Benny Goodman: The Complete 1982 Interview About Charlie Christian

bennyGoodman98 years ago today the legendary Charlie Christian was born in Bonham, Texas. While he lived only a short 25 years and there isn’t much out there in the way of first hand interviews with Charlie, there were always musicians who played with him that were willing to discuss his short but brilliant career. Here is a 1982 telephone interview with Benny Goodman conducted by Jas Obrecht on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Christian’s
passing. From the interview:

charlieChristianSome books now claim that Charlie was instrumental in pioneering bebop.

Well, that’s true, isn’t it?  Yeah. But to me, he sounded quite different than that. He wasn’t as hectic as bebop, as far as I’m concerned. But I can see the influence that I can imagine that some people would say he had over bop. His inventions, his harmonic structure – quite miraculous. There was a phrase in – what was it? [Sings several measures of Christian’s “Air Mail Special” solo.] Remember the release? Yeah. [Sings some “Air Mail Special” riffs.] Those kinds of phrases – extraordinary!

Click here to read Benny Goodman: The Complete 1982 Interview About Charlie Christian

—Peter Blasevick