Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year!


I want to help

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.

Read more

4 Photos

Albums

Similar

Kenny Burrell Kenny Burrell
guitar
Count Basie Count Basie
piano
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Pat Martino Pat Martino
guitar
Joe Pass Joe Pass
guitar
Benny Goodman Benny Goodman
clarinet
Jimmy Smith Jimmy Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Barney Kessel Barney Kessel
guitar, electric
Grant Green Grant Green
guitar

Premium Profiles

Tommy Smith Tommy Smith
sax, tenor
David Longoria David Longoria
trumpet
Stu Harrison Stu Harrison
piano
Tony Adamo Tony Adamo
vocalist
Kathy Sanborn Kathy Sanborn
composer/conductor
Karl Berger Karl Berger
band/orchestra
Chris Abelen Chris Abelen
trombone
William Mentz William Mentz
vocalist
Anton Schwartz Anton Schwartz
sax, tenor

All About Vince Guaraldi!

An exclusive opportunity for All About Jazz readers to participate in the celebration of a jazz legend.