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Chart Beat Podcast: Curb Records Founder Mike Curb on More Than 50 Years of Making Hits & the ‘Magic’ of Nashville

Over a more than 75-minute chat with Billboard's Jim Asker, Curb shares lessons he's learned since founding Curb as a teen. "We're the oldest independent record label still owned by its original…

“I’m never leaving Music Row. Are you kidding me? In my will, I’ve got a trust set up where they can’t move us off Music Row.”

The latest episode of Billboard‘s new Chart Beat Podcast comes to you from Nashville, where Curb Records founder and Curb and Word chairman Mike Curb chats with Billboard country, Christian and gospel chart manager Jim Asker (taking the mic this week from Billboard co-director of charts and New York-based Chart Beat Podcast host Gary Trust).

It would be hard to find anyone in Nashville, or the entire music industry, with a resume as impressive, and varied, as Curb’s. In addition to his label accomplishments, he’s also a member of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame; he served as lieutenant governor of California in 1979-83; and, in addition to overseeing hits for Curb, he’s written more than 300 songs, including Hank Williams Jr.‘s first Hot Country Songs No. 1, “All for the Love of Sunshine.” (Curb’s group the Mike Curb Congregation, along with notching its own hits, also backed Sammy Davis Jr. on his 1972 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “The Candy Man.”)


Over more than 75 minutes, Curb covers a variety of topics, including recent purchases of iconic buildings on Nashville’s Music Row; how artists, like Curb’s Lee Brice and others, get signed; and why music reality TV shows are both good and bad. “I didn’t like that guy,” Curb says of former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. “He was so rude.” (Someone he did like, very much: late radio icon Casey Kasem, who even named his son, Mike, in honor of Curb.)

Curb, 71, also touches on not being a conservative enough Republican to run for office in the South (“I believe in non-discrimination, period”); former Curb superstar Tim McGraw, who left for Big Machine following well-publicized legal battles with his former label (“We have 23 years of fabulous catalog. Tim is one of the greatest song-pickers in the world”); and on growing up in Compton (“I loved living in Compton. N.W.A, I like ’em”).

Previous episodes:
 Chart Beat Founder Paul Grein on Why We Love the Charts
Fred Bronson on His ‘Billboard Book of Number One Hits’ & Why ‘American Idol’ Will Be Back
Hit Songs Deconstructed Analyzes Drake & Selena Gomez Smashes
WTBU’s Anne Donohue on What Makes College Radio Great & Former DJ Howard Stern’s Legacy

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and stay tuned for more upcoming episodes with label execs, radio programmers, songwriters, producers and more, all under the lens of analyzing why what’s on the charts … is on the charts.