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Good Ol' Freda documentary to be screened at Beatles festival

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas -- On Saturday, Sept. 17, Beatles at the Ridge 2016 will feature the award-winning film "Good Ol' Freda," the story of Freda Kelly, the official Beatles Fan Club Secretary for the duration of The Beatles' career.

A devoted Beatles fan, Cavern Club regular, and secretary at NEMS Enterprises, Fred Kelly took over the operation of The Beatles Fan Club in 1962 from its founder, Bobby Brown. Initially, Kelly ran the fan club from her home as Bobby Brown had done. However, in 1963 (when sacks and sacks of mail began arriving each day) Freda's father suggested she find a more appropriate location! Ms. Kelly approached her employer - The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein - about the possibility of transferring the Fan Club to his Liverpool business office, and he agreed. For the next 12 years, Freda ran the club and worked tirelessly for Epstein and the lads in many capacities.

Paul McCartney and Freda Kelly

In the spring of 1964, when most of Brian's business was transferred to a larger location in London near the London Palladium, Freda was one of the few trusted employees who remained behind in Liverpool to "hold down the fort." She met weekly with George's mother, Louise Harrison; John's Auntie Mimi Smith; Ringo's mum, Elsie Greaves, and Paul's father, Jim, to answer the deluge of fan mail that never stopped coming and coming! Furthermore, she served as the liaison between NEMS in the North and NEMS in London.

Always extremely private and humble, Kelly was quite reticent when filmmaker Ryan White approached her about sharing her memoirs and photos for a film about her life. Only the desire to let her grandson know about who she was "besides a grandma" urged her to agree to the undertaking.

The film was released in 2013 to great acclaim at the South By Southwest Film Festival, and since then, it has won award after award. The Cleveland International Film Festival selected "Good Ol' Freda" as the winner of the Roxanne Mueller Award for "Best Film" and Atlanta Magazine called it "Oscar worthy." "Good Ol' Freda" has been shown all over the world, and fans at The Fest for Beatles Fans in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago as well as fans at the famous Bonnaroo Music Festival have fallen in love with it.

"One of few documentaries with the support of the living Beatles and featuring original Beatles music, the film offers an insider perspective on the beloved band that changed the world of music," one critic wrote, and it's true. The film shares rare photos of The Beatles from Kelly's collection and showcases their music. But most importantly, it tells the story of a lady of rare integrity who refused to sell The Beatles' secrets, no matter what she was offered.

In addition to the film, "Good Ol' Freda," Beatles at the Ridge 2016 will host 5 distinguished Beatles experts and authors including Featured Authors Ivor Davis who toured with The Beatles in 1964 and Jude Southerland Kessler, author of The John Lennon Series, as well as the Argenta Collection of rare Beatles photographs, Ken Orth's "Meet the LookAlikes" Beatles-themed art exhibit, 2 Beatles artists, gifted teen musician Cameron Hicks, and a plethora of live bands culminating in the appearance of Louise Harrison's "Liverpool Legends" tribute band.

For more information on "Good Ol' Freda: go to www.goodolfreda.com. For more information on Beatles at the Ridge, go to www.beatlesattheridge.com.

Related articles:

• Beatles symposium speakers to raise money for local fire department (9/15/16)
• Noted author to host British tea time at Beatles festival (8/30/16)
• Teen musician to shine at Beatles at the Ridge Festival (8/22/16)
• Two Louisiana artists come together at Beatles at the Ridge (8/1/16)
• Unique art collections to highlight Beatles at the Ridge Festival (7/25/16)

Published July 18, 2016

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