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June 29 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering composer Bernard Herrmann on the anniversary of his birth

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Jun 29, 2018

Today, June 29th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the birth of composer Bernard Herrmann, who was born on this day in 1911.

Securing the services of Bernard Herrmann for The Twilight Zone was like recruiting Cy Young at his peak to pitch for the Cubs. Before Marius Constant's signature theme was added in the second season, it was Herrmann's moody theme that began each show. But his individual contributions to the episodes he helped score were even more impressive. If you needed mood, atmosphere, tension, or drama, Herrmann was golden.

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I have a feeling that Alfred Hitchcock tended to overwork composer Bernard Herrmann.

Before I knew anything about composers, I was already collecting the scores of Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975). The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was one of my early favorites, along with his other collaborations with the films of special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen: Jason and the Argonauts, The 3 Worlds of Gulliver, etc.

I later discovered his amazing work with Alfred Hitchcock, including the enormously atmospheric scores he did for Vertigo, Psycho, and my fave, North by Northwest. He also composed the excellent music for Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver.

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For an excellent example of Bernard Herrmann's musical contribution to The Twilight Zone, tune into "Walking Distance," starring Gig Young.

So on the day of Bernard Herrmann's birth, let's salute a man who brought high notes to the show in which the score was always The Twilight Zone 10, opponents zero.