Charley Christian -Musician
Fannin County TxGenWeb
Charles Henry Christian


Charley Christian

Charley Christian was born in Bonham 29 Jul.1916
     'He spent much of his youth in Oklahoma City,  where he lived with his father and played
bass and guitar in various small groups. He made his first experiments with an amplified guitar
in 1937. When music critic John Hammond heard him in 1939, he persuaded Benny Goodman to employ Christian. Although barely twenty years old, Christian immediately became known among
professional jazzmen for his new sounds and new ideas. Only one other electric guitar had been recorded on jazz records when the first Christian-  Goodman records were issued. After that, his
large creative contribution to modern jazz was widely recognized. Christian featured a down-stroke technique almost exclusively. His single-string solos, with altered chords, new melodic lines, rows
of even beats, and contrasting dramatic aspects became the base from which musicians constructed
an entirely new approach to jazz. "
      Handbook of Texas  online
         This wonderful Fannin County native performed with all the famous musicians of the day
in all the clubs and concert halls across the country. Including Carnegie Hall.
Listen to his magnificent work, while putting together Fannin County information I found him and realized I have enjoyed his legacy my whole live. But I can't figure out which one is my favorite!   Listen ~Here

 He died of tuberculosis in a Staten Island New York Hospital . He is buried in
Gate's Hill Cemetery in Bonham Texas ,29 Jul.1916-2 Mar 1942

Photo album, genealogy and documents about Charley Christian

A Biography

More on his music and life

His Recorded Music List

© 2002
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