Charlie Christian, guitarist
birth name: Charles Henry Christian

Charlie Christian

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

Charlie Christian was an unabashedly guitaristic player. Hot to go with one of the first commercially available electric guitar and amplifier rigs from Gibson, Christian cranked out burning blues riffs and proto-bop licks with impeccable tone and timing. In just two incandescent years with Benny Goodman's sextet at the turn of the 1940s Christian established himself as the definitive jazz six-stringer of a generation before succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of 23. ~ Truefire: Charlie Christian ~ retrieved November 14, 2015 © Allmusic

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 1981 Big Band And 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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