The Uptown String Band you know today today was built from a long history
with many roots throughout Mummery...
In 1937, the Uptown String Band was put together to enter the 1938 New Year's Day Mummers Parade with the theme Star Dust. Led by captain George Beideman, Uptown was the 12th out of the original 16 string bands to organize the Philadelphia String Band Association.
Forming The Band
Captain Robert Runkle, Jr. - 1942
I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover
I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover - 78RPM
For their 10th anniversary the Uptown String Band presented Four-Leaf Clovers for their 1947 New Year's Day performance and later recorded the song I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover on the small record label known as Krantz, which was later picked up by Mercury. Grossing over 1 million recorded sales for their 1948 release I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover, Uptown String Band has become quite synonymous with both the song and the four leaf clover symbol.
On their 20th anniversary, Uptown took top prize in a competition of 22 bands! With the leadership of Music Director Frank Beatty, the theme Syncopated Clock stole the parade. And the famous Robert Runkle, Jr. collected a 2nd place as the Captain of the Uptown String Band for his then 16th consecutive year. The band would get seven top 5 finishes in an eight year window between 1951 and 1958.
Taking Top Honors
Syncopated Clock - 1957
PMSBA Hall of Fame Inductee
Robert Runkle, Jr. - 1962
Robert Runkle, Jr. was the 1st member of the Uptown String Band to ever enter the String Band Hall of Fame. And even more impressive, in 1962, he was the 7th person to ever be inducted in this elite group that has amassed to nearly 150 individuals to date. Captain Runkle would continue to lead the band up the street for another four years before retiring after his 26th parade as the captain of the Uptown String Band.