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Beatles Fan Club historian to speak at Beatles festival

Walnut Ridge, AR -- Sara Schmidt, author of Happiness is Seeing The Beatles: The Beatles in St. Louis, will be one of the guest authors for Beatles at the Ridge Symposium, Sept. 15-16 in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.

Schmidt, who created and runs the well-respected website sharing the personal, vetted stories of fans who have met The Beatles, Meet The Beatles For Real, will also be looking forward to chatting with Ridge attendees in an effort to document Beatles Fan Clubs, worldwide.

"For the past eight years, I've been reaching out and trying to connect with anyone and everyone who has a true Beatles story," Schmidt said. "I hope that former fan club members will come by my booth at the Ridge and share their encounters with me. My goal is to link these dedicated fans 'across the universe' on my website, to tell their stories, and to provide a storehouse of untold Beatles moments and photos."

Sara Schmidt

Speaking at 11 a.m. in The Studio on Main Street, Walnut Ridge on Saturday, September 16, Schmidt will touch briefly on the new book she is writing about Beatles Fan Clubs in the United States and the United Kingdom before sharing with festival goers the true story of George Harrison's days in Benton, IL in 1963, long before The Beatles came to America.

"This is exactly the sort of story my website provides," Schmidt smiled. "I cover little-known events with rare photos and documentation. George's 1963 visit to his sister, Louise, and his early jam in Benton before The Beatles conquered America is a charming occasion in Beatles history."

After her presentation, Schmidt will be signing the last few copies of Happiness is Seeing The Beatles and making contacts with anyone who was in a fan club during the 1960's. She's interested in anything from Beatles fan club history: membership cards, photos, articles, or memorabilia. Furthermore, she wants to talk with fan club presidents and secretaries.

"I've always admired Freda Kelly who ran the official Beatles Fan Club out of Liverpool," Schmidt states. "And when her film, Good Ol' Freda, came out, it inspired me to research these dedicated groups and to tell their stories." Appropriately, the DVD of Good Ol' Freda will be awarded to one lucky attendee at the end Schmidt's program on September 16.

Schmidt, a regular Ridge guest and speaker at The Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago and New Jersey, is also a contributing writer for the book A is for Apple in which she penned a chapter about the Apple Scruffs.

"I prize such rare fan stories," Schmidt explained. "And additionally, my website has the largest collection of Beatles photos in the world. I want to offer fans, Beatles biographers and historians, and the fans of tomorrow a compendium of vetted, unpublished Beatles information. And I hope that fans who haven't shared their stories will come by my booth and speak with me at the Ridge. We have history to collect and tell."

To learn more about Sara, visit Meet The Beatles For Real or connect with her via her Facebook page.

To learn more about Beatles at the Ridge festival, go to or visit

Related articles:

• Noted music journalist returns to Beatles at the Ridge (9/11/17)
• Music component added to Beatles at the Ridge Symposium (9/6/17)
• Talented couple to headline Beatles at the Ridge (7/10/17)
• Womack to present new book on George Martin at Ridge Festival (6/6/17)
• New beatles-themed book slated for release at Beatles festival (5/8/17)

Published August 22, 2017

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