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. with the plans on making his son, Robert, Captain. In 1959, Robert passed away from Leukemia and, therefore, Kunzig took over as Captain. Kunzig continued in his roles as Captain and Owner of Duffy String Band until his retirement from active participation in the parade in 1985. In 1986, Henry’s son, Ted Kudrick, was named Captain, a position which he held for 32 years.
Ted Kudrick passed away suddenly in October of 2017. His son, Jake Kudrick, took over the position of Captain in the 2018 Mummers Parade at the age of 11, marching as the youngest Captain in the history of the Parade. Jake celebrated his first year as Captain with a 4th prize finish.
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 former 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. The band has made great strides over the past few years and has received praise from the mummer community with their recent themes including ‘Treble in the Funhouse’ and ‘Wiz Wit'.