Charlie Christian, guitarist
birth name: Charles Henry Christian

Charlie Christian

July 29, 1916, Dallas, TX ~ March 2, 1942, New York, NY

It can be said without exaggeration that virtually every jazz guitarist that emerged during 1940-65 sounded like a relative of Charlie Christian. The first important electric guitarist, Christian played his instrument with the fluidity, confidence, and swing of a saxophonist. ~ Blue Note Records: Charlie Christian ~ retrieved November 14, 2015 © Blue Note Records

Immeasurably influential. ~ Allmusic: Charlie Christian ~ retrieved November 14, 2015 © Allmusic

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July 29, 1978 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) The Rolling Stones, Miss You ~ #2 (2) Gerry Rafferty, Baker Street ~ #1 (1) Andy Gibb, Shadow Dancing


A young black guitar player walked in the door. Producer John Hammond described him as “a scared kid,” wearing “a broad-brimmed Texas hat, very pointed yellow shoes, a green suit and a purple shirt.” His name was Charlie Christian, 23 years old and fresh off the plane from his hometown, Oklahoma City. He had a guitar case in one hand and an amplifier in the other. On first sight Goodman was not impressed with Christian, but later that night he couldn’t resist giving him a gig. John Hammond engineered a surprise audition for Christian on stage at Goodman’s club date. Irked to see the new guitarist on stage with him, Goodman signaled Christian to take a solo on Rose Room - thinking he would embarrass this ‘scared kid’ from Oklahoma. Charlie Christian’s spectacular solo stopped the show and the Benny Goodman Sextet was born. ~ Stanford Univerity/Riverside Jazz: Charlie Christian ~ retrieved November 14, 2015 © Stanford University/Riverside Jazz

His single-string technique, combined with amplification, helped bring the guitar out of the rhythm section and into the forefront as a solo instrument. ~ Wikipedia: Charlie Christian ~ retrieved November 14, 2015 © Wikipedia

Charlie Christian ~ Inducted in the 1989 Oklahoma Jazz Hall Of Fame.

Charlie Christian & the Benny Goodman Orchestra ~ Solo Flight ~ Named one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll in 1995.

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