“Handsome” Jim Donaghy – (1929-2017)

The South Philadelphia String Band offers our condolences to the family and friends of our forever Captain, Jimmy Donaghy. Mr. Donaghy was truly a Mummers icon and the fabled leader of the South Philadelphia String Band for 30 years. In that time he won Best Captain awards 5 times, including a record 3 consecutive awards. “Handsome Jim”, as he would be known, was also a former President of the String Band Association and is member of the String Band Association Hall of Fame. Along with all of the well deserved honors his String Band career brought him, Gentleman was his greatest honor. Mr. Donaghy was well respected by all of is peers and often served as mentor to many. 

We all will miss that Championship smile that Jim wore with such ease. Rest in peace, CHAMP.


History of South Philadelphia String Band

The South Philadelphia String Band was organized on May 14, 1946 in the Grays Ferry kitchen of Samuel G. Hamilton, whose founding philosophy was simple: “A good band was one that featured good people and good musicians having a good time.” Hamilton combed the streets of Grays Ferry for members, and the Band’s first appearance in the Mummer’s Day Parade on January 1, 1947.