It's no mystery why Disneyland adopted the Mike Curb Congregation
's rendition of "It's a Small World" as the official version of its theme song -- the group's clean-cut optimism and genteel style is a ringer for the pop choruses of the '60s, and bears more than a passing resemblance to their Osmond Family
labelmates. The group scored most of their hits while backing other MGM artists such as Little Jimmy Osmond
and Sammy Davis, Jr.
, but had one major hit on their own with "Burning Bridges" from the Clint Eastwood film soundtrack Kelly's Heroes
. Greatest Hits
contains the original recordings of every Mike Curb Congregation
song that registered on the pop and adult contemporary singles charts, as well as a goodly selection of hits on which the group backed other singers. These include Sammy Davis, Jr.
's chart-topper "The Candy Man," Lou Rawls
' "A Natural Man," Jud Strunk
's delicate "A Daisy a Day," and Hank Williams, Jr.
's country hit "All for the Love of Sunshine" (also taken from the movie Kelly's Heroes
). A cover of the English Congregation
's "Softly Whispering I Love You" is a nice bonus since the original hit version is rare on CD, but it would have been nice to have one of the group's better-known collaborations with Tony Bennett
or Little Jimmy Osmond
in place of a non-hit such as "It Was a Good Time." Greatest Hits
may be brief, but its budget price and strong selection of hit recordings makes it a good value.