in the '80s, Curb re-entered the music business with his own company, Curb Records, releasing both new artists and licensing recordings from other labels for reissue.
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