Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States (where he also died of a heart
attack in 1968), Montgomery came from a musical family, in which his
brothers, Monk (string bass and electric bass) and Buddy (vibraphone, and
piano), were jazz performers. Although Wes was not skilled at reading
music, he could learn complex melodies and riffs by ear. Montgomery
started learning guitar in his late teens, listening to and learning recordings
of his idol, the guitarist Charlie Christian.