In his more than four-decade career, Mike Curb has creatively and successfully engaged with the worlds of business, government and philanthropy. He built and sustained Curb Records as one of the premier independent record companies, reshaped the role of lieutenant governor in the state of California and launched a generous, family-based program in philanthropy, targeting historic preservation and education in the arts.
Curb scored his first success in the music industry while still in high school, when Honda selected his song “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda (Go Little Honda)” for a national advertising campaign. His vocal group, The Mike Curb Congregation, achieved worldwide success and collaborated with artists including Sammy Davis Jr. (“The Candy Man”) and Hank Williams Jr. (“All for the Love of Sunshine”).
Curb’s songs have been recorded by artists including The Osmond Brothers, Roy Orbison, Anne Murray, Eddy Arnold, and Solomon Burke. He wrote a signature song for Liza Minelli (“It Was a Good Time”) and the theme for the American Bandstand television show starring Dick Clark.
Curb has composed and produced music for many films, including “Wild Angels,” “Coyote Ugly,” “Evan Almighty” and “Legally Blonde 2.” In the 1960s, Curb’s record label became an important part of the West Coast rock ‘n’ roll business, releasing early recordings by The Stone Ponies with Linda Ronstadt, The Electric Flag and Eric Burden and War. As president of MGM Records and later Verve Records, Curb helped develop the careers of Donny and Marie Osmond and Tony Bennett and also played a role in preserving recordings by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong and other jazz greats.
Curb founded Curb Records in the 1970s, again scoring hits such “You Light up My Life” (Debby Boone), “Let Your Love Flow” (The Bellamy Brothers) and “Kiss You All Over” (Exile).
In 1978, Curb was elected lieutenant governor of California and served as acting governor for about a year, guiding the state during disastrous floods, fires and a threatened prison guard strike. He has long been a prominent Republican fundraiser.
Curb Records has continued to thrive with hits by country artists including LeAnn Rimes, Tim McGraw and Wynonna Judd. In addition to his record business, Curb serves as chair of the Mike Curb Family Foundation, which supports music education and works to restore historic music industry locations.