Posted by themusicsover on March 2, 2010
July 29, 1916 – March 2, 1942
Charlie Christian was an influential jazz guitarist who, with his electric guitar prowess, helped pave the road for cool jazz, bebop, and ultimately, rock ‘n roll. Christian became a household name, at least in the jazz world, during the swing era and has since been called the greatest improviser of that time. His influence stretched far beyond jazz, earning him such disciples a T-Bone Walker, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran and Jimi Hendrix. By doing so, he was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence in 1990. During the late ’30s, Christian was diagnosed with tuberculosis, causing his health to quickly deteriorate. Charlie Christian was just 25 when he died of the disease on March 2, 1942.