DB Hall of Fame



DB Hall of Fame




[click on photos below for full-size view]

1 2 3
1917   Bonham, Texas   1-year-old Charles Christian 1920   Oklahoma City   4-year-old Charles Christian Clarence, Willie Mae, Edward, Mom Ella
Charles Christian
in Bonham
Charles & his dog Chubby Charles Christian’s family


4 5
1923   OKC   7-yr-old Charles (1st standing row, 3rd boy from the left) 1935   Ritz Ballroom   OKC   19-yr-old Charles on guitar
Charles in the 1st grade
at Douglas School
Charles with Leslie Sheffield
& His Rhythmaires


6 7 7x 11
Henry Butler (tbn), James Simpson (tpt), porter, Charles, Edward Lionel Hampton (cropped), Ben Webster, Charlie Christian, Dizzy Gillespie critic, Charles, Hampton & valet Slim, Catlett, Hart, Higginbotham; critic kneeling
Boarding the Super Chief
OKC to L.A. – Aug 14, 1939
CC’s first studio recording session
with Hampton orch
Sep 11, 1939
wider view of previous photo

Charles at the second
Hampton orch session
Oct 12, 1939


8 9 10
Charles, Benny Goodman, Nick Fatool Charlie Christian, Benny Goodman CC, Goodman, Fatool, Lionel Hampton, Artie Bernstein
On Stage with the Benny Goodman Sextet
Autumn 1939


12 13 14 15
Charles, Benny Goodman, Arnold Covey with Super 400 October 1939 Hamp, Artie, Benny, Nick, Charles, Johnny December 1939

Posing with Gibson ES-150
(Covey with Gibson Super 400)

Posing with Gibson ES-150
October 1939
The Goodman Sextet

Charles at the Waldorf

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel — October-December 1939


16 17
Guarnieri, CC, Bernstein, Hampton, Fatool, Goodman Henderson, CC, Fatool, Hampton, Bernstein, Goodman
The Benny Goodman Sextet

“Swingin’ the Dream” rehearsal
November 25-28, 1939


18 19 20
Christian & Goodman Charles with Gibson ES-250 W 142nd St & Lenox Ave, NYC

Posing with Gibson ES-250

Posing in early 1940

with Vega guitar & amp
at the Golden Gate Ballroom
Harlem – February 1940


21 22

CC w/ ES-250 & Slam Stewart

Charles, Slam Stewart, Teddy Bunn

Gibson Guitar demo in early 1940
for the New York Band Instrument Co


23 24 25

Charles & drummer Gene Krupa

Ziggy, Charles, Benny, Benny (Otto Hess Collection) appeared in Mar 40 Metronome

playing Gibson ES-150

First Metronome All Stars recording session – February 7, 1940
Columbia Studios – New York City


26 27 28 29

recording "King Porter Stomp"

Haggart, Miller, Christian, Krupa, Goodman, Teagarden, Carter, James

recording "All Star Strut"

listening to playback

Metronome All Star Band

Metronome All Star Nine


First Metronome All Stars recording session – February 7, 1940
Columbia Studios – New York City


30 31

June 1940

Jun 15 - Jul 14, 1940

On the
Santa Catalina Island ferry

Sextet at the Catalina Casino

June 15 thru July 14, 1940 while on the West Coast


32 33 34

Sam Hughes, CC, Leslie Sheffield, Dick Wilson

September 22, 1940 - Fred Beckett, CC, Wm Smith, Henry Bridges, Effergee Ware

Sittin'-in with Harlan Leonard's band - Henry Bridges, CC, Fred Beckett

Ruby’s Grill, OKC
Summer 1940

Jammin’ w/ Harlan Leonard’s band
Lincoln Hall, Kansas City


35 36 37 38 39

posing with ES-250

"To the sweetest Mother..."

"To the whole family..."

"To Aunt Callie..."

To Herschel Evans

Commercial Photography Studio – Summer 1940 – Kansas City



Yank Porter, CC, Billy Taylor, Teddy Wilson

October 4, 1940
Columbia recording session


41 42 43

Basie, CC, Page, Goodman, Jones, Warren, Clayton

Milton Ebbins (Basie’s manager), Count Basie, singer Lynne Sherman, Benny Goodman, arranger Sonny Burke, Charlie Christian

Photo appeared on Esoteric ESJ-1 (10" LP)

sittin'-in with the
Basie orchestra
backstage at the
Apollo Theatre
Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame
(August 25, 1966 DB issue)

October 24, 1940


44 45 46 47

Young, Jones, Clayton, Green, Goodman, Page, Christian, Basie

Prez, Jo, Buck, Freddie, Benny, Walter, Charlie, Bill

Freddie's arm, Buck, Benny, Basie, Charles, top of Lester's head

Buck Clayton solos

October 28, 1940 rehearsal
Columbia Studios – NYC
CC, BG with nucleus of the Basie orchestra


48 49 50 51

Lester Young solos

Lester leaps again

John Hammond steps in

Listening to playback: Buck, Prez, CC, Benny, Basie, Hammond

October 28, 1940 rehearsal – Columbia Studios – NYC
CC, BG with nucleus of the Basie orchestra


52 53


Georgie, Artie, Benny, Basie, Cootie, Charlie

Auld, Goodman, Bernstein, Williams, Basie, CC

Charles & Cootie

November 7, 1940 – Columbia recording session


55 56

Bernie Leighton, CC, Cootie, Georgie, Benny, Artie, Harry Jaeger

Charlie, Cootie, Georgie, Benny

November-December 1940 – Goodman septet gig






interim on-the-road roommates

Late 1940 - Early 1941

Late 1940 - Early 1941

January 1941
Charlie  &  Georgie
winter of 1940-1941
with Oklahoma friends
Count Basie, Ernie Fields, Melvin Moore,
Charles, Jimmy Rushing
with bandleaders
Don Redman
and Count Basie
Adam Hats advertisement
Artie, Cootie, Davey,
Benny, Bernie, Georgie, Charlie




big band is amassed to their right

One O'Clock Jump

¾ of the All Star rhythm section
Rich, Christian, Basie
¾ of the All Star rhythm section
Bernstein, Christian, Basie
January 16, 1941 – Victor Studios, NYC
Metronome All Star Band





playing a Gibson L5 acoustic w/ the Edmond Hall Celeste Quartet

Reeves Sound Studio (for Blue Note Records) - NYC

Meade Lux Lewis, Edmond Hall, Israel Crosby, Charles

Charlie Christian with Gibson L5N
acoustic guitar

February 5, 1941 – “Profoundly Blue” recording session at Reeves Sound Studio in New York City



Benny, Charlie, Georgie, Cootie

February 19, 1941
“America in Swingtime”



68 69 70

Charlie Christian w/ his new ES-250 (rare L7-style variation)

man w/ hat, Tough, Auld, CC, Williams, engineer, Bernstein, producer Morty Dalitz, Guarnieri, Goodman

Charles' last studio date with the sextet

Tough, Auld, CC, Williams, engineer, Bernstein, Dalitz, Guarnieri, Goodman

BG septet
after the “Waitin’ for Benny” jam

Listening to playback

March 13, 1941 – Columbia Recording Studios


71 72

holding his ES-250 (L7 variation) Gibson

at a big band recording session

March 27, 1941 – BG Orchestra – Columbia Studios


73 74

Williams, Auld, Goodman, Christian, Dave Tough

with guest Harry James on trumpet

March 31, 1941
“What’s New? – The Old Gold Show”


75 76 77

Georgie, Benny, Charlie, Artie

Auld, Goodman, Christian, Bernstein, Williams

Williams, Guarnieri, Christian

Auld, Goodman,
Christian, Bernstein

Georgie, Benny,
Charlie, Artie, Cootie

Cootie, Johnny, Charlie

April 11-28, 1941  —   Paramount Theatre,  NYC


78 79

New York City

New York City

Charlie Christian
with Benny Goodman

Charlie Christian
close-up from previous photo

April 1941
Carl Fischer recording studio


80 81 82

New York City

New York City

New York City

Charlie Christian
with Benny Goodman
John Hammond seated at left
producer Morty Dalitz standing at right

Charlie Christian
close-up from previous photo

Georgie Auld,
Benny Goodman,
Cootie Williams,
Charlie Christian

Columbia recording session in 1941


83 84

Walnut Ave at NE Second St

Walnut Ave at NE Second St

March 9, 1942

March 9, 1942

Calvary Baptist Church
Oklahoma City

Calvary Baptist Church
Oklahoma City


Certificate of Birth Signature Certificate of Death



found by Lynn Wheelright in 2002 - missing pickguard

shipped to Charles on April 19, 1940 with EH-150 amp

Charles’ actual Gibson ES-250
which he played
mid-1940 to early 1941

Gibson ES-250
with L7-style fretboard
used in this ad before it was delivered to Charles in March 1941


201 202 203

1930s – At the 330 Club on 300 W California Ave in OKC with his Blue Devils

Halloween Night 1944 – Private It on bass

front row: Loretta Pittman on left - Jimmy Rushing, second from left - Jack Washington's wife, Maphelle (middle) - Charles' mother, Willie Mae - very pretty young lady stylin' leopard wrap on right

Eddie Christian
at piano
Clarence Christian
on bass
Willie Mae Christian
front row, second from right
204 205

Margretta's daughter


Billie's mother

Billie Jean Christian


Margretta Lorraine Christian



1950s - Maxwell Davis' tenor sax showing



bassist / guitarist / mentor
Ralph Hamilton
“Big Foot Chuck”



6th annual CC Jazz Festival


301 302 303 304 305
Greenwood Cultural Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma Deep Deuce (Second Street, OKC) Historical Marker at Gravesite YOUR MUSIC WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN Flower bouquet bestowed by Billie
Billie Jean Christian accepts Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Award for her father
June 1989
Billie and friend
at the
Charlie Christian Jazz Festival
May 1990
Texas State
Historical Marker
Charlie Christian’s
Gates Hill Cemetery, Bonham, Texas – April 23, 1994
306 307 308 309 310

in the Bricktown District of OKC

Dec 2002 photo

Dec 2002 photo


Jul 29

Charlie Christian Avenue
Oklahoma City
December 5, 2006

Bonham House
Side View from East

Bonham House Front Entrance
only front steps still remain today

Bonham House
peeking in side windows

Charles’ Headstone
at Gates Hill Cemetery
two decades later

511 W Johnson Street
Charles’ birthplace in Bonham, Texas
before this Texas Historical Landmark was inadvertently demolished



Proclamation issued in Fannin County, Texas,
commemorating Charlie Christian on the 100th anniversary of his birth




More photos to come



This page last updated on 09/29/21

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