Charlie Christian was born in Bonham, Texas, but grew up in Oklahoma City. His father was a blind guitarist and singer, his two elder brothers, Edward and Clarence, were musicians, and at the age of twelve Charlie was playing on a guitar that he had made from a cigar box. He was actually first trained on the trumpet which later was a huge contribution to his fluid single-note guitar style. Then, his father and brothers formed a quartet and Charlie got a real guitar. When he grew up, he became a much-admired local musician in Oklahoma, playing an amplified acoustic guitar as early as 1937.
|Friends of Christian wishing good luck at his departure for Los Angeles, August 1939|
|Charlie Christian and Benny Goodman|
|Benny Goodman sextet featuring Charlie Christian|
|Charlie Christian playing his ES-150|
|Charlie Christian playing his ES-250|