Charlie Christian Street Dedication

By Allen Rich, North Texas E-News
 July 23rd, 2012

Bonham -- Jazz aficionados who come to Bonham looking for the grave of Charlie Christian will now have an easier time finding the legendary jazz guitarist's final resting place; it's on the south side of Charlie Christian Street.

City of Bonham officials, Booker T. Washington High School alumni in town for their bi-annual reunion and music fans gathered at Gates Hill Cemetery Friday, July 20 to participate in a ribbon cutting sponsored by Bonham Chamber of Commerce that formally dedicated Charlie Christian Street.

Christian was born in a section of Bonham known as Tank Town because of the water tanks needed by the railroad in the days of steam locomotives. From that humble beginning, Christian would go on the earn a seat in the Bennie Goodman Sextet.  It was Christian that defined the role of the amplified guitar in its early years.  

Anita Palmer, probably the leading authority on Christian's accomplishments, attended the ceremony in Bonham to dedicate Charlie Christian Street.

"Charlie Christian is not only a legend," stated Palmer. "He is an icon and an internationally acclaimed musician.  It's one thing to be great; it's another thing to be first."

"Today we honor Charlie Christian," echoed Bonham Mayor Roy Floyd. "As soon as you hear him play, you know he's different."


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