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Noted authors to co-chair 2018 Beatles at the Ridge Symposium

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas -- In its sixth year celebrating the music and genius of The Beatles, the Beatles at the Ridge Authors and Artists Symposium has recruited a highly-distinguished panel of Beatles authors, artists, filmmakers, and musicians for the September 14-15, 2018 event. And at the helm of this year's activities are symposium co-chairs Jude Southerland Kessler and Lanea Stagg.

Both Kessler and Stagg have written numerous books on The Beatles, and are featured speakers at the Fest for Beatles Fans, in addition to the Ridge. They also co-host a bi-weekly radio show on BlogTalk Radio called "She Said, She Said" where they interview a variety of guests in the "Beatles world" such as Bruce Spizer, Doug Thompson, Al Sussman and more. It's this kind of involvement that make them the perfect pair to spearhead the special festival that is Beatles at the Ridge.

Lanea Stagg and Jude Southerland Kessler

"The Symposium will be extraordinary this year," Kessler said. "We not only have Dave Bedford from Liverpool talking about his new book, Finding the Fourth Beatle, but he will also be showing his fantastic film, "Looking for Lennon." And from New York, Vivek Tiwary will highlight the new TV series being produced from his book, The Fifth Beatle, a graphic novel on the life of Brian Epstein. This is a red-letter year for the Ridge...not to be missed!"

Jude Southerland Kessler is the foremost John Lennon expert and the author of The John Lennon Series, including Shoulda Been There (Lennon's life from 1940-1961), Shivering Inside (1961-1963), She Loves You (1963-1964) and this year's Should Have Known Better (1964). She is also one of the authors of New Critical Perspectives on The Beatles: Things We Said Today. Kessler serves as the official blogger for The Fest for Beatles Fans and hosted "The John Lennon Hour" radio show for three years. She was the Chairperson for the GRAMMY Museum of Mississippi Beatles Symposium in 2016 and has been the Chairperson for Beatles at the Ridge's Symposium since 2012.

Lanea Stagg will return to BATR's Authors and Artists Symposium for the sixth time. As in past years, Stagg will feature her extraordinary rock'n'roll cookbooks, The Recipe Records Series, as well as her beloved "kid-dult" books Little Dog in the Sun and Little Dog at the Ridge. Lanea has hosted the Recipe Records Radio Show on BlogTalk Radio and has also been a speaker at the GRAMMY Museum Beatles Symposium in 2016. This is her first year serving as a co-chair of the BATR Symposium.

"Beatles at The Ridge is a magical event," Stagg commented. "It offers entertainment for everyone in the family...and it's FREE! We hope everyone will come to Walnut Ridge to appreciate the timeless music of The Beatles, introduce their loved ones to the band that created a revolution, and support the Arkansas city that has been changed by the Fab Four, too!"

This year's festival will also feature a panel of primary sources who were actually on the 1964 Tour with The Beatles: Daily Express reporter, Ivor Davis; Westinghouse Corporation journalist, Art Schreiber; Key West Navy corpsman who partied with The Beatles, John Trusty; and the Walnut Ridge reporter who got the scoop on The Beatles' midnight landing in that town, W. H. Moore.

For more information on Beatles at the Ridge, please contact Jude Southerland Kessler on her Facebook page or festival Founder and Director, Charles Snapp, at the Beatles At The Ridge Facebook page. Updates will be made weekly on the festival Facebook page and on the website,

Published July 16, 2018

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