Revisiting the Sound of Guitar Pioneer Christian Charlie Christian introduced the electric guitar to a wide audience. And even though he died in 1942 at 25, guitar enthusiasts remember his name — and his sound. Now there's a new collection of Christian's work. Tom Vitale reports.
NPR logo

Revisiting the Sound of Guitar Pioneer Christian

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/834507/834866" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Revisiting the Sound of Guitar Pioneer Christian

Revisiting the Sound of Guitar Pioneer Christian

Revisiting the Sound of Guitar Pioneer Christian

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/834507/834866" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Charlie Christian Frank Driggs Collection hide caption

toggle caption
Frank Driggs Collection

Guitar legend Les Paul remembers the first time he encountered Charlie Christian. It was 1938. "I just heard something I never heard before," Paul says. On Morning Edition, Tom Vitale tells the story of Christian, who went on to play with Benny Goodman and was the first electric guitarist to reach a large popular audience.