Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Charlie Christian

07-29 Charlie ChristianHappy 100th Birthday to the late, great Charlie Christian! In the early days of jazz, Christian was enormously influential in the acceptance of the electric guitar as a lead instrument, taking the stringed stalwart out of the rhythm section and placing it center stage, while performing with Benny Goodman and his sextet. His solos were known to sound more similar to those of the horn than of the acoustic guitar, and his influence has been cited by everyone from Miles Davis to B.B. King. A regular at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, prominently featured on recordings such as Stompin’ at the Savoy, Christian came a long way in a short time. Sadly, the time was shorter than anyone could know. In frail health, Christian contracted tuberculosis and died on Staten Island in 1942. He was 25 years old.

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