PE0123. GUIDO DEIRO (Piano-Accordion): Guido Deiro – Complete Recorded Works, Vol. I; 25 of Deiro’s celebrated renditions, incl. Prelude to La Traviata, Act III, Intermezzo from Cavalleira Rusticana, Quartet from Rigoletto, etc. (Canada) Archeophone 5012, recorded 1911-12. - 778632900370
“Count Guido Pietro Deiro (1886-1950) was, without doubt, the first star of the piano-accordion. Born in Italy, he emigrated to the United States in 1908 and became a vaudeville headliner in 1910. For two decades he was the premier piano-accordionist in America and a trailblazer in the field. Deiro was the first piano-accordionist to perform a solo concert in America, play on the vaudeville stage, perform as a soloist in vaudeville, use the name "piano-accordion " make sound recordings of the piano-accordion, write a hit song (his "Kismet" was the theme song of a successful Broadway musical), play on a radio broadcast, and star in a sound motion picture featuring the accordion. Furthermore, Deiro was one of the highest paid musicians on the vaudeville circuit, commanding an incredible salary of $600 per week. And at the same time—though few people realize it today—he was married to the beautiful actress Mae West.
There has been much confusion about the origins and popularization of the piano-accordion, and this first volume of Guido Deiro's works will begin to dispel the myths and demonstrate that Guido was the one to introduce the instrument to a wide audience in America. After coming to the U.S. Guido settled with family in the Pacific Northwest and gradually made his way, playing at the World's Fair in Seattle in 1909 and creating quite a stir. By 1910, Guido had made a name for himself, performing "Sharpshooters' March" and "My Treasure Waltz”, and turning what had been an ethnic instrument into a virtuosic crowd-pleaser. Volume 1 of Guido's Complete Recorded Works witnesses approximately a year and a half of Deiro's rise to stardom.
Guido shows here that he could play anything. He succeeds equally at marches ("Los Bomberos"), waltzes ("La Spagnola" and "Ciribiribin"), devotionals (Gounod's "Ave Maria"), operatic arias (Prelude to Act 3 of LA TRAVIATA and the Quartet from RIGOLETTO), rags ("Dill Pickles Rag"), and popular songs ('In the Land of Harmony' and 'Stop! Stop! Stop!'). Two other pieces, "Variety Polka" and "Egitto " are Deiro originals showing off the composer's skills with the polka and with a classical fantasia. Guido could produce multiple voices from his instrument in the same performance, thereby giving his playing an orchestral quality.”
-Zillah Dorset Akron