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Space Age Music Maker

Werner Müller

  • Born 2 August 1920, Berlin, Germany
  • Died 28 December 1998, Cologne, Germany

Werner MüllerWho was/is Werner Müller? Well, he contributed numerous albums to London's Phase Four label, the longest-running of the Space Age Bachelor Pad series. But thanks to London's standard approach to liner notes, although we know exactly what channelization was used and what other Phase Four records were available, we are left knowing nothing of Werner Müller.

Fortunately, we don't have to depend on London for details. European light music fans came to know Müller from his many years as director of two of the leading popular radio orchestras in Germany. From 1948 to 1967, he led the Tanzorchester for the powerful station RIAS in Berlin. Bear Family collected a number of RIAS Tanzorchester recordings from the 1950s on Blende Auf. While with RIAS, he became associated with the singer Caterina Valente, whose cover of "Malaguena" was an international success. In an odd flip-flop, several collections of French, Italian, and other national tunes Müller recorded for Decca were released in Europe under the name of "Ricardo Santos," but in the U.S. under Müller's own name, as part of a series of "Musical Holiday" albums tied-in with the travel magazine, Holiday.

In 1967, Müller moved to Cologne to take over the Tanzorchester of radio station WDR, which had an even larger audience. Müller ensured his tenure with a versatile and perfectionist approach to his material, and as a result, his recorded material can be bold or boring, based on what the contract called for. On Hawaiian Swing, for example, he plays with right-left separation and tosses in an enjoyable assortment of percussion effects to liven up the usual selection of Hawaiian standards. On Percussion in the Sky, he uses wordless vocals, sound effects, whistling, and other touches to lend an other-worldly feeling to numbers like "The Theme from The High and the Might." In contrast, on albums like Werner Müller Plays Leroy Anderson or Great Strauss Waltzes, there's not much to write home about.

"Bodybuilder," from one of Müller's later albums, The Strip Goes On, was sampled as the basis for the song "Bentley's Gonna Sort You Out" by Bentley Rhythm Ace, a big club hit in the U.K. in 1997.


  • Your Musical Holiday in Rio, Decca DLP 8139
  • Your Musical Holiday in Paris, Decca DLP 8161
  • Your Musical Holiday in Italy, Decca DLP 8162
  • Your Musical Holiday in New York, Decca DLP 8263
  • with Helmut Zacharias A Million Strings, Decca DL 8382
  • O Tannenbaum, Decca DLP 8388
  • Cascading Strings, Decca DLP 8499
  • Cherry Blossom Time in Japan, Decca DLP 8603
  • Memories of Heidelberg, Decca DLP 8635
  • Dance Party in Hi-Fi, Decca DLP 8688
  • Strings on Fire, Decca DLP 8723
  • A Sentimental Journey, Decca DLP 8803
  • East of India, Decca DLP 8880
  • Golden Award Songs, Decca DLP 8887
  • International Film Festival, Warner Brothers WB 1548
  • Wild Strings, London PS 302
  • Werner Muller's Grosse Tanzparty, Telefunken BLK 16259-P (mono)
  • Percussion in the Sky, London Phase Four SP 44008
  • Hawaiian Swing, London Phase Four SP 44021
  • On the Move, London Phase Four SP 44026
  • Great Strauss Waltzes, London Phase Four SP 44039
  • Werner Müller on Broadway, London Phase Four SP 44047
  • Werner Müller Plays Leroy Anderson, London SP 44057
  • Germany, London Phase Four SP 44067
  • Gypsy, London Phase Four SP 44086
  • Italian Festival, London Phase Four SP 44132
  • The Latin Splendor of Werner Müller, London Phase Four SP 44139
  • The Sumptuous Strings, London Phase Four SP 44187
  • A Mystic Portrait of the Moody Blues, London Phase Four SP 44204
  • On The Move, Decca Phase Four PFS 4029
  • Echoes of Italy, Decca Phase Four PFS 4174
  • Werner Müller Plays Elvis Greatest Hits, Decca Phase Four PFS 4319
  • Wild Strings, Decca Eclipse ECS 2010
  • Die Goldene Trompete (with Horst Fischer), Decca SKL 4744
  • The Strip Goes On, Decca SLK 16707-P
  • Delicado 70--Latin Show in Phase 4, Decca SLK 16856-P
  • Grosse Orchester Bitten Zum Tanz, Decca DS 3101
  • Tropical Nights, Telefunken 2521

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