Released on Columbia Records in 1960. The Twilight Zone is a cornucopia of space age sounds and great space age pop names. Jerry Murad on harmonica, Mundell Lowe on guitar; Lois Hunt sang the ethereal wordless vocals, while Harry Breuer played the vibes and Phil Kraus covered miscellaneous percussion. Manning himself covered keyboards, using both Ondioline and Ondes Martenot. The album also earns a footnote in musical history as one of the very few recordings to use a serpent, the instrument, that is. Manning got his start during the Big Band era, and he was working as a freelance arranger by the early 1940s. He worked in radio, arranging and conducting for a variety of NBC and CBS shows, and began a long relationship with Columbia Records in the early 1950s. He arranged and conducted on many of Tony Bennett's earliest hits, such as "Rags to Riches," and he went on to provide backing for most of Columbia's roster of singers through the late 1960s, including Vic Damone, Buddy Greco, Andy Williams, Robert Goulet, and Barbra Streisand. His arrangement for Bennett's biggest hit, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," won a Grammy Award in 1962, and he was nominated several other times for other arrangements for Bennett, Perry Como, Brenda Lee, and others. The Twilight Zone opens with a version of the show's well-known title music and is a very odd and different approach to "space pop." Band leader Manning plays the Ondioline and the "Martinot" (sic), accompanied by a stellar cast of studio helpers including Mundell Lowe (guitar), Jerry Murad (harmonica), and Harry Breuer (percussion). There is so much percussion, in fact, that at times this sounds like "jungle exotica" gone to outer space. Special effects are attributed to Attilio J. Macero. Song selections include "Forbidden Planet," "The Unknown," "The Moon Is Low," and "Far Away." the industrial-sounding arrangement on the latter is referred to in the liner notes as a "tuned motorboat." the effect-laden "Night on Bald Mountain," featuring screams by vocalist Lois Hunt and electric guitar by Lowe, is another highlight. Limited edition of 300 copies.
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