Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KYB Club

“Saaaayyyy! It’s two o’clock Sunday Afternoon, and you know what that means!” “Sure……KYB Club, with your Aunt Theresa!”

“Hello boys and girls!” (Arpeggio)

Song - “KYB Club Time, this is our KYB Club Time. With joy we greet it, we run to meet it, dear KYB Club Time. Happy Hearts have we, using our talents all for Thee. We come not sadly, but singing gladly, dear KYB Club Time.”

Confession: I had to get help from my son Jim (Jimmy in the picture), and from the perennial Producer of the program, Chuck Christensen, for some of the words.)

That’s how the KYB Club opened each Sunday, in at least 1954 to maybe 1960 in our experience, over WMBI in Chicago. I know it started earlier than 1954.

“Aunt Theresa” was Theresa Worman, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, and children’s story writer/reader “par excellence”.

KYB? Know Your Bible, of course.

In the picture above, my memory can only list: Aunt Theresa in the chair; Martha Maddex on her lap; Johnny Maddex left front leaning on the table; and Jimmy Maddex, extreme upper right. Most of the other faces are familiar, but I can only name some. Chuck and I remember Irene Pugsley, leaning forward behind Aunt T, and her sister Sue next to her. The girl second from left, we think was named Beverly Calm. Jim tells me the tall boy in the back was Terry Erickson.

If alive, they would ALL be in their 50’s and 60’s now. Our Martha went to be with the Lord in 2001, at age 47. She was 2 years old in this picture.

The KYB Club was one of our necessary family projects in those years. Others included: riding the “EL” from Diversey, North to Evanston; back south past Diversey to Jackson Park; then back north to Diversey. All for 10 cents each. (1956, you know.)

We came to Chicago from a town of 1,800 people, and Chicago - especially the “EL” and Subway - was fascinating. We even ran to the front door when we heard a “fire or police siren” go by. Sirens were a big thing in Mechanicsburg! (Not in Chicago.)

Though KYB Club was aired every Sunday, we went in only every other week - for a “live” broadcast at 2PM, and a recording for next week at 3PM, or thereabouts.

Features I remember on the program include: Story Time, Singing Lady, Three Preachers, and “At the Bangles”, a story dramatized with a Daddy and Mother, along with “Billy and Patty Bangle”. Occasionally, she would feature one of the “tiny tots” singing a solo. One time, at age 5, Johnny sang one of the “ditties” that I wrote:

“Here’s little 5 year old Johnny Maddex to sing a song written by his very own daddy. Go right ahead, Johnny.,” (We have a recording of that somewhere.)

The Three Preachers - one of which was our son Jimmy - read what Aunt Theresa had written for them. “Here are the Three Preachers. What is your sermon today, preachers?” “Three things about…….”

There was also a “choir”, consisting of maybe 15 of the boys and girls, who sang at least one Gospel Song every Sunday. They stood on a “riser” on the west wall of Studio A. After attending awhile with our “kids”, I was asked to lead the “choir”. They sang well.

The Producer of the program was Chuck Christensen, a Staff Producer at WMBI, who produced such other programs as: Ranger Bill; Sailor Sam (Chuck was Sam); Something To Sing About, with Bill Pearce; and sometimes, alternating with Joyce Blackburn, Stories of Great Christians - et al.

Oh.......I just now remember the pianist: Lucille Becker Ingebretsen!

Aunt Theresa’s devotion to Christ was evident in her demeanor at all times. In addition to KYB Club, she hosted a daily “Story Time” for boys and girls, near the noon hour every day.

And, though a single lady, she was devoted to children - as expected. And, she had an eye out for some of our families, who might need a little “financial encouragement”. Occasionally, I (and others I’m sure), would find a small envelope in our mail boxes, with cash in them. Never identified. I think she would be surprised that I knew. I never approached her about it since she was secretive (not letting the left hand know about the right), but one time, I just said, in another context, “Thanks, Aunt Theresa!” Moody has always paid staff monthly, rather than weekly. Once you get used to it, it really works. (Like Social Security today.)

But in the days before the Institute Trustees took a BOLD step with salaries, we sometimes ran out on the “25th of the month”, or thereabouts. They seem to be competitive in salaries today.

Thank the Lord for His Provision, and His using us humans to carry out the Gospel Message.

I Timothy 5:18 “….the laborer is worthy of his reward.”

Praise the Lord.


David G. said...

I'm not sure why, but this morning the KYB Club just popped into my thoughts after 55-60 years. My father attended Moody from 1944-48, and oftentimes I would go with my dad to Moody in the evenings. (Rode the bus, took the el etc. No car in WW11 days.
I was one of the "tots" who sang solo's on occasion. I remember riding up in the elevator to "Studio A", and every once in a while getting to sit on Aunt Theresa's lap during story time.

Many good memories from 1944 until about 1952 or so.

Thank you for reviving some long buried memories!

Anonymous said...

Hey David! Thanks for your comment!

You were there before our time, so didn't make this picture, I guess.

Great lady, Aunt Theresa!

Grandpa Mike

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Anonymous said...

Mike, I just read your blog today after googling KYB Club. I never heard it on the radio, but we had a KYB Club at First Baptist Church in Normal, Illinois when I was about 6 or 7 years old in the mid 1950's. A sweet lady named Ruth Brumme led the club and was instrumental in introducing me to Jesus Christ at that young age. Did you by any chance know her? I believe she's in heaven now.

Ken Gaydos said...

Hey Mike,

Warm Greetings from Seattle.

You brought back some wonderful memories from some very special days...

I too was one of those "KYB Club" kids in the late 40s and early 50s - who was asked to open the program with "Saaaay...", then take the part (during my years) as Billy Bangle (with Patty and the Bookstore Lady), sing a song or two each week, and enjoy some wonderfull "Rallies" as we would visit local area churches.

Though I've been in Seattle for many years, I'd try often to visit Aunt Theresa during her last earthly years in Rockford, before her death in February of 2001.

So many times, I wished that we could have a "reunion" of all the kids that took part in that program, but who knows where they all are?

If anyone would care to write me, I'd be pleased to attempt a gathering before we're all off this earth (Smile).

Mike, I remember too, you leading the Noontime Hymn Sing.

Wonderfull ministry remembrances.

Ken (Kenny) Gaydos -

Anonymous said...

Mike: It's great to read your comments on KYB Club. Our family was part of it in the early 50's. My father, Herbert Harrell, was MBI mailman & we lived on campus.
I got my radio start with KYB and served the Lord at WMUU (Greenville, SC) as well as at Bible Broadcasting Network (Charlotte).
I have always thought it would be great to have a KYB reunion. Let's get going!
The girl on the left (Now Nita Davis) used to go to our church & I had that picture which I showed to her, so there are a lot of us still left.
My siblings (Esther, Martha & John) are having a reunion near Joliet this weekend, & I'll be sharing some of this blog with them, to be sure.
Please write back, Mike. I fondly remember you. I'm the readhead who worked at the Crowell Hall Info desk in 60 & 61, as well as tape editing for WMBI.
God Bless.
Dave Harrell

Anonymous said...

What fun to find your Blog about KYB Club on WMBI! I am writing our family history and wanted to include a story about my singing a solo on KYB Club at a young age. This would have been in the late 1930's or early 1940's. The picture of Aunt Teresa brings back a lot of wonderful memories. I couldn't remember what KYB meant--but your blog provided the answer! Thanks for reviving many great memories!

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art said...

For some reason I just thought about googling the KYB Club and I never thought something would show up from the search. Somewhere between 1950 to 1954 I too was a soloist on that show and I was wondering what ever happened to the tapes of that show. I sang on the air with the boys choir from the Mt. Greenwood Dutch Reform Church (IL) several times. Does anyone know where the tapes are stored? Thanks

Anonymous said...

I remember about 1962 or 63 we came from Ravenswood baptist church we went to the studio and kids from our sunday school sang . I remember singing. Vic

The Moody Newlyweds said...

My husband works at Moody Broadcasting and showed me a picture of Aunt Theresa in one of his studios. I grew up with one of her storytelling records in NM, so I decided to google her and found your blog post. What a legacy! I learned more about her in one post than I did in all these years of remembering that record. It was great that you let others know about the KYB club. There are mp3's available of some of the shows.
Thanks for posting about this great ministry!

Grandpa Mike said...

Moody Newlyweds:

Try to find the other posting called Aunt Theresa.

Thanks for your comment.

Wish I had your husband's name. I won't know it, since I left Moody in 1965, but my son John Maddex would probably know it.


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Anonymous said...

My Grandmother was Lucille Becker Ingebretsen. Nice to see someone remembered her!

Cindy said...

"Newlywed" above is my sister-in-law. My father attended Moody and then taught there for 25 years starting in about 1958. I sometimes accompanied him to Moody where I would go to the studio and listen to the story hour with Aunt Theresa. Our church's children's choir sometimes sang at the KYB club and I was a sometimes soloist. I've often remembered those days fondly and wondered whatever happened to Aunt Theresa. The programs were done airing before I had children of my own, but enjoyed others of Chuck's programming. In fact, two of my children made professions of faith after listening to a book being read during the reading hour. Thanks for this little write-up about those days.