Samuel Charters

American, 1929 - 2015

Samuel Charters was born into a musical family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, he studied jazz clarinet in New Orleans with George Lewis. Because he had, as he said, “no natural talent,” he gravitated towards musical research rather than performing. He wrote extensively about African-American genres such as jazz and blues and helped elevate the standing of these genres in musical academia. His book The Country Blues was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame as a “Classic of Blues Literature.”