Frank Sinatra set the standard for striking it out on your own as a musical artist on this day in 1961, launching his own independent label -- Reprise Records. Offering creative freedom and higher royalties, Sinatra recruited fellow Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., and artists like classic crooner Bing Crosby and stand-up comedian Redd Foxx. Reprise’s independence was short-lasting, with Warner Bros. purchasing the company as part of a film deal with Sinatra in 1963, but the legendary label is maintaining a massive presence in modern music with artists like Michael Bublé and Enya.
“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I'm honest.” —