Frank Sinatra at a recording studio with coffee and cigarette. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)
1960: Let's Call the Whole Thing...hmmm?
Billboard revealed that the debut of a new label founded by Frank Sinatra was just two months away, though there was no name for the new imprint as of yet, and the identities of the executives who would be running the new company couldn't be announced because they were still employed at other labels. "Artists currently are at work designing several labels using those names which are being considered," the article stated. "Final decision will be made after the labels have been completed with the choice going to the one which carries the greatest sales impact." The initial two releases on the unnamed label to be launched in mid-February 1961 would be by Sinatra himself, coming off of a long exclusive pact with Capitol, and fellow rat-packer Sammy Davis, Jr. Another fact about the upcoming imprint revealed in the story: the label would go through independent distributors. As students of the music industry know, the label was eventually christened Reprise, headed up by Mo Ostin, and was distributed by Warner Bros., which bought the label outright in 1963. Other artists joining Reprise included Frank's daughter, Nancy Sinatra, and another rat pack member, Dean Martin. Later, the roster expanded to include the Kinks, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac. Reprise effectively went dormant in 1976, with only Sinatra and Young continuing on the label while other acts were released under the Warner Bros. logo. Reprise was reactivated in 1987 and the list of active artists came to include Green Day, Barenaked Ladies, Enya, My Chemical Romance and the artist with the No. 1 album on this week's The Billboard 200, Michael Bublé (signed to 143/Reprise). Billboard, Dec. 5, 1960 [page 2]
About To Be Bootlegged: George Michael, Bono, Paul McCartney, Freddie Mercury and Bob Geldof take part in the Live Aid concert at London's Wembley Stadiumon July 13. 1985. (Photo: Georges DeKeerle/Getty)