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Charlie Christian

Primary Instrument: Guitar, electric

Born: July 29, 1916 | Died: March 2, 1942    

Charlie Christian

As the man who popularized the guitar in a jazz setting, his legacy lives on.

Charlie Christian was born on July 29, 1916 in Bonham, Texas but was raised in Oklahoma City from the time he was two years old. Charlie's immediate family were all musically talented - his mother played the piano; his father sang and played the trumpet and guitar; his brother, Clarence, played the violin and the mandolin; and his oldest brother, Edward, played the string bass. His parents made a living writing accompaniments for silent movies. At the age of twelve, Charlie was playing on a guitar that he had made from a cigar box in a manual training class. Charlie was actually first trained on the trumpet which was a huge contribution to his fluid single-note guitar style. Then, his father and brothers formed a quartet and Charlie got a real guitar. They performed in Oklahoma City clubs and Charlie even met Lester Young (tenor saxophonist) during one of his performances. Charlie was fascinated by Lester's style which helped in shaping his own stylistic development....
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  • The Daddy Of 'Em All

    Magneoton
    2009
  • The Original Guitar Genius

    Magneoton
    2005
  • The Genius Of The Electric Guitar

    Sony-Legacy Music
    2002
  • First Master Of The Electric Guitar: Selected Broadcasts & Jam...

    Magneoton
    2002
  • Seven Come Eleven

    Magneoton
    2001
  • Swing2Bop

    Magneoton
    2000
  • Celestial Express

    Magneoton
    1999
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Featured recording “Genius of the Electric Guitar”

Genius of the Electric Guitar
Sony-Legacy Music (2002)

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