Charlie Christian

Real Name:
Charles Henry Christian
Profile:
b. Bonham, Texas, July 29th, 1916; d. Seaview Hospital, Staten Island NY, March 2nd 1942.

Guitar player - one of the 3 or 4 most highly rated in jazz history.

Inducted into Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 (Early Influence).

Career began with occasional gigs as a bass player in various combos around Oklahoma in the early days of the Depression. He spent more than a year with pianist Alphonso Trent's sextet, which played in Casper, Wyoming, and Deadwood, South Dakota. Early inspiration for Christian came from Lester Young, who came to town with Walter Page's Blue Devils to play the season at the Ritz Ballroom in 1931. The Ritz was a white ballroom, and the black players had to be content to do their jamming after hours in Slaughter's Hall on East 2nd Street - or "Deep Second" as it was called. Here Christian and his brothers, Hot Lips Page, Lem Johnson, Eddie Durham, Harry Smith, Hobart Banks, Little Dog, James Simpson and other early players gathered to trade ideas and try to top one another, developing on their chosen instruments.

During this period Christian learned from a variety of guitar players with whom he came into contact: Tommy Lee House, Charlie Faris, Claude Burns and Ralph "Chuck" Hamilton. Perhaps his biggest influence at this point was James "Jim Daddy" Walker, one of the stars of Clarence Love's orchestra from Kansas City. Love played Oklahoma City many times from 1933 onwards, and in their first encounters, Walker (4 years Christian's senior) gave him many a lesson in guitar mastery. Other ideas came from Eddie Durham, who Christian heard a year or so later featuring with Jimmie Lunceford's band, and playing a guitar with a resonator. By the time Walker and Christian met again in 1936, however, Christian had developed enormously and was well able to handle the older player.

Christian left Oklahoma City in 1939 at the age of 23, on the promptings of Mary Lou Williams and John Hammond, and soon joined Benny Goodman's band. Over the next 3 years he would tour across the US with Goodman, and achieve huge popularity. Recordings - both live broadcasts and in the studio (for Columbia and others) also followed. He won the Down Beat Poll for Best Jazz Guitarist in 1939, '40 and '41, and equivalent Metronome polls in 1940 and '41.

In June 1941 Christian's health failed and he was quickly admitted to first Bellevue, then Seaview hospital in NY. He was never able to recover from the tuberculosis, and died 9 months later.
In Groups:
Variations:

Charlie Christian Discography Tracks

Albums

Charlie Christian - Jazz Immortal album art Charlie Christian Jazz Immortal Esoteric (2) US 1951 Sell This Version
Charlie Christian - Memorable Sessions in Jazz album art Charlie Christian / Edmond Hall / Meade Lux Lewis* / Red Norvo / Teddy Wilson Charlie Christian / Edmond Hall / Meade Lux Lewis* / Red Norvo / Teddy Wilson - Memorable Sessions in Jazz (Album) Blue Note US 1953 Sell This Version
Charlie Christian - Jazz Immortal - After Hours Monroe's Harlem Mintons album art Charley Christian* / Dizzy Gillespie Charley Christian* / Dizzy Gillespie - Jazz Immortal - After Hours Monroe's Harlem Mintons (Album, Comp) Esoteric (2) US 1957 Sell This Version
L.D 158 Charlie Christian - At Minton's album art Charley Christian* / Dizzy Gillespie Charley Christian* / Dizzy Gillespie - At Minton's(10", Album, Mono) VOGUE L.D 158 US 1957 Sell This Version
Charlie Christian - Solo Flight album art Charlie Christian With The Benny Goodman Sextet*, Benny Goodman Septet And Benny Goodman And His Orchestra Charlie Christian With The Benny Goodman Sextet*, Benny Goodman Septet And Benny Goodman And His Orchestra - Solo Flight CBS France 1966 Sell This Version
SOC 1036 Charlie Christian - The Immortal Charley Christian album art Charley Christian* The Immortal Charley Christian(LP, Album) Saga (5) SOC 1036 UK 1968 Sell This Version
KV-106 Charlie Christian - Charlie Christian at the Carnegie Hall ~1939 album art Charlie Christian With Benny Goodman Charlie Christian With Benny Goodman - Charlie Christian at the Carnegie Hall ~1939(LP, Album) Kiva (2), ELEC Records KV-106 Japan 1974 Sell This Version
JA-23 Charlie Christian - Live With Benny Goodman Sextet 1939 - 1941 album art Charlie Christian Live With Benny Goodman Sextet 1939 - 1941(LP, Album) Jazz Archives JA-23 US 1975 Sell This Version
L45697/8 Charlie Christian - Guitar Tapestry  album art Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Charlie Christian, Les Paul, Johnny Smith, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joseph Iadone, Don Arnone, Chet Atkins, Tony Mottola, Al Caiola, Eric Weissberg, Vinnie Bell, Jay Berliner, Don Young, Al Casamenti Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Charlie Christian, Les Paul, Johnny Smith, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joseph Iadone, Don Arnone, Chet Atkins, Tony Mottola, Al Caiola, Eric Weissberg, Vinnie Bell, Jay Berliner, Don Young, Al Casamenti - Guitar Tapestry (2xLP, Album, Quad, Gat) Project 3 Total Sound L45697/8 New Zealand 1976 Sell This Version
INT 147.520 Charlie Christian - Tony Rizzi & His Five Guitars Plus Four Plays Charlie Christian album art Tony Rizzi & His Five Guitars Plus Four Plays Charlie Christian Tony Rizzi & His Five Guitars Plus Four Plays Charlie Christian - Tony Rizzi & His Five Guitars Plus Four Plays Charlie Christian(LP, Album, RE) Toledo INT 147.520 Germany 1980 Sell This Version
ALB 377 Charlie Christian - Live 1939 / 1941 album art Charlie Christian Live 1939 / 1941(2xLP, Album, Gat) Disques Festival ALB 377 France 1983 Sell This Version
Jazz CD 027 Charlie Christian - Swing To Bop album art Charlie Christian Swing To Bop(CD, Album) Marshall Cavendish Ltd Jazz CD 027 UK & Europe 1997 Sell This Version
DRCD 11122 Charlie Christian - Celestial Express album art Charlie Christian Celestial Express(CD) Definitive Records (2) DRCD 11122 US 1999 Sell This Version
UV 129/2 Charlie Christian - AC/DC Current album art Charlie Christian AC/DC Current(2xCD, Album) Comet Records (2) UV 129/2 Italy 2004 Sell This Version
JA-6 Charlie Christian - Together 1940 album art Charlie Christian - Lester Young Charlie Christian - Lester Young - Together 1940(LP, Comp) Jazz Archives JA-6 US Unknown Sell This Version
Charlie Christian - Benny Goodman Al Carnegie Hall album art Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, Lionel Hampton Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, Lionel Hampton - Benny Goodman Al Carnegie Hall Gli Oscar Del Disco Italy Unknown Sell This Version
l28549 Charlie Christian - Collection Double Album album art Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, Lionel Hampton Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, Lionel Hampton - Collection Double Album(2xLP, Album, 2 L) carrere l28549 France Unknown Sell This Version
ESJ-4 Charlie Christian - Dizzy Gillespie / Charley Christian 1941 (Minton's Playhouse & Monroe's Uptown, New York City) album art Dizzy Gillespie / Charley Christian* Dizzy Gillespie / Charley Christian* - Dizzy Gillespie / Charley Christian 1941 (Minton's Playhouse & Monroe's Uptown, New York City)(10", Mono) Esoteric (2) ESJ-4 US Unknown Sell This Version
CD 373 Charlie Christian - The Immortal Charley Christian album art Charlie Christian The Immortal Charley Christian(CD) Legacy International CD 373 US Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

B-504, 5-2114 Charlie Christian - With The Benny Goodman Sextet And Orchestra album art Charlie Christian With The Benny Goodman Sextet* And Orchestra* Charlie Christian With The Benny Goodman Sextet* And Orchestra* - With The Benny Goodman Sextet And Orchestra(2x7") Columbia, Columbia B-504, 5-2114 US 1955 Sell This Version
Charlie Christian -  Profoundly Blue / Blue Harlem album art Charlie Christian With Ed Hall Quartet* / Ike Quebec Charlie Christian With Ed Hall Quartet* / Ike Quebec - Profoundly Blue / Blue Harlem Blue Note US 1956 Sell This Version
429 729 BE Charlie Christian - Charlie Christian album art The Benny Goodman Sextet* Featuring Charlie Christian The Benny Goodman Sextet* Featuring Charlie Christian - Charlie Christian(7", EP) Philips 429 729 BE Scandinavia 1959 Sell This Version
JEP 4547 Charlie Christian - Jazz Inmortal At Minton's  album art Charlie Christian Jazz Inmortal At Minton's (7") Jazz Selection (6) JEP 4547 Sweden Unknown Sell This Version
Milk 001 Owen Gray, Charlie Christian Owen Gray, Charlie Christian - Mash It / Swing To Bop(7", Ltd, W/Lbl, Sta) The Trip (2) Milk 001 Unknown Sell This Version
B-2011 Charlie Christian - With Benny Goodman & His Sextet album art Charlie Christian With Benny Goodman & His Sextet(7", EP, Mono) Columbia B-2011 US Unknown Sell This Version