DB Hall of Fame



DB Hall of Fame




[click on photo for full-size view]

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1917   Bonham, Texas   1-year-old Charles Christian 1920   Oklahoma City   4-year-old Charles Christian Clarence, Willie Mae, Edward, Mom Ella 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 Christian
in Bonham
Charles & his dog Chubby Charles Christian’s family Charles in the 1st grade
at Douglas School
Charles with Leslie Sheffield
& His Rhythmaires
6 7 8 9 10
Henry Butler (tbn), James Simpson (tpt), porter, Charles, Edward Ben Webster, Charlie Christian, Dizzy Gillespie Charles, Benny Goodman, Nick Fatool Charlie Christian, Benny Goodman CC, Goodman, Fatool, Lionel Hampton, Artie Bernstein
Boarding the Super Chief
OKC to L.A. – Aug 14, 1939
CC’s first studio recording session – w/ Hampton orch
Sep 11, 1939
On Stage with the Benny Goodman Sextet
Autumn 1939
11 12 13 14 15
critic, Charles, Hampton & valet Slim, Catlett, Hart, Higginbotham; critic kneeling Charles, Benny Goodman, Arnold Covey with Super 400 October 1939 Hamp, Artie, Benny, Nick, Charles, Johnny December 1939

Charles at the second
Hampton orch session
Oct 12, 1939

Posing with Gibson ES-150

Posing with Gibson ES-150
October 1939
The Goodman Sextet

Charles at the Waldorf

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel — October-December 1939
16 17 18 19 20
Guarnieri, CC, Bernstein, Hampton, Fatool, Goodman Henderson, CC, Fatool, Hampton, Bernstein, Goodman Christian & Goodman Charles with Gibson ES-250 W 142nd St & Lenox Ave, NYC
The Benny Goodman Sextet

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

Posing with Gibson ES-250

Posing in early 1940

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

21 22 23 24 25

CC w/ ES-250 & Slam Stewart

Charles, Slam Stewart, Teddy Bunn

Charles & drummer Gene Krupa

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

playing Gibson ES-150

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

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

26 27 28 29 30

recording "King Porter Stomp"

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

recording "All Star Strut"

listening to playback

June 1940

Metronome All Star Band

Metronome All Star Nine

On the
Santa Catalina Island ferry

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

31 32 33 34 35

Jun 15 - Jul 14, 1940

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

posing with ES-250

Sextet at the Catalina Casino

Ruby’s Grill, OKC
Summer 1940

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

Studio Photo
Summer 1940 – KC

36 37 38 39 40

"To the sweetest Mother..."

"To the whole family..."

"To Aunt Callie..."

To Herschel Evans

Yank Porter, CC, Billy Taylor, Teddy Wilson

Commercial Photography Studio – Summer 1940 – Kansas City

October 4, 1940
Columbia recording session

41 42 43 44 45

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)

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

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

October 24, 1940
sittin'-in with the
Basie orchestra

October 24, 1940
backstage at the
Apollo Theatre

October 24, 1940
Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame
(August 25, 1966 DB issue)

October 28, 1940
rehearsal at NYC Columbia Studios

46 47 48 49 50

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

Buck Clayton solos

Lester Young solos

Lester leaps again

John Hammond steps in

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

51 52 53 54 55

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

Georgie, Artie, Benny, Basie, Cootie, Charlie

Auld, Goodman, Bernstein, Williams, Basie, CC

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

Charlie, Cootie, Georgie, Benny

October 28, 1940 rehearsal

November 7, 1940 – Columbia recording session

November-December 1940 – Goodman septet gig







interim on-the-road roommates

Late 1940 - Early 1941

Late 1940 - Early 1941

big band is amassed to their right

One O'Clock Jump

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
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






January 1941

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

Reeves Sound Studio (for Blue Note Records) - NYC

Benny, Charlie, Georgie, Cootie

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

Adam Hats advertisement
Artie, Cootie, Davey,
Benny, Bernie, Georgie, Charlie

February 5, 1941 – “Profoundly Blue” recording session
Meade Lux Lewis, Edmond Hall, Israel Crosby, Charles

February 19, 1941
“America in Swingtime”

March 13, 1941 – BG septet
Studio session
after the “Waitin’ for Benny” jam

66 67 68 69 70

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

holding his ES-250 (L7 variation) Gibson

at a big band recording session

March 13, 1941 – Columbia Recording Studios – Listening to playback March 27, 1941 – BG Orchestra – Columbia Studios
71 72 73 74 75

Williams, Auld, Goodman, Christian, Dave Tough

with guest Harry James on trumpet

Georgie, Benny, Charlie, Artie

Auld, Goodman, Christian, Bernstein, Williams

Williams, Guarnieri, Christian

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

Auld, Goodman,
Christian, Bernstein

Georgie, Benny,
Charlie, Artie, Cootie

Cootie, Johnny, Charlie

April 11-28, 1941  —   Paramount Theatre,  NYC
76 77 78 79 80

New York City

New York City

New York City

New York City

New York City

Charlie Christian
with Benny Goodman

Charlie Christian
close-up from photo 76

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

Charlie Christian
close-up from photo 78

Georgie Auld,
Benny Goodman,
Cootie Williams,
Charlie Christian

April 1941
Carl Fischer recording studio

Columbia recording session in 1941

  81   82  


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

Birth Certificate  

Death Certificate
Certificate of Birth   Certificate of Death




found by Lynn Wheelright in 2002


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



Charles’ 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 04/16/21

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