The Duffy String Band was founded on March 4, 1945 by Fire Captain George E. Duffy and, at the time, was called the “Firefighter’s String Band,” as its membership was largely comprised of Philadelphia Firefighters. Some years later, the band was renamed “Duffy String Band” in honor of its founder.
On April 6, 1956, the band was purchased by Henry J. Kunzig, Sr. Kunzig named himself Captain and continued in his roles as Captain and Owner of Duffy String Band until his retirement from active participation in the parade in 1985. That year, Henry’s son, Ted Kudrick, was named Captain, a position he held for 32 years. On October 19, 2017, Ted Kudrick suddenly passed away. The title of Captain was passed down to his son, Jake Kudrick, a position he holds to this day.
The Duffy String Band has played a major role in Mummer history throughout the city of Philadelphia. The band celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2005, with the recording of their anniversary CD, "60 Years of Music and Mummery". In Summer 2003, the Duffy String Band was named the “Official String Band of North Wildwood, New Jersey” by Mayor Aldo A. Palombo. Duffy’s Captain, Ted Kudrick, and President, Charles Kochensky, are inducted into the String Band Association’s “Hall of Fame”. In addition, the first women to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Cheryl Crowe, Treasurer, and Peggy Rullo, Secretary, are also members of the band.