Michael Parkinson reveals Frank Sinatra was his ‘holy grail’
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Frank Sinatra is best known as an actor and singer, but his work as a producer saw him quickly become known as the Chairman of the Board. The nickname bled into his entertainment career without many questions asked about where the bizarre moniker came from. The truth is, the nickname originated from an endeavour of Frank’s which helped him thrive in his later life.
How did Frank Sinatra gain the nickname ‘Chairman of the Board?’
Many singers, actors and performers often move between the performance aspect of their career and the business side.
Actors may move behind the camera to become producers and directors, such as Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson.
Similarly, singers can become producers or even set up their own record labels, like Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, and help other artists make their names.
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Frank was both an actor and a singer, balancing these sides of his career perfectly, but he once tried to turn his hand to directing, making the war movie None But the Brave in 1965.
It was his attempts to move into the business side of the music industry, however, which helped him gain the nickname Chairman of the Board.
On February 13, 1961, Frank launched Reprise Records, in order to gain more artistic freedom for his work.
One of the principles of his record label was to allow artists creative freedom and then, after some time, complete ownership of their work.
This clearly appealed to some artists, as he was able to sign some major acts like Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and The Beach Boys.
The venture did not last long for Frank, as within two years he was forced to sell Reprise to Warner Bros, because it was losing money.
Warner Bros bought the company, as well as British label Pye Records, which meant bands like The Kinks were on the roster.
Frank was still involved with Reprise despite it being sold and continued to run the label as a subsidiary.
However, in 1976, Warner Bros deactivated the label for all acts except Frank and Neil Young, who were transferred over to the main Warner Bros label.
Reprise was fairly dormant for some years, until 1985 when Warner Bros revived the label.
The label grew in stature with the various subsidiaries of Warner Bros and has since signed several new acts to it.
These include Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Idina Menzel, Stevie Nicks and Enya.
Reprise also opened a country music division based in Nashville, signing acts like Black Shelton.
Reports have suggested, though this part of his life gave some freedom creatively, Frank did not really enjoy the new nickname he was given, according to his wife Barbara.
Despite this, the nickname certainly stuck and was even used in its performative work, until his death in 1998.
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