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Lonesome Roads and Streets of DreamsPlace, Mobility, and Race in Jazz of the 1930s and ’40s$
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Andrew S. Berish

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044941

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226044965.001.0001

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Travels with Charlie Christian: Between Region and Nation

Travels with Charlie Christian: Between Region and Nation

(p.167) Four Travels with Charlie Christian: Between Region and Nation
Lonesome Roads and Streets of Dreams
University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes the electric guitarist Charlie Christian, a key swing-era jazz soloist who was deeply influential to a generation of musicians. The development of Christian's musical style was the result of a real physical journey from the Southwest to the nationn, and he was most celebrated by jazz historians for the central role he played in the development of “modern jazz.” “Flying Home” was one of the earliest recordings of Christian as a new member of Benny Goodman's organization. With its evocation of great distance and speed, this song depicted Christian's new life far from Oklahoma City. His solos on “Flying Home” were musical experiences of different types of movement. Moreover, Christian's musical development was intertwined with a real physical journey from the Southwest to the nation. His music was also an omen of wartime mobility and migration.

Keywords:   Charlie Christian, modern jazz, Flying Home, Benny Goodman, nation, Southwest, wartime mobility, migration

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