#30: Burning Bridges by Mike Curb Congregation

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: December 1970
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Burning Bridges
Lyrics: “Burning Bridges

Mike Curb was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1944. In 1963, he formed Sidewalk Records in Los Angeles when he was just 19 years old. In 1966, he scored music for the biker film The Wild Angels. He wrote the music for “Blues Theme”, a hit for Dave Allan and the Arrows. In 1967, he scored music for two more biker films, Devil’s Angels and The Born Losers, and in 1968 another biker film titled The Savage Seven, and The Sidehackers (1969). As well, Mike Curb scored music for auto racing films Thunder Alley (1967), and The Wild Racers (1968). In 1969, he co-wrote a new theme tune for American Bandstand which aired on the TV show from 1969 to 1974. Over the years Mike Curb produced songs for Terry Stafford, the Hondells, Bill Medley, the Osmonds, Petula Clark, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gore, Eddie Arnold, Mike Douglas, Tony Bennett, Pat Boone, Roy Orbison, Bobby Sherman, Solomon Burke, Debbie Boone and Andy Williams, and more.

In 1970, Mike Curb wrote “All for the Love of Sunshine” which became a number-one country hit for Hank Williams Jr. As well, he released “Burning Bridges”

Burning Bridges by Mike Curb Congregation
“Burning Bridges” is a song written by Lalo Schifrin and Mike Curb. Boris Claudio “Lalo” Schifrin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of six, Schifrin began a six-year course of study on piano with Enrique Barenboim, the father of pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim. Schifrin began studying piano with the Greek-Russian expatriate Andreas Karalis, former head of the Kyiv Conservatory, and harmony with Argentine composer Juan Carlos Paz. During this time Schifrin also became interested in jazz. At age 20, he successfully applied for a scholarship to the Conservatoire de Paris. At night, he played jazz in the Paris clubs. In 1955, Schifrin played piano with Argentine bandoneon giant Astor Piazzolla and represented his country at the International Jazz Festival in Paris. Back in Argentina, Schifrin founded a 16-piece band, and later worked with Dizzy Gillespie, and as an arranger for Xavier Cugat’s Latin dance orchestra.

On May 26, 1963, he recorded an album, Buenos Aires Blues, with Duke Ellington’s alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges. He wrote his first TV theme score for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in 1965. This was followed by Mission Impossible (1966 to 1973), Mannix (1967 to 1975), Medical Center featuring Chad Everett as Dr. Joe Gannon (1969 to 1976), Starsky & Hutch (1975 to 1979), and other TV shows.

Schifrin also scored over 180 films (including made for TV movies), starting in 1957 with a teen rock n’ roll movie titled enga a bailar el rock. This included Cool Hand Luke, The Venetian Affair, Bullitt, Coogan’s Bluff, Dirty Harry, Joe Kidd, Enter the Dragon, Magnum Force, The Four Musketeers, The Eagle Has Landed, The Amityville Horror, Brubaker, The Big Brawl, The Competition, Caveman, The Seduction, The Sting II, Tank, Black Moon Rising, The Dead Pool, The Beverly Hillbillies (1993 film), and Longshot. 

“Burning Bridges” is a song about someone who has let friendships drift apart. They just stopped making the effort to stay in touch. In addition, they didn’t make an effort to thank numbers of friends who tried to help them out along the way. Now the narrator of the song is left to look back at all the burning bridges behind them. Despite the lyrical regret, the video and the vocals are upbeat, suggesting the narrator is taking all of this in stride.

“Burning Bridges” peaked at #1 in Calgary, and Regina (SK), #2 in Lethbridge (AB), and #7 in Toronto. Internationally, “Burning Bridges” peaked at #1 in both New Zealand and South Africa, and #12 in Australia.

In 1971, the Mike Curb Congregation backed Hank Williams Jr. on his cover of a 1961 R&B hit by Slim Harpo titled “Rainin’ in My Heart”. The song climbed to #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Later that year, the Mike Curb Congregation backed Hank Williams Jr. on his cover of the 1955 Fats Domino hit, “Ain’t That A Shame”. The single made the Top Ten on the Hot Country Songs chart in the USA. In 1972, the Mike Curb Congregation backed Sammy Davis Jr. on his chart-topping single “The Candy Man”. That year the Mike Curb Congregation also released a single titled “Softly Whispering I Love You” which topped the New Zealand pop chart. This was alongside another recording by the English Congregation, which was also an international hit.

In 1972, Mike Curb and Don Costa won the Billboard magazine Producers of the Year award. Curb served as chairman of the Inaugural Youth Concert for President Richard Nixon’s second term on January 20, 1973.

In 1973, the Mike Curb Congregation released a recording of  “It’s A Small World”, which was a Top Ten Adult Contemporary chart hit. They Mike Curb Congregation sang backing vocals for Judy Strunk on his hit song “Daisy A Day”. The Mike Curb Congregation also were regulars on The Glen Campbell show. 

In 1878, Mike Curb was elected as a Republican candidate for Lieutenant-Governor of California. In 1980, Curb was co-chairman of Ronald Reagan’s successful presidential campaign. Over the years, Mike Curb got involved in NASCAR racing, and has owned cars that have separately won all ten auto racing series in the USA.

In 2006, Mike Curb purchased the house at 1034 Audubon Drive, in Memphis, Tennessee. The one-story ranch-style home was previously owned by Elvis Presley, who bought it in 1956 for $29,500.

Burning Bridges by Mike Curb Congregation

1034 Audubon Drive, Memphis, TN

In 2007, Mike Curb had a star in his honor added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

June 15, 2024
Ray McGinnis

Gary Wells, “Check This Out: Mike Curb,” Vintage Magazine, October 12, 2019.
Sammy Davis Jr., “The Candy Man“, MGM Records, 1972.
Jud Strunk, “Daisy A Day“, MGM Records, 1973.
President Richard M. Nixon, “Remarks at the Annual Dinner of the White House Correspondents Association,” Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington DC, April 14, 1973.
Bruce Duffie, “Composer/Conductor Lalo Schifrin: Two Conversations with Bruce Duffie,” bruceduffe.com, June 23, 1988, and October 9, 2003.
Court Affirms Curb’s Power as Acting Governor,” San Francisco Chronicle, December 29, 1979.

Burning Bridges by Mike Curb Congregation
CKXL 1140-AM Calgary (AB) Top Ten | December 19, 1970

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