The historic Blue Room inside The Roosevelt Hotel opened in 1935 and has hosted countless famous musicians and performers. New Orleans legend Louis Armstrong played the Blue Room in 1949, while Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Tina Turner, and James Brown made their own rounds during supper clubs inside the hotel as well. These stories have been told many times by locals who frequented supper clubs during the mid to late 1900s. Another famous group played the Blue Room in the early 1970s: The Supremes. Just in time for Diana Ross’ performance on Saturday, May 4th at the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Chaplain family of Metairie recently returned a signed poster by the Supremes from that very performance in the Blue Room, as part of our 125th Anniversary Giveback Sweepstakes.
The poster was signed by original member Mary Wilson, as well as Jean Terrell and Lynda Laurence. Though the poster doesn’t have the year on it, we were able to get a general timeframe of 1970-72. At the bottom of the poster is a logo for the hotel, “The Fairmont Roosevelt.” In 1965, the hotel was sold and turned into a Fairmont hotel. Ownership decided to rename the hotel Fairmont-Roosevelt, before eventually renaming again to Fairmont New Orleans sometime before 1978.
Meanwhile, Dick Stabile was the hotel’s resident orchestra leader and joined the hotel around this time after leading dance bands in Los Angeles. In New Orleans, where parties start and end at all times of the night, Dick Stable and The Supremes led a performance schedule with 12 shows a week, starting at 9pm and 11:30pm. The legendary all female singing group from Detroit is considered America’s most successful vocal group, with 12 songs reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Their hit songs include "Stop! In the Name of Love", "You Can't Hurry Love", and “Where Did Our Love Go”.
In 1970, a few years before performing in The Blue Room, lead singer Diana Ross left the group to pursue her solo career. This Saturday, May 4th, Ross is a headliner at Jazz Fest, and is continuing to share the joyous music from her time with The Supremes and her vast solo discography, including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".