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Charlie Christian (1916–42) pushed guitar to the forefront of the big-band era, furthering the instrument’s evolution from a provider of acoustic accompaniment to an electrified foreground instrument that could pound out rhythm like a drum set or solo out front like a horn. His playing, in fact, was likened to jazz horn players who were leading the evolution ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Charlie Christian was the last great figure to emerge from the jazz scene of the 1930s. He not only brought a perfectly formed approach to his music, but also an entirely new musical platform – the electric guitar. His career in the big time was brief, but Christian was a lighthouse whose beam still illuminates anyone with serious intentions ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Yo’-han Krest’-yan Bakh) 1735–82 German composer J. S. Bach’s youngest son was known as the London Bach. Earlier he was the Milan Bach: after studying with his father and his half-brother Carl Philipp Emanuel in Berlin, he had gone to Italy, studying in Bologna, embracing Roman Catholicism and becoming organist at Milan Cathedral, and composing operas for theatres ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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A product of the spiritual searching of the 1960s, Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) has always been controversial. Combining rock’n’roll with a Bible-based message has seemed profane to some and artistically invalid to others. Despite such criticisms, CCM has attracted millions of loyal fans and given rise to a host of gold- and platinum-selling artists. There’s ambiguity as to what ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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(Vocals, banjo, c. 1890–1938) New Orleans-born Charlie Jackson brought a jazzman’s sophistication to an instrument still too often overlooked by blues historians. He alternated single-string solos with percussive chording and dexterous fingerpicking, allowing him to bridge styles and genres with rare facility. He released more than 60 sides of his own, and he also recorded with Freddie ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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Charlie Parker, also known as ‘Yardbird’ or ‘Bird’, was a largely self-taught musical genius with acute self-destructive tendencies. His career exemplified both the creative power and the destructive social ethos of bebop. His music burned as brightly as any in jazz, but his lifestyle sent out the wrong message to too many young musicians, despite his frequent warnings ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Various saxophones, 1913–91) Charlie Barnet led a successful big band from 1933 until the late 1940s and was one of the earliest white bandleaders to employ black musicians, beginning with Benny Carter as a guest soloist and arranger in 1934. He introduced singer Lena Horne as an unknown in 1941 and featured many notable musicians in his line-ups. His ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Bass, b. 1937) Charlie Haden’s famed work with Ornette Coleman represents just one small facet of the versatile bassist’s career. As a child in Iowa he performed on radio with his family’s country and western band. At 15 he took up the bass while recovering from polio, acquiring a novel technique that makes his notes resonate deeply. Haden moved ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Harmonica, vocals, guitar, b. 1944) Often compared to his contemporary Paul Butterfield, Musselwhite has an exceptionally fluid and melodic harmonica style that places him head and shoulders above most competitors. He debuted on record in 1967 and has remained faithful to the Chicago style in his own projects and in supporting work for Elvin Bishop, Big ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Guitar, b. 1967) The leading exponent ‘acid jazz’, guitarist Charlie Hunter has learned to emulate the organ-bass runs of his inspiration, Larry Young, on a customized guitar. Raised in Berkeley, California, the son of a guitar repairer, he was a street musician in Europe prior to founding Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy in the early 1990s ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
107 Words Read More

(Vocals, banjo, 1892–1931) A textile-mill worker and banjo player, Poole led one of the finest of old-time bands, The North Carolina Ramblers, with guitarist Roy Harvey (1892–1958) and a succession of fiddlers headed by Posey Rorer. Their first release, ‘Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down Blues’ and ‘Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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(Vocals, guitar, 1932–98) A cult hero, especially in Europe, Charlie enjoyed no commercial success whatsoever but was revered for his authentic rockabilly sound. Born near Holly Springs, Mississippi, he first recorded for Sun in 1954, but cut his finest rockabilly for King and Meteor. His unusual vocal technique – complete with hiccups and stutters ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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(Vocals, guitar, fiddle, b. 1936) Daniels was a North Carolina rock’n’roller who had a song cut by Elvis Presley and who played on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline. Daniels formed his own band in 1972, modelled on the southern rock of The Allman Brothers Band, and had a hit with the 1973 tall tale, ‘Uneasy Rider’ ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
130 Words Read More

(Vocals, piano, 1932–95) Arkansas-born Rich won his greatest success as a country crossover act in the first half of the 1970s, topping both US country and pop charts with 1973’s million-selling ‘The Most Beautiful Girl’. This was actually his second million-seller that year – ‘Behind Closed Doors’ had reached the US pop Top 20, and was CMA ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
97 Words Read More

1735–82, German Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of J. S. Bach (1685–1750), acquired a more thorough training in opera than most contemporary composers, studying first in Germany and afterwards in Italy. Consequently, his operas combined both styles. As a composer, Johann Christian concentrated initially on church music, but he soon transferred his talents to ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
230 Words Read More
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