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Walter Murphy


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New York City, New York, USA (1970s – present)

Walter Anthony Murphy, Jr. (Also Known as Uncle Louie) (born 19 December 1952) is a , , and who had a massive hit with the instrumental, “A Fifth of Beethoven”, a disco adaptation of some passages of the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, in 1976, when disco was at the height of its popularity.

Murphy was born in 1952, in New York City, New York, USA and grew up in Manhattan. He attended the Manhattan School of Music there, where he studied jazz and classical piano. After finishing school, Murphy served as an arranger for Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band, before becoming a jingle writer. Murphy was the leader of a band called WAM in the early 1970s that played the NYC tristate area. The band was a poor man’s Tower of Power and played R&B and Soul cover music. They frequently played a club in New Rochelle named Pearly’s. Another group which played this local circuit was the Billy Vera band. In the early 1970s, Murphy became interested in adapting classical music into disco songs and coming out with hits, after seeing two songs of different genres based on composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s music, “Joy” by Apollo 100, and “A Lover’s Concerto” by the Toys, become popular. To try to attain this feat, Murphy made a demo tape with disco adaptations of several classical and neo-classical works in it, and mailed it to every record label in New York City. The response was unimpressive, and only a rendition of Ludwig Beethoven’s “Symphony No.


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