“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.