Americani_leste_1460060_400Mike Curb is one of Fred Thompson’s key backers — he raised money for him in Nashville last night. He’s well known in California circles, not just because he is a longtime record industry executive, but because he was the former lieutenant governor when Jerry Brown held the state’s top office.

The Los Angeles Times’ new Top of the Ticket blog notes Curb’s tradition of going against the Hollywood cultural grain. After starting his own record company when he was a student at Cal State Northridge, Curb was named head of MGM Records in 1969,  even though he was a conservative, and "gained notariety for dumping from MGM’s roster bands such as the Mothers of Invention."

Curb ran for governor in 1982, but lost the primary to George Deukmejian. He moved to Nashville in 1994, and his Curb Records has a stable of recording artists including Wynnona Judd, LeAnne Rimes and Tim McGraw. And he’s capitalized on the "American Idol" phenomenon, signing Kimberly Locke in 2003.

WireImage photo: Mike Curb and "American Idol" contestant Kimberly Locke in 2003.

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