Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Rouge Lounge Jazz Club Previous Next
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Norwalk
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Username: Norwalk

Post Number: 470
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 6:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just finished reading Chet Baker's Lost Memoir "as though I had wings" and there were a few references to The Rouge Lounge just outside of Detroit. Can anyone share their personal experiences with this club? I did find this on google.http://books.google.com/books? id=K11GJ-xaEcoC&pg=PA119&lpg=P A119&dq=rouge+lounge+detroit&s ource=bl&ots=Z6Gcu5xDDH&sig=n1 9JqouvImJ8X8uyjZh2YRjp038&hl=e n&ei=qSLASdqQLaaoM-6soKIN&sa=X &oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=re sult I had never heard of it before
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Jimg
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Username: Jimg

Post Number: 516
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 8:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is too strange...I am just now transcribing my interview with Ed Sarkesian, owner of the Rouge Lounge. The Rouge was a significant Det jazz club for about six years, 1953-59. Located on Coolidge Highway in, you guessed it, River Rouge. Early integrated Detroit club, featured national jazz artists like Oscar Peterson and Terry Gibbs as well as Tommy Flanagan and Kenny Burrell. Ed also produced Detroit's first jazz festivals, held at the State Fairgrounds, 1959-60, and managed Peter Paul and Mary too.
We didn't get to Ed before B Motown was published but will publish something about Ed for this years jazz festival.

When Ed sold his club, Baker's took over that part of the jazz scene, more or less...
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Rj_spangler
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Username: Rj_spangler

Post Number: 126
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 10:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jim, Johnnie Bassett's sister was a waitress there and he used to talk about seeing Kenny Burrell there.
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1kielsondrive
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Username: 1kielsondrive

Post Number: 1070
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 2:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Rouge Lounge was the talk of the old timers downriver. It sat on the west side of Schaefer Road at Campbell, right on the border of River Rouge and Detroit. I never saw a show there, I was too young, but my parents and their peers did. The most talked about appearances were by Oscar Peterson. I knew a man who was John Dingell's right hand man in Detroit for many years. He told me many stories about the lounge. If I remember correctly, the lounge was located in an old bowling alley that sat vacant until maybe the 70's and was then demolished.
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Eastsideal
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Username: Eastsideal

Post Number: 420
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 2:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There's a picture around somewhere of my parents with Billie Holiday there.
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Jimg
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Username: Jimg

Post Number: 519
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 7:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, according to Mr. Sarkesian it was the biggest bowling alley in Michigan. And Oscar Peterson was one of Ed's closest friends - Ed and Ray Brown and Oscar used to play Golf.
Musicians liked Ed because he was honest and respected them - and he stood up for his beliefs, too, and allowed into his club anyone who was decently attired and looked as if they could pay their bill.
Ed didn't even have a picture of his club, his stuff got tossed decades ago. I'd be happy to trade pictures of Detroit jazz musicians for any pictures inside or outside of the Rouge.
RJ, thanks for that info, didn't know about Johnnie's sis.
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Rj_spangler
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Username: Rj_spangler

Post Number: 132
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 2:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought you might dig that little tidbit!
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1kielsondrive
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Username: 1kielsondrive

Post Number: 1114
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 11:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eastside, it would be reeeeallyy cool to see that picture. One in a million.
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Jimg
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Username: Jimg

Post Number: 521
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 - 11:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, Eastside, my pal and I will be writing an article about the Rouge this year and would love to include your photo. We have some newspaper ads but little else for visuals.

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