(July 17, 1921 – September 5, 1977) was a world-renowned swing
jazz guitarist, who claimed he played the first electric guitar
in 1931, preceding Charlie Christian
by six years. George Barnes made the first recording of an electric guitar in 1938 in sessions with Big Bill Broonzy.
George Barnes was born in South Chicago Heights
. He started his career accompanying blues vocalists such as Big Bill Broonzy
. In the mid-1930s, Barnes toured throughout the Midwest
. By 1938, he was working as a musician on the staff of NBC
studios. After a stint in the Army
, Barnes recorded with his octet
and worked as a studio musician for Decca.
In 1940, Barnes released his first recording under his own name on Okeh Records, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" backed with "I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me".
He did not receive national acclaim until he recorded an album called Two Guitars
with Carl Kress
. After the death of Kress, Barnes recorded several albums with Bucky Pizzarelli
. Their partnership lasted through the early 1970s. He also worked as a session musician for The Jodimars
in the late 1950s.Before his death, Barnes also made well-received albums with Joe Venuti
. He also contributed an album entitled Guitars a'plenty
, under the name The George Barnes Guitar Choir, for Mercury Records in 1962. It was part of a series of recordings known as "Super Stereo Sound" as technical "state... Read More