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Charlie Christian facts for kids

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Charlie Christian
Charlie Christian.jpg
Background information
Birth name Charles Henry Christian
Born (1916-07-29)July 29, 1916
Bonham, Texas, U.S.
Died March 2, 1942(1942-03-02) (aged 25)
Staten Island, New York
Genres Jazz, swing
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Associated acts Benny Goodman

Charles Henry "Charlie" Christian (July 29, 1916 – March 2, 1942) was an American jazz guitarist. Christian is best known as one of the first famous guitarists to play the electric guitar. He is also remembered as one of the first musicians to help create the styles of jazz music known as "bebop" and "cool jazz."


Christian first gained fame as a member of the Benny Goodman Orchestra. He played with Goodman from August 1939 to June 1941. He was very good at playing many notes up and down on a sinle guitar string. By playing his guitar through an amplifier his guitar solos made the guitar very loud in the band.


Christian died in March 1942 when he was only 26 years old. He had been sick with tuberculosis for several years before he died.

Even though he was jazz guitarist who died before the music style rock and roll was started, he was still a large influence on rock and roll musicians. It was because of this that in 1990 Charlie Christian was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though he had never played rock and roll music.


Charles Henry Christian was raised in Oklahoma City in the American state of Oklahoma. In 2006 Oklahoma City renamed a street to "Charlie Christian Avenue." There is also a yearly jazz music festival in Oklahoma City which is named after Charlie Christian.

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