Guido Deiro

Guido Deiro is credited with the Sharpshooters march, but he would have been the first to admit that there is more to the story. He claimed to have been playing in Germany in 1907, when he heard a catchy tune being played on a hand organ. He liked it so much that he asked the organist to play it again a few times. The organist did not have a name for the tune, but believed it to be an Italian march.

When he met up with his tutor, they endeavoured to commit the tune to paper, and proceeded to present it to several music companies in the hope of identifying the original. Nothing came of this, and when Deiro had progressed enough with his lessons, he arranged the tune from memory.

Deiro was a fine accordion player and when he moved to America, he played the march everywhere he went. It was an immediate success and he entitled it Bersaglieri or Sharpshooters.

While in New York in 1910 he was asked to make 10 records, one of which was this march. On a later recording, named Italian Army March by Deiro, he found on the last publication a second title of Curro Cuchares by G. Metallo. He was informed that a similar march had been discovered by this title. 

The two marches were by no means identical, and the march as we know it today is certainly Deiro's version and it was he who popularised it.

Count Guido Pietro Deiro (01.09.1886 - 26.07.1950) was a famous vaudeville star, international recording artist, composer and teacher. He was the first piano-accordionist to appear on big-time vaudeville, records, radio and the screen. Guido usually performed under the stage-name "Deiro", and he and his younger brother Pietro were among the highest paid musicians on the vaudeville circuit - they did much to introduce and popularise the piano accordion in the early 20th century.

He was born in Salto Canavese, near Turin into a minor aristocratic family and while he was a young boy he learned to play an ancient flute-like instrument called an ocarina. It was an uncle who saw his musical potential and acquired for him, when Guido was nine years of age, a two-row button accordion. Apparently he often played outside his father's store and attracted potential customers. He was later to study under the famous Italian accordionist-composer Giovanni Gagliardi.