21 Facts About Walter Murphy


Walter Murphy is best known for the instrumental "A Fifth of Beethoven", a disco adaptation of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony which topped the charts in 1976 and was featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in 1977.


Walter Murphy was born on December 19,1952, in New York City, and grew up in Manhattan.


In high school, Walter Murphy composed for his band class and orchestra.


From 1970 to 1980, Walter Murphy worked as a Manhattan Avenue jingle writer, writing for such clients as Lady Arrow shirts, Revlon, Woolworth's, Viasa Airlines, and Korvette's, as well as arrangements for the popular children's television series Big Blue Marble.


Walter Murphy presented his arrangements to Severinsen, who liked them enough to have The Tonight Show Band play them live.


However, The Tonight Show moved production to Burbank, California a month later, and a final year of college prevented Walter Murphy from joining them.


In 1974, Murphy joined Thomas J Valentino's company Valentino, Inc.


In 1976, Walter Murphy played piano on Peter Lemongello's second album Do I Love You.


In college, Walter Murphy's interests had included rock music, particularly that which was adapted from classical music, such as "Joy" by Apollo 100 and "A Lover's Concerto" by The Toys.


Walter Murphy signed on to Private Stock and recorded the album A Fifth of Beethoven.


Also that year, Walter Murphy recorded the album Rhapsody in Blue, which contained a similar mix of classical-disco fusion and self-penned pop songs.


Walter Murphy contributed arrangements to Jack Jones's Nobody Does It Better and Pia Zadora's Rock It Out.


Walter Murphy instead began focusing more exclusively on composing for film and television, and producing for other artists, in a more behind-the-scenes role.


Walter Murphy was a guest conductor for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, during their successful Summer Pops series.


In 1985, Walter Murphy collaborated with Post, Rick James, and Issac Hayes on scoring music for The A-Team episode "The Heart of Rock 'N Roll".


Since 1999, Walter Murphy has served as one of the two main composers for the animated series Family Guy, the other being Ron Jones until the 12th season in 2014.


In 2005, Walter Murphy scored music for the offshoot album Family Guy: Live in Vegas.


From 2009 to 2013, Walter Murphy composed music for MacFarlane's series The Cleveland Show, including the main title theme.


In 2012, Walter Murphy scored MacFarlane's film Ted, and received an Academy Award for Best Original Song nomination for co-writing "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" with MacFarlane.


Walter Murphy is a longtime collaborator with jazz guitarist Thom Rotella, who had played on Walter Murphy's albums A Fifth of Beethoven and Phantom of the Opera and currently performs with his Family Guy orchestra.


In 1989, Walter Murphy arranged the song "The Gift" on Rotella's album Home Again.