It is 1962. In the conference room of Reprise Records, Hollywood, California, we find the label’s founder, Frank Sinatra, discussing Reprise’s release schedule with various members of the Rat Pack.
Frank Sinatra: Okay boys, what are we going to put out next for Deano? It’ll need to be something good.
Dean Martin: Let’s just do what we always do, Frank. I can record some numbers with the band. Joe Public will lap it up.
Sinatra: That ain’t gonna cut it, Deano. The kids need something new, something different.
Sammy Davis, Jr: What if he does a country record, Frank?
Martin: Yeah Frank, what about country? I love Country!
Sinatra: No, not classy enough. No record label of mine is going to release hillbilly music.
Peter Lawford: What about rock and roll, Frank? The kids go crazy for that stuff. Look what it did for Elvis!
Martin: Yeah Frank, what about rock and roll? I love rock and roll!
Sinatra: No, not classy enough. Presley’s a degenerate. All it got him was a stint in the army. What’s the point of making records if it’s just going to get you shot.
Joey Bishop: What about the blues, Frank? Joe Public’d freak out for a blues record.
Martin: Yeah Frank, what about the blues? I love the blues!
Sinatra: No, not classy enough. He’s Italian-American; he ain’t no half-blind ni…
Davis, Jr: [clears throat]
Sinatra: …er, I mean, he’s not right for that audience. C’mon, there must be something we’re missing…
The room falls into a hush, as they look to the ceiling for inspiration.
Sinatra: …something new…something different…something with a certain…je nes sais quoi…
Martin: [looks at Sinatra and raises an eyebrow]
Hit: Le Vie En Rose
Hidden Gem: C’est Magnifique