Upbeat Obsessions: Jeff Krulik and the Merv Conn-ection

Emmy Award-Winning Filmmaker’s Talk with Musical Entertainment
Thursday, July 14 | 6:30 – 8 pm
Tickets: $15 in advance and for Museum Members | $20 at the door

In this special edition of Sandy Spring Museum’s History Happy Hour Series, Washington, DC-based Emmy Award-winning director and producer Jeff Krulik of Heavy Metal Parking Lot fame will talk about documentary making and introduce our audience to the legendary and lovable Merv Conn (1920-2011), for whom he created the popular documentary, The Legend of Merv Conn. Conn’s oom-pah-pah polkas and renditions of Beatles pop tunes enlivened Oktoberfest fetes, Washington Senators baseball games and White House audiences.

Merv Conn is well remembered as the Washington, DC area’s premier strolling and singing accordion player, teacher, conductor of the Merv Conn Orchestra and official music man for the Washington Senators’ baseball team for much of the 1960s. Click here to listen to Merv sing The Washington Senators, Will Win!

An icon in our community, Conn’s talents were called on for anything from ice cream socials and small recitals to embassy soirees and events for Presidents Truman, Johnson and Nixon. Conn even taught President Nixon’s daughters how to play.

“The Beatles killed the accordion,” reported Conn in 1996 to The Washington Post.

“…They wanted the sound of the guitar. After that, everything went downhill.”

But the legend of Merv Conn lives on in Krulik’s documentary and through downtown Silver Spring’s Merv Conn Way, a pedestrian walkway dedicated by the Silver Spring Historical Society.

Krulik has screened at the American Film Institute, Lincoln Center, Museum of Modern Art and on Public Broadcast System (PBS). He has produced work for Discovery Networks, Errol Morris and the National Geographic Channel. His documentaries include Hitler’s Hat, Ernest Borgnine on the Bus and the award-winning I Created Lancelot Link. In 2008, Krulik produced the Emmy Award-winning documentary Eatin’ Crabs for Maryland Public Television’s Chesapeake Bay Week. Krulik was the inaugural recipient for the Peter C. Rollins Award for Achievement in Documentary Film given by the Popular Culture Association. He was honored as guest filmmaker at the 48th Annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminar and served as a participant in the WGBH/PBS Producers Academy. Commissioned work includes a one-hour documentary on carnival sideshow history for The Travel Channel. In November 2015, the Mass Media & Culture collections of the University of Maryland Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives acquired the Jeff Krulik Collection, which includes research files and source tapes for more than a dozen documentaries, along with photographs, catalogs, ephemera and audiovisual materials that represent Krulik’s fascination with the offbeat and unusual.

This is a History Happy Hour not to be missed. In addition to Krulik’s talk, the audience will enjoy tunes by the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society and Merv’s daughter will sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

About History Happy Hour Series

Sandy Spring Museum welcomes and inspires history lovers, museum aficionados, artists and writers alike with engaging, fun and, at times, provocative discussions as part of its monthly History Happy Series. History Happy Hours provide the opportunity to mingle, grab a drink, and hear a topic-specific talk from local experts in their fields. Subjects range from Maryland food and drink history to book signings and everything in between. So popular, the Series has its own Meet Up Group!

The 2016 History Happy Hour Series is generously sponsored by Therrien Waddell Construction Group.

About Sandy Spring Museum

Sandy Spring Museum is located at 17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860. Sandy Spring Museum is a gathering place where people can develop meaningful connections by exploring community history through the visual, literary, and performing arts. The museum is open to the public Wednesdays-Saturdays from 10 am-5 pm. For more information, call (301) 774-0022 or visit www.sandyspringmuseum.org.