Curb honored by Kannapolis for years of dedication to the city

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 17, 2013

KANNAPOLIS – Mike Curb was already internationally known when he first came to Kannapolis.
As a sponsor of Dale Earnhardt’s 1980 Winston Cup car, and a race team owner, he formed bonds in Kannapolis that are still strong 33 years later.
Today, Kannapolis is home of the Curb Music and Motorsports Museum, and of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, which Curb has supported and which is currently directed by his mentor and friend, Eddie Ray.
For all these reasons, Mayor Darrell Hinnant told an audience Monday, the time had come to honor Curb for his dedication and support of Kannapolis.
In the noon ceremony at the Kannapolis Train Station, Hinnant presented Curb with the key to the city and read a proclamation in his honor.
From founding his first record company at age 19, to rising to prominence as the head of MGM Records, to serving as lieutenant governor of California, Curb’s contributions to government, music and racing were all highlighted.
In addition to his work with Earnhardt, Curb owned Richard Petty’s car in 1984 and 1985, during the time that Petty scored his 200th career NASCAR win.
Curb also sponsored Joey Miller in the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series.
In music, Curb launched the careers of The Judds, Linda Ronstadt, Sawyer Brown and other acts.
In 2007, Curb was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Curb said he was honored by the ceremony, and also praised Hinnant, City Manager Mike Legg and Kannapolis’ leaders for their work and their energy.
Local officials and leaders were quick to praise Curb’s involvement in Kannapolis and Cabarrus County.
Deborah Carter, of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, said Curb “adds a new dimension to Cabarrus through his ties to the music industry,” and that the Curb Museum could help bring tourists to the area.
Ray, whom Curb called a mentor and personal friend, spoke highly of Curb’s enthusiasm for Kannapolis, and for music.
Hinnant praised Curb’s attention to family values, including a controversial decision, in 1970, to remove artists from his label who were either using drugs or promoting drug use through their music.
Today, Curb said, he’s proud of the “tough love” approach he took back then.
“The folks I knew who were doing drugs, most have died or have lost much of their mind,” Curb said.
“It’s just so marvelous to come to a city like Kannapolis and see the energy and excitement here,” Curb said.
Curb told the Post he has high hopes for the city’s future growth.
“My big hope for Kannapolis is that we can grow our museum here, and grow our N.C. Music Hall of Fame into a national hall of fame that recognized North Carolinians in all genres of music.”
“And we’re making progress,” Curb added.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.