Reprise Records is an American record label, founded in 1960 by Frank Sinatra, which is owned by Warner Music Group, and operated through Warner Bros. Records.
Reprise (pronounced rih-PREEZ) was formed in 1960 by Frank Sinatra in order to allow more artistic freedom for his own recordings. Hence, he garnered the nickname "The Chairman of the Board." Having left Capitol/EMI, and after trying to buy Norman Granz's Verve Records, the first album Sinatra released on Reprise was Ring-a-Ding-Ding! As CEO of Reprise, Sinatra recruited a host of his cronies for the fledgling label, such as fellow Rat Pack members Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.. The original roster from 1961 to '63 included Bing Crosby, Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney, Esquivel and stand-up comedian Redd Foxx . The label still issues any Sinatra work recorded while on the label and, after his death in 1998, it had great success with his greatest hits collections.
One of the label's founding principles under Sinatra's leadership was that each artist would have full creative freedom, and at some point complete ownership of their work; including publishing rights. This is the reason why recordings of early Reprise artists (Dean Martin, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, etc.) are (in most cases) currently distributed through other labels. In Martin's case, his Reprise recordings were out of print for nearly 20 years before a deal was struck with Capitol Records.
Many of the older artists were dropped when Sinatra sold control of the label to Warner Bros. Records in early 1963 (most of these albums were not good sellers). From that point, Warner-Reprise executives began targeting younger acts beginning by securing the American distribution rights to the Pye Records recordings by The Kinks in 1964. Reprise would later add teen-oriented pop acts like Dino, Desi, & Billy and Nancy Sinatra, before moving almost exclusively to pop-oriented music in the late 1960s.
Through direct signings or distribution deals,...