NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1922 __ Guido Deiro
Comment : Many newspaper articles claimed that Guido Deiro was the first piano accordionist to make a radio broadcast. For example, the Los Angeles Times published an article in October 1939 which stated, "[Guido] Deiro was the first to introduce the piano accordion in this country on the concert and vaudeville stage, on records, radio and screen." (The article can be seen in its entirety on our Reviews page.) Deiro insisted that this statement was correct. It is naturally difficult to prove such a claim, as the early history of radio in the United States is not completely documented. Some things are known for sure: the first radio broadcasts began in the early twentieth century. The newspaper clipping titled "NATION HEARS ACCORDION PLAY" in the Deiro scrapbook (1.65) conclusively proves this claim. The article simply stated: Accordion Artist Sends Tunes Through the Air. Guido Deiro Performs Before News Radio Audience: Gets Worst Stage Fright. Guido Deiro, one of the country's greatest piano accordionists and a star at the Shubert-Detroit theater this week, gave radio enthusiasts a rare treat Friday night when he headed the regular evening concert of The News broadcasting station. Deiro is a brother of Pietro Deiro, himself a famous accordionist. Great artist, though he undoubtedly is, Mr. Deiro declared that his invisible audience had given him the worst case of stage fright he ever suffered. When he finished his third number, he grinned and said: "I'd sooner play to 15,000 people in a theater than before that thing." And he indicated the mouth of the telephone receiver in front of him. Had he not admitted his temporary embarrassment, however, no one would have known it, for he played with his customary skill and artistry. Deiro's numbers were the Drego [sic] Serenade, Moonlight, a fox trot, and [indecipherable]. Although the article is undated, it clearly states two important facts: 1) Deiro performed on a broadcast of The News broadcasting station, which proves that the station was 8MK (later WWJ) of Detroit, and 2) Deiro was performing a regular vaudveille show at the Shubert-Detroit theater. The latter statement proves that Deiro played on this radio station sometime between 1921 and June 1922, as Deiro only worked for the Shubert agency during this time. We extrapolate that Deiro's historic piano-accordion radio broadcast probably occurred in the Spring of 1922, after WWJ's regular Friday night concert broadcast was established, and while Deiro was performing in Detroit under contract from the Shubert agency. What other accordionists could have achieved this historic honor? The only nationally-known professional accordionist soloists besides Guido who were active at this time were Pietro Deiro and Pietro Frosini, and neither of them claimed to make the first radio broadcast. Anthony Galla-Rini and Charles Magnante were only teenagers. In 1922 Galla-Rini was still performing as a clown musician in his father's "Palo and Palet" act and Charles Magnante was playing on the Staten Island Ferry for tips. Although John Buday claimed that Magnante "was the first accordionist to play on experimental radio in 1923," Guido Deiro's Detroit broadcast clearly predated Magnante's radio debut. (Count Guido Roberto Deiro)
Urls : http://www.guidodeiro.com/radio.html (last visited )

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