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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Charlie Christian-Live at Minton's Playhouse May 1941

Charlie Christian

Charlie Christian, (Charles Henry Christian) (29 July 1916 – 2 March 1942) was an American swing and bebop jazz guitarist. 

Christian was an important early performer on the electric guitar, and is cited as a key figure in the development of bebop. In the liner notes to the 1972 Columbia album Solo Flight: The Genius of Charlie Christian, Gene Lees writes that "many critics and musicians consider that Christian was one of the founding fathers of bebop, or if not that, at least a precursor to it." 

Christian was born in Bonham, Texas, but his family moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, when he was a small child. Both of his parents were musicians and he had two brothers, Edward, born 1906, and Clarence, born 1911. All three sons were taught music by their father, Clarence Henry Christian. Clarence Henry was struck blind by fever, and in order to support the family he and the boys would work as buskers, on what the Christians called "busts." He would have them lead him into the better neighborhoods where they would perform for cash or goods. When Charles was old enough to go along he first entertained by dancing. Later he learned guitar, inheriting his father's instruments upon his death when Charles was 12. 
The Gibson ES-150, the first electric guitar played by Charlie Christian, equipped with the pickup that would later be named after him. 

He attended Douglass School in Oklahoma City, and was further encouraged in music by instructor Zelia Breaux. Charles wanted to play tenor saxophone in the school band, but she insisted he try trumpet instead. Because he believed playing the trumpet would disfigure his lip, he quit to pursue his interest in baseball, at which he excelled. 

In a 1978 interview with Charlie Christian biographer Craig McKinney, Clarence Christian said that in the 1920s and 30s Edward Christian led a band in Oklahoma City as a pianist and had a shaky relationship with trumpeter James Simpson. After a rivalry with a certain girl, Simpson had the urge to get even with the egotistical Christian. Around 1931, he took guitarist "Bigfoot" Ralph Hamilton and began secretly schooling the younger Charles on jazz. They taught him to solo on three songs, "Rose Room," "Tea for Two," and "Sweet Georgia Brown." When the time was right they took him out to one of the many after-hours jam sessions along "Deep Deuce," Northeast Second Street in Oklahoma City. "Let Charles play one," they told Edward. "Ah, nobody wants to hear them old blues," Edward replied. After some encouragement, he allowed Charles to play. "What do you want to play?" he asked. All three of the songs were big in the early 1930s and Edward was surprised that Charles knew them. After two encores, Charles had played all three and "Deep Deuce" was in an uproar. He coolly dismissed himself from the jam session, and his mother had heard about it before he got home. 

Charles soon was performing locally and on the road throughout the Midwest, as far away as North Dakota and Minnesota. By 1936, he was playing electric guitar and had become a regional attraction, and jammed with many of the big name performers traveling through Oklahoma City, among them Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum. It was Mary Lou Williams, pianist for Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy, who told John Hammond about him. 
National fame

Benny Goodman 

In 1939, he auditioned for record producer John Hammond, who recommended Christian to bandleader Benny Goodman. Goodman was the first white bandleader to feature black musicians — he hired Fletcher Henderson as arranger and Teddy Wilson on piano in 1935, and in 1936 added Lionel Hampton on vibraphone. Goodman hired Christian to play with the newly formed Goodman Sextet in 1939. It has been often stated that Goodman was initially uninterested in hiring Christian because electric guitar was a relatively new instrument. Goodman had been exposed to the instrument with Floyd Smith and Leonard Ware among others, none of whom had the ability of Charlie Christian. There is a report of Goodman unsuccessfully trying to buy out Floyd Smith's contract from Andy Kirk. However, Goodman was so impressed by Christian's playing that he hired him instead. 

There are several versions of the first meeting of Christian and Goodman on August 16, 1939. Suffice to say the encounter that afternoon at the recording studio had not gone well. Charles recalled in a 1940 Metronome magazine article, "I guess neither one of us liked what I played," but Hammond decided to try again — without consulting Goodman (Christian says Goodman invited him to the show that evening, ibid.), he installed Christian on the bandstand for that night's set at the Victor Hugo restaurant in Los Angeles. Displeased at the surprise, Goodman called "Rose Room", a tune he assumed that Christian would be unfamiliar with. Unknown to Goodman, Charles had been reared on the tune, and he came in with his solo — which was to be the first of about twenty, all of them different, all unlike anything Goodman had heard before. That version of "Rose Room" lasted forty minutes; by its end, Christian was in the band. In the course of a few days, Christian went from making $2.50 a night to making $150 a week. 

By February 1940, Christian dominated the jazz and swing guitar polls and was elected to the Metronome All Stars. In the spring of 1940, Goodman let most of his entourage go in a reorganization move. He made sure to retain Charlie Christian, and in the fall of that year Goodman led the Sextet with Charlie Christian, Count Basie, longtime Duke Ellington trumpeter Cootie Williams, and former Artie Shaw tenor saxophonist Georgie Auld, an all-star band in 1940 that dominated the jazz polls in 1941. 

In 1966, years after his death, Christian was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. 

Style and influences 

Christian's solos are frequently referred to as "horn-like", and in that sense he was more influenced by horn players such as Lester Young and Herschel Evans than by early acoustic guitarists like Eddie Lang and jazz/bluesman Lonnie Johnson, although they both had contributed to the expansion of the guitar's role from "rhythm section" instrument to a solo instrument. Christian admitted he wanted his guitar to sound like a tenor saxophone. Belgian gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt had little influence on Christian, but he was obviously familiar with some of his recordings. Guitarist Mary Osborne recalled hearing him play Django's solo on "St. Louis Blues" note for note, but then following it with his own ideas. By 1939 there had already been electric guitar soloists—Leonard Ware, George Barnes, trombonist/composer ("Topsy") Eddie Durham had recorded with Count Basie's Kansas City Six, Floyd Smith recorded "Floyd's Guitar Blues" with Andy Kirk in March 1939, using an amplified lap steel guitar, and Texas Swing pioneer Eldon Shamblin was using amplified electric guitar with Bob Wills. However, Charles Christian was the first great soloist on the amplified guitar. 

Guitarists who followed Christian and who were to varying degrees influenced by him include Mary Osborne, Oscar Moore (Nat King Cole trio), Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Jimmy Raney, Tal Farlow, and—-a generation later—-Jim Hall. "Tiny" Grimes, who made several records with Art Tatum, can often be heard quoting Christian note-for-note. 

Christian paved the way for the modern electric guitar sound that was followed by other pioneers, including T-Bone Walker, Les Paul, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, B.B. King, Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix. For this reason Christian was inducted in 1990 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an "Early Influence." 

Christian's exposure was so great in the brief period he played with Goodman that he influenced not only guitarists, but other musicians as well. The influence he had on "Dizzy" Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Don Byas can be heard on their early "bop" recordings "Blue'n Boogie" and "Salt Peanuts." Other musicians, such as trumpeter Miles Davis, cite Christian as an early influence. Indeed, Christian's "new" sound influenced jazz as a whole. He reigned supreme in the jazz guitar polls up to two years after his death. 

Minton's Playhouse 

Thelonious Monk, who played with Charlie Christian at Minton's Playhouse, developed a style similar to his. 

Though known mainly for his influence on electric guitar, Christian was also an important figure in the development of bebop. His contributions at late night after-hours jam sessions at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem in New York City were landmarks in the evolution from the then-popular, radio-friendly, accessible swing music to the more experimental bebop. This transition is readily apparent in recordings of the partial Goodman Sextet made in March 1941. With Goodman and bassist Artie Bernstein absent, Christian and the rest of the Sextet recorded for nearly 20 minutes as the engineers tested equipment. 

Two recordings were released from that session years later: "Blues in B" and "Waiting for Benny", which showed hints of bop jam sessions. The free flow of these sessions contrasts with the more formal swing music recorded after Goodman had arrived at the studio. Other Goodman Sextet records that foretell bop are "Seven Come Eleven" (1939) and "Air Mail Special" (1940 and 1941). 

An even more striking example is a series of recordings made at Minton's on a portable disk recorder by a Columbia student, Jerry Newman, in 1941. Newman captured Christian, accompanied by Joe Guy on trumpet, Kenny Kersey on piano and Kenny Clarke on drums, stretching out far beyond what the confines of the 78 RPM record would allow. His work on "Swing to Bop", a later record company re-title of Eddie Durham's "Topsy," is a stunning example of what Christian was capable of creating 

His use of tension and release, a technique employed by Lester Young and later bop musicians, is also present on "Stompin' at the Savoy", included among the Newman recordings. The collection also includes recordings made at Clark Monroe's Uptown House, another late-night jazz haunt in the Harlem of 1941. Kenny Clarke claimed that "Epistrophy" and "Rhythm-a-ning" were Charlie Christian compositions that Christian played with Clarke and Thelonious Monk at Minton's jam sessions. The "Rhythm-a-ning" line can be heard on "Down on Teddy's Hill" and behind the introduction on "Guy's Got To Go" from the Newman recordings, but it is also a line from Mary Lou Williams' "Walkin' and Swingin'". Clarke said Christian first showed him the chords to "Epistrophy" on a ukulele. These recordings have been packaged under a number of different titles, including "After Hours" and "The Immortal Charlie Christian." While the recording quality of these sessions is poor, they show Charlie stretching out much longer than he could on the Benny Goodman sides. On some of the Minton's recordings, Christian can be heard taking 12 or more choruses on a single tune, playing long stretches of melodic ideas with remarkable ease. 


There were many reports of Charlie staying out late at jam sessions and eating poorly. He was not known to be a drug addict, but did use marijuana and alcohol.[citation needed] Further, in the late 1930s Christian had contracted tuberculosis and in early 1940 was hospitalized for a short period in which the Goodman group was on hiatus due to Benny's back trouble. Goodman was hospitalized in the summer of 1940 after the band's brief stay at Santa Catalina Island, California, where the group stayed when on the west coast. Christian returned home to Oklahoma City, in late July 1940 before returning to New York City in September 1940. In early 1941, Christian resumed his hectic lifestyle, heading to Harlem for late-night jam sessions after finishing gigs with the Goodman Sextet and Orchestra in New York City. In June 1941 he was admitted to Seaview, a sanitarium on Staten Island in New York City. He was reported to be making progress, and Down Beat magazine reported in February 1942 that he and Cootie Williams were starting a band. After a visit that same month to the hospital by tap dancer and drummer Marion Joseph "Taps" Miller, who brought Charles some marijuana and a prostitute, Christian declined in health and died March 2, 1942. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Bonham, Texas, and a Texas State Historical Marker and headstone were placed in Gates Hill Cemetery in 1994. 

Selected discography 

As leader 

Although Christian never recorded professionally as a leader, compilations have been released of his sessions as a sideman where he is a featured soloist, of practice and warm-up recordings for these sessions, and some lower-quality recordings of Christian's own groups performing in nightclubs, by amateur technicians. 

Solo Flight: The Genius of Charlie Christian (Columbia, 1972) 
Solo Flight (live performances as member of the Benny Goodman Sextet, Vintage Jazz Classics, 2003) 
Genius of the Electric Guitar (Columbia, 1939-1941 recordings) 
Guitar Wizard (LeJazz, 1993 Charly Holdings Inc.) 
Live At Minton's Playhouse 1941 

As sideman 

Appearances on recordings by Ida Cox, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, Ben Webster.

Minton’s Playhouse  is a jazz club and bar located on the first floor of the Hotel Cecil at 210 West 118th Street in Harlem. Minton’s was founded by tenor saxophonist Henry Minton in 1938. Minton’s is famous for its role in the development of modern jazz, also known as bebop, where in its jam sessions in the early 1940s, Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, pioneered the new music. Minton’s thrived for three decades until its decline near the end of the 1960s, and its eventual closing in 1974. After being shuttered for more than thirty years, the newly remodeled club reopened its doors on May 19, 2006, under the name Uptown Lounge at Minton’s Playhouse .

The club's beginnings

Minton’s original owner, Henry Minton, was well known in Harlem for being the first ever black delegate to the American Federation of Musicians Local 802. In addition, he had been the manager of the famed Rhythm Club, in Harlem, in the early part of the 1930s, a place where Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, and Earl Hines frequented. The novelist Ralph Ellison later wrote that because of his union background and music business experience, Minton was aware of the economic and artistic needs of jazz musicians in New York in the late 1930s. Minton’s popularity and his penchant for generosity with food and loans, made his club a favorite hang out for musicians.
Minton started a policy of holding regular jam sessions at his club, which would later prove to be a key factor in the development of bebop. Because of his union ties, Minton was able to ensure that musicians would not be fined for their participation in jam sessions, an activity that was prohibited by the union. Dizzy Gillespie recalled that there were “walking” delegates from the union that would follow musicians around and fine them “a hundred to five hundred dollars” for participating in jam sessions, but that they were “somewhat immune from this at Minton’s because of Henry Minton.” According to Ralph Ellison, Minton’s Playhouse provided “a retreat, a homogeneous community where a collectivity of common experience could find continuity and meaningful expression.”

Minton's in the 1940s

In late 1940 Minton hired Teddy Hill, a former bandleader, to manage the club. Building in the same direction that Minton had started, Hill used his connections from the Savoy Ballroom (where his band used to play), and the Apollo Theatre to increase the interest in the club. Hill put together the house band which included Thelonious Monk on piano, Joe Guy on trumpet, Nick Fenton on bass, and Kenny Clarke on drums. Both Clarke and Guy were in Teddy Hill’s band before it disbanded in 1939. According to Clarke, Teddy Hill wanted to “do something for the guys that had worked with him” by giving them work during difficult times. The house band at Minton’s in 1941, with the addition of frequent guests, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Christian, was at the center of the emergence of bebop in the early 1940s. Later, the band was augmented by tenor saxophonist Kermit Scott.

Monday celebrity nights

A feature of Minton’s Playhouse during Teddy Hill’s tenure as manager was the popular Monday Celebrity Nights  sponsored by the Schiffmans who owned the nearby Apollo Theatre. The Schiffmans treated their performers to free dinner and drinks after the conclusion of a long week of work. The food at Minton’s became almost as popular as the music as noted by many present at that time. In an interview with Al Fraser (1979), Dizzy Gillespie told his recollection of Monday nights at Minton’s:
On Monday nights, we used to have a ball. Everybody from the Apollo, on Monday nights, was a guest at Minton’s, the whole band. We had a big jam session. Monday night was the big night, the musician’s night off. There was always some food there for you. Oh, that part was beautiful. Teddy Hill treated the guys well .

Cutting sessions and duels

During the Monday Celebrity Nights , many notable guest musicians such as Roy Eldridge, Hot Lips Page, Ben Webster, Don Byas, and Lester Young would sit in. The trumpet duels between Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie became legend, with Gillespie eventually surpassing his mentor. Speaking to Al Fraser, Gillespie recalled how Thelonious Monk one night teased Eldridge after being out-played by Gillespie saying, “Look, you’re supposed to be the greatest trumpet player in the world...but that’s the best.” Even though Eldridge was an established musician in the older swing style, he was an active figure at Minton’s and contributed through his encouragement of Gillespie and Clarke to further their explorations.
Eldridge and the other swing masters who participated in the early cutting sessions at Minton’s played an important role in the evolution of swing toward bebop by inspiring the next generation of musicians. A young Sonny Stitt witnessed the great battles between the master saxophonists of the day in the early 1940s:
Can you imagine Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Chu Berry, Don Byas, and Ben Webster on the same little jam session? They had a place called Minton’s Playhouse in New York. It’s kaput now. And these guys, man, nothing like it. And guess who won the fight?... Don Byas walked off with everything .
Byas was one of the first tenor saxophonists to assimilate bebop into his style, in contrast to Young, Hawkins, and Webster, who stayed close to their swing roots through the development of bebop.
Herman Pritchard, who tended bar at Minton’s “in the old days”, would watch as Ben Webster and Lester Young would “fight on those dogs in the road.” Ralph Ellison believes that what was occurring at Minton’s from 1941 to 1942 was a “continuing symposium of jazz, a summation of all the styles, personal and traditional, of jazz.”

Charlie Christian and the house band

One of the pioneers of the new style, which would eventually become known as bebop, was the young electric guitarist from Benny Goodman’s band, Charlie Christian. He played nightly at Minton’s and was one of its stars. Although Christian was in his early twenties in 1941, his time at Minton's was significant, but brief; he would die the next March after being confined to a sanatorium stricken with tuberculosis. As evidenced by recordings made by Columbia University student Jerry Newman in 1941, Christian’s playing was breaking new ground. Gunther Schuller’s assessment of Christian’s playing on those recordings is as follows:
His work here seems to me relentlessly creative, endlessly fertile, and is so in a way that marks a new stylistic departure. Indeed, it signals the birth of a new language in jazz, which even [[Charlie Parker|[Charlie] Parker]] did not have as clearly in focus at that time .
Kenny Clarke and the band at Minton’s would look forward with anticipation to Christian’s arrival after finishing his set with Goodman. Christian was admired by his peers at Minton’s, including Thelonious Monk who “loved listening to Charlie play solos with fluid lines and interesting harmonies.”

Bird and Dizzy

Soon after Charlie Christian’s death, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker would emerge as a new leader of the bebop movement. Parker’s collaboration with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke, at sessions at Minton’s, would build on the earlier experiments of Christian.Before 1942, Parker was known to have spent more time at Clark Monroe’s Uptown House, another Harlem club where jam sessions extended into the early morning, than he spent playing at Minton’s. After leaving Jay McShann’s band at the end of 1941, Parker joined Earl Hines’s band in 1942 and was reunited with Dizzy Gillespie, who he had met some time earlier. It was during this period of time starting in 1942 that Parker, nicknamed ‘Bird’, could be found sitting-in at Minton’s on Monday nights as recalled by Miles Davis:
On Monday nights at Minton’s, Bird and Dizzy would come in to jam, so you’d have a thousand [players] up there trying to get in so they could listen to and play with Bird and Dizzy. But most of the musicians in the know didn’t even think about playing when Bird and Dizzy came to jam. We would just sit out in the audience, to listen and learn .
Parker never was officially a member of the house band at Minton’s during that period, however sensing his importance to the bebop movement, Clarke and Monk approached Teddy Hill about hiring Parker into the band. Hill refused so Clarke and Monk decided to pay Parker out of their salaries.
After Parker’s arrival on the scene in Harlem, a new generation of player followed. Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey, Max Roach and many others were drawn to Minton’s. Miles Davis’s search for Charlie Parker brought him to Minton’s where he “cut his teeth” at the jam sessions. Miles remembered:
The way [it] went down up at Minton’s was you brought your horn and hoped that Bird and Dizzy would invite you to play with them up on stage. And when this happened you better not blow it...People would watch for clues from Bird and Dizzy, and if they smiled when you finished playing, then that meant your playing was good .
Davis’s remarks reflect on the frenzy in Harlem for the new sounds of bebop that surrounded Parker, Gillespie and Minton’s.

Sitting-in at Minton's

Minton’s Playhouse became so popular in those days that the house band began to develop ways of weeding out the musicians who couldn’t play that wanted to sit in. According to bassist Milt Hinton, Gillespie prompted the band to play standards, such as Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”, in difficult keys in order to discourage beginners from sitting in. Bassist Charles Mingus remembers being required to audition to get up on stage:
To play at Minton’s you couldn’t just walk in and grab a bass. They made you go in a back room or a kitchen and call a few tunes. They did it to me too. They said, “Can you play ‘Perdido’? Can you play ‘Body and Soul’?”
Practices such as these challenged up and coming jazz musicians to get their acts together in order to participate in the jam sessions, which kept the music at a high level.

The end of an era

Minton’s changed its open jam policy in favor of big name acts in the 1950s. By the late 1960s bands were no longer at the cutting edge. Harlem writer, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) wrote in Black Music  (1967), that “The groups that come into Minton’s are stand-up replicas of what was a highly experimental twenty-five years ago.” Although the club was open for a little more than three decades, Minton’s Playhouse will always be associated with the 1940s and the jam sessions that gave birth to bebop.

The tracks:

Swing To Bop (A-1)
Stompin At The Savoy (A-2)
Up On Teddy's Hill (A-3)
Stardust (B-1)
Kerouac (B-2)
Stardust (B-3)
Guy's Got To Go (B-4)
Lips Flips (B-5)

Bass - Nick Fenton
Drums - Kenny Clarke
Guitar [Electric] - Charlie Christian (tracks: A1 to A3, B4, B5)
Other [Liner Notes] - Frank Tenot
Piano - Kenny Kersey (tracks: B1 to B3) , Thelonious Monk (tracks: A1, A2, B4, B5)
Saxophone [Tenor] - Don Byas (tracks: A3, B1 to B3) , Unknown Artist (tracks: B1 to B3)
Trumpet - Dizzy Gillespie (tracks: B1 to B3) , Joe Guy (tracks: A1, A2, B4, B5) , Unknown Artist (tracks: A3)


  1. Inquiring minds need to know--what is a blind robin?

    Thanks for the Magic Charlie.

  2. Oh man!!
    They're damned dried little fishies!

    Yuk! Ptui!!

    Everything else in that wonderful splash page sounds good though.
    Love the 'bi-polar express BTW.
    I came up with bi-polar bear myself to make it all a little more 'user friendly' for folks. Heh heh.

    (I KNOWS I were born in the wrong era blah blah).

  3. Hehheheheeee!! I knowwww, they're disgusting! I loved them as a kid....with hot sauce!!

  4. Never having had the pleasure, but having heard one or two gossipy items across the years regarding Flint, I remain certain that stuff like 'blind robins' are a working town thing.

    Gallon jars of pickled eggs at the end of the bar in the reeky old draft room of some ancient hotel come to mind.

    They really did still have 'Mens' and 'Ladies /w Escorts' entrances at draft rooms when I was a kid starting out, and they really did put sawdust on the floor. And by GAWD you'd better not f*** with the guy slinging the trays!

    Those 15-20 cent glasses of draft pretty much sealed it for us though (25 cent glasses later). Where's that illegal ID? We were quick studies, heh heh.

  5. Oh, you are so very right on that one! Blind Robins on pieces of cardboard, wrapped in cello. The little packages would be affixed to a tearaway board up on the bar...right next to the Alka-Seltzer and the Beer-Nutz. Gallon Jars of Pickled eggs, and rings of red hot bologna floating in brine, peanuts in a basket....shells tossed to the bar floor as you eat them. Old Seeburg jukeboxes that featured Al Hirt, Bert Kaempfert, The McGuire Sisters, Hank Snow and lots of polka. Such are the bars of my youth. Blue collar Flint bars, and the great old taverns farther out in the Micgigan countryside that we visited with my parents, and when we would be visiting family in Canada. I don't ever remember anyone being in those bars other than really old folks. The bartender would be someone my parents knew well....either a "Miss Kitty" type, or some grouchy old man in an apron. No one ever took issue with us kids going there....the patrons liked us, drunkenly slipping us money, having us run errands for tips.....we always had a blast. I just remember now that I used to think all of my father's friends were happy old drunks who loved to chuck you under the chin and stick dollars into your coat pocket. Those were the days, when every bar had a dog, laying under your table..usually an old lab, or other retired hunting breed. I'm sure there are not many bars left where a returning fisherman and come in an drop a load of perch or bluegill on the cook, in exchange for a few pitchers and a platter of fried fish...........The world is a lesser place for the loss of that, methinks....

  6. I might add that the Blind Robin is very dry, crunchy, salty as hell.....and after eating them, your breath will smell like the morning after in Two Bit bordello.....aside from that, they're quite grand with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a splash of hot sauce, when you wedge your fishing pole into the holder, haul up the oars, and drop anchor to break for a few moments and drink some lunch ;)

  7. Barb, thanks for mentioning and quoting music research journalist and Charles Christian biographer Craig McKinney - his work was and is very important to those of us in the know in matters pertaining to Charlie Christian because he really got things going early on in gathering and presenting the facts about Charlie's life and music in a cohesive manner. All too often Craig has been neglected and overlooked for others who have stood on his shoulders and have shamelessley plagiarized his work without so much as a mention of his name of the biographical materials he provided Charlie's fans, his friends and even his family with. Craig not only interviewed Charlie's brother but he befriended him and became very close to the Christian family as well as the few remaining legendary musicians who played with Charlie in Texas as a child, during his formitave years in the Deep Deuce area (2nd St) of Oklahoma City as well as those road bands that played all over the mid-west before Charles joined Benny Goodman, and a lot of Goodman sidemen and Harlem jam session performers who were lucky enough to make music with Mr Charlie Christian! Thank you!

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  11. Hi! I'd really love to listen to this album, it seems the link is broken however... is there any way you might be able to re-upload it? It would be greatly appreciated! Cheers :)