Joe "P" marched in his first parade at the age of ten. He first paraded up Broad Street with the "Two Streeters" in the Comic Division. Joe is the first man from Greater Kensington to be honored with election to the Hall of Fame and it is entirely fitting that he be first. Joe P. server as President of Greater Kensington from 1956 thru 1969. His biggest contribution to Mummery, however, was his nine years as Financial Secretary of the String Band Association during the 1960’s. Joe served on many committees and was instrumental in making contributions to both the Show of Shows and the Mummers Day Parade and to the tradition of Mummery in general.
Ron Moyer - 1979
It had been a great year, 1979, for Ron Moyer and the Greater Kensington String Band. On January 6th, the band won first prize for the first time and Ron Moyer won a Captain's prize for the sixth consecutive year. Later in January, Ron was elected to the Mummers Hall of Fame. It was an honor for which he is extremely thankful and proud. Most importantly, it is deserving. Moyer was a bass player for 23 years, 7 of which doubled as Co-Captain. He served as Captain for 12 years. Moyer was one of the cornerstones of the organization, and layed the foundation of success that carries on to this day. He continues to be dedicated to the band and to mummery to this day. Along with Ed Moyer, another Hall of Fame member and Ron’s brother, they brought numberous family members into the band as the years go on.
Bill Kurzenberger - 1984 **
Bill first marched up Broad Street as a sax player with the Feltonville String Band in 1938. In 1941, he joined the Joseph A. Ferko String Band. He paraded with Ferko until 1952 when he joined Greater Kensington String Band. He went back to Ferko a remained there until 1981. For eighteen years Bill held the offices of Business Manager, Treasurer, and a Board of Directors at Ferko. Bill later returned to Greater K where he held the offices of Business Manager and Trustee. Over the years Bill has been a delegate to the Mummers and String Band Associations, and has also served as secretary of the String Band Association. Bill aslso served a time as the Publicity Director of the Mummers Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Mummers Museum.
Joe Deighan - 1985
This veteran Mummer started his string band career with the Aqua String Band in 1961. As a sparkplug of Aqua, he was elected Recording Secretary and was active in the reorganization of that band in 1963. After joining the ranks of the Greater Kensington String Band he was elected their President in 1973, a post he held for many years. Joe was member of the Board of Directors of the Mummers Museum at the time of their founding in April 1976. Other posts held by Joe include a stint as Publicity Director of the Philadelphia New Year Shooters and Mummers Association; Recording Secretary of the Mummers String Band Association; and was elected President of the String Band Association in 1981. Under the leadership provided by Joe in his office of President of Greater Kensington and his unwavering lead as President of the Association, both organizations have made many innovations and much progress. Joe is a truly able addition to the Hall of Fame and is deserving of the great honor.
Joe Giardino Sr. - 1988 **
Joe was a member of Greater K from 1960 until his death in December of 1983. All the band members are deeply touched that such an honor has been bestowed on one of their members. Joe started his mummers career as a harmonica player in Uptown String Band in 1940. He quickly became a tenor saxophone player and eventually was named Music Director of Uptown. Joe was privileged to be the band director when Uptown made the now famous recording of "Four Leaf Clover" in 1947. In 1960, Joe moved to Greater K, and served as music director from 1963 to 1966, when a brain hemorrhage almost claimed his life. Joe recovered from brain surgery and returned as music director from 1969 to 1972, when he retired as an active member of the band. In addition to being our band director, he taught many members of other string bands how to play the saxophone.
Len Giacabetti - 1991
Len was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of Aqua String Band. Since joining Aqua in 1986 he has been an outstanding member. His musical talent on the saxophone is unsurpassed and respected by all playing members. In 1989 he became the music director - a challenge to which he is not a stranger. Prior joining Aqua, he was a member of the Uptown String Band. He joined Uptown at age 10, and was a member for 27 years. At age 13, he became music director, and held that position for 18 years. For five years held dual roles, music director and drill director, as well as Vice President. In 2008 he became a valued member of Greater Kensington String Band.
John “Mickey” Mallon - 1991 **
If ever a man was worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame, it is undoubtedly John "Mickey" Mallon. Mickey was always fun to be around. He led Greater Kensington String Band up Broad Street for seven years as Captain. Mickey, a dynamic showman, was a well recognized marching Captain whose loyalty and devotion to mummery was unsurpassed. It was a treat to watch him perform. His big back pieces have become a part of mummers' legend. He was first prize Captain in 1970, second in 1964 and 1969, and fourth is 1967. In 1965 Mickey received an honorable mention award for marching with a 167 pound Disneyland back piece. Mickey started originally with the Uptown String Band and came to Greater Kensington in 1953. He was elected the band's Captain and marched in front the band in the 1964 parade. A back injury eventually ended Mickey's marching career. With him went a degree of enthusiasm and showmanship that was very rare. When a discussion gets around to the "great" marching captains the name Mickey Mallon is always included.
Joe Trinacria - 2001 **
Joe was elected to the Hall of Fame while a member of Woodland String Band. Joe started his string band career in 1960, joining the Durning String Band. He remained at Durning until 1965, when he moved to Aqua String Band. After moving to Bucks Country, he joined Uptown String Band in 1970. In 1980, he was elected Captain of Uptown, and served in that position for the next 7 years. After a short "retirement", his was persuaded to come back to string band, and he did so with Woodland, as their glockenspiel player. Joe was a valued member of Greater K for many years until his unfortunate death in 2014. He taught many mummers, young and old, what it meant to be a dedicated member. “Joe T” will always be remembered as one of the best glockenspiel players ever to parade up Broad Street.
Ed Moyer - 2005
Ed Moyer has played the saxophone since he was five years old. He joined the Aqua String Band in 1947 at the age of thirteen. Ed left Aqua for GKSB in October of 1954, and rest they say, "is history". In 1966 he was a founder of the "new" and present club on Edmund Street. As a sax player in the band for the last 50 years, Ed has maintained an attendance record for jobs and rehearsals of 90% or better most years. Always a family man, he brought two sons into the band; Steven currently serves as music director, and Scott served as Captain for 20 years. His grandson, Jeff Moyer, currently serves as Captain. In addition, Ed held office in the band continuously for 36 years, stepping down in 2002 after 33 years as band treasurer. He also found time to help design and build back pieces and props. Ed is still heavily involved in GK, even after his retirement from playing saxophone in 2009. You can still find him at the “club” every Tuesday night talking to young mummers about how the band was built; and it wouldn’t have been so successful without dedicated members like himself.
Jim 'Charlie' Murray - 2005 **
‘Charlie’ was a marching member of Greater K continuously since the 1949 New Year's Parade until his derath in 2012. The only exception was 1953-54 when he was serving our country during the Korean War. Charlie started out as a drummer and eventually switched to banjo. He was a front line fixture every New Year's Day for over 50 years. Over the years he has held the following offices: President (1962); Vice-President (11 years); Drill Master (16 years); Trustee (4 years); and Business Manager (4 years). As a retired Philadelphia Police Captain and Commander of Narcotics & Homicides, Charlie was called upon by the String Band Association to coordinate security for many years as the Show of Shows at Convention Hall. Charlie was also one of originators of the Mayfair-Holmesburg Thanksgiving Parade, the third largest parade in Philadelphia. Charlie's motto was "To work with others to entertain people and help them forget their cares is truly what Mummery is all about".
Bob Morrissey - 2007 **
Bob's mummer career started with the Gallagher Club 1950. After 3 years with Broomall Bob, an accomplished accordion player, joined Greater Kensington and was a member for more than 50 years. Bob's real claim to mummer's fame is his innovative work as a builder extraordinaire of captain's back pieces. He had built the back piece for just about every captain in GK’s 60-year history, up to his passing. Mickey Mallon, Ron Moyer & Scott Moyer have enjoyed 1st prize captains' awards due to Bob's creativity. Being a true mummer throughout the years, Bob has also built back pieces for captains of Hegeman, Avalon, Ferko, Garden State, Woodland and Quaker City. His ideas changed the way back pieces were built. He was the first to use copper tubing for frames and chicken wire instead of cardboard and wood. His ideas and techniques are still used to this day.
Bob Dicks - 2008
His mummer career began with Trilby in 1964 were he served as drill master and assistant captain. He joined Greater K in 1973 and was drill master (1976-82) when the top prize was won in 1979. Bob served as captain of the band from 1983 until 1986, and he took third and fourth place captain's prize in a hotly competitive (and much larger) field. A lifetime member of the Mummers' Museum (where he has done gratis electrical work), Bob finds his way into many string band causes and within a short time others in the organization are seeking his counsel. While Bob is seen at the band year-round, his wisdom is sought more heavily as Fall moves into the stomach-clenching weeks prior to the parade. He coordinated Captain Scott Moyer's parade performance nearly every year he was captain. He can be found helping build props, giving advice to various club committees under the gun as January 1 approaches.
Scott Moyer - 2008
Scott joined Greater K in 1981 as a bass player and became captain in 1991; the longest serving captain at GK. Throughout his 20 years of service at the head of the band, he has garnered numerous top 5 prizes, including a first prize in 2001 and a third prize 1989 filling in as co-captain for the injured Joe Lippencott. During his years of parading Scott Moyer has devoted thousands of volunteer hours to the organization, to various String Band Association committees and to the community at large. He was the prototypical captain; wielding tools to improve the GK clubhouse; hauling lumber for parade props; running fundraisers; recruiting young members and teaching them how build the traditional mummers backpieces. Scott is an accomplished bass player and sometimes plays the instrument during concerts. But most often he connects with the audience while his musical comrades perform behind him His friendly countenance lights up as he performs the traditional "Mummer's Strut" in front of a school hall audience or he dance the polka with a smiling grandmother. "If they smile, I've done my job" says Scott. Scott retired as Captain after his 20th year at the helm in 2009.
Spence White - 2009 **
A $4 Banjo turned this street urchin into a Hall of Fame String Band Legend. Back in the 1920’s, when men were men and Mummers were marathoners, parading from deep in South Philadelphia to distant points in North Philadelphia and back, little Spence White would wake up on New Year’s Day and travel from his home in Philadelphia’s Kensington section to the Big Parade many miles away. His mode of transportation: little kid feet. “Back in those days kids could walk to the parade, it was that safe,” recalls Spence. “Some years I’d walk by myself because I loved those string bands and the banjos, which were such a big deal then. I followed them up the street because of that sound. I would just dream about being in there playing with them.” For Spencer Granville White, that dream became a Mummers reality: a 76-year string band career earned him induction into the String Band Hall of Fame. He moved to Aqua String band in 1950 and in 1955 found his permanent Mummer home: The Greater Kensington String Band.
Jim Tatar, Sr. - 2010
The year was 1963 when Jim began playing drums with Greater Kensington String Band. Throughout the years he has been a dedicated member, whether playing drums, marshalling, fundraising or anything else the band needed, he was there to lend a hand. By the early 1970's he served a steward to GK. In the mid 1980's a health problem forced him to stop playing the drums, so he became a marshal. In the 1990's he became an assistant director to the Philadelphia String Band Association, becoming a director in 1999 and 2000. Jim is also passionate about the Windthorst Literary Association, and following in his father's footsteps became President and has served as the Steward and Fundraising Chairman. Jim's family has always been involved the Greater Kensington String Band and have supported everything he has done.
Ed Weisser - 2014
He was just nine years old when he hoisted his accordion into a rehearsal of the old Penndel String Band to begin his string band career. Seventy-three years later, Ed continues to savor the incomparable thrill of playing music with his buddies, young and old, as they entertain crowds large and small. There are few Mummers who spread the testament of the Mummer’s Life as widely and as enthusiastically as Greater Kensington’s newest member to be installed in the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Hall of Fame. The timeline of Ed Weisser -- school teacher, Bucks County businessman, leader in the Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons in Pennsylvania – is accompanied by a string band soundtrack that is projected to all who know him. Sharing the wholesome string band experience and the responsibilities of adulthood comes natural to Ed. He earned a Master of Education degree from Temple University and was a teacher for 11 years in the Neshaminy School District. He served as a role model in the Big Brother organization for more than a decade. He has served in teacher-related positions for the Langhorne United Methodist Church and the Free Masons. (Ed’s Masonic leadership culminated with his election as the Right Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania for the years 1996 and 1997. As Grand Master, Ed set the cornerstone for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children on Broad Street. Ed is also an active member of the Lu Lu Temple String Band.) Ed appreciates the honors and accepts them with a smile. What keeps him going, though, is the rhythm of the band. It’s all about playing the next tune, performing in the next show, and helping the next kid who wants to become a Mummer.
William Howard Peoples – 2016 **
"Howard" Peoples was a remarkable by-ear musican who in 1946 brought together small group of talented musicans to his Kensington row home and in short order produced a viable string band. Greater Kensington made their debut on Broad Street on January 1st, 1948. A slight man who stood about 5 foot 8, Howard did not possess the flashy moves of better known String Band Captains. But in the years as our leader (1946-1963), GK finished in the top-ten thirteen times, and in his performance in 1951, he finished as the third-prize captain. Like his association conterparts, he was involved in the crucial decisions that enabled bands to stay afloat and grow the tradition. Captain peoples became a Kensington celebrity and crowds looked on as his daughter presented him with the traditional flowers at the annual show of shows performances. There are now less than a handful of current GK members who were teenagers of the organization as the 1940’s turned into a new decade. But they agree to a man that Howard Peoples was “one of us”, a mummer dedicated to music, a leader who focused more on carving out a place for his band than on embellishing his own image. A good deserving man with quiet, but string leadership as he took on a task very few have accomplished. His vision: create a String Band that would entertain, compete and endure. That vision remains in our reality to this day.