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Music expert and author Kit O'Toole to close Beatles symposium

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas -- Beatles at The Ridge favorite Dr. Kit O'Toole will be The Grand Finale Speaker at the Authors and Artists Symposium this Saturday, September 15 in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. O'Toole, a native of Chicago, has been a popular participant in the festival for five years and her "Ten Things" presentations always draw huge crowds. Those who plan to hear her speak in The Studio on Main Street this year will also be treated to a Book Preview Party in her honor following her talk. Jude Southerland Kessler, Chairperson for the BATR symposium explains in her recent interview with Kit.

Jude Southerland Kessler: Kit, we're so "chuffed" (as they say in Liverpool) to have you as our Beatles at the Ridge Grand Finale Speaker for 2018! Tell us about the presentation you'll be giving, your talks are always standing room only! Can't wait to hear what you have in store for Walnut Ridge this year!

Kit O'Toole: I'm so looking forward to coming back, as Walnut Ridge audiences are so welcoming and interested in talking Beatles! This year I'm celebrating the 50th anniversary of an extremely important Beatles LP with the "Ten Most Important Aspects of the White Album." It's such a dense work that I can't possibly cover every song in under an hour, so I'm going to guide everyone through reasons why this album remains influential and a turning point in The Beatles' sound. After hearing my presentation, people may listen to the White Album in an entirely new way.

Jude: The other big news for 2018 is that you have a brand new book coming out! And we're going to fete you in high Ridge-style with your official book preview party! It will be held in The Studio on Main Street right after your 5:00 p.m. presentation on Saturday, 15 September. Tell us about the new book, and any special goodies you might be giving away at the party to celebrate it.

Kit O'Toole

Kit: I'm thrilled to offer the first sneak preview anywhere of my upcoming book "Soul Searching: Buried Treasures of R&B, Soul, Dance, and Hip-Hop". I had hoped to have the book ready in time for the festival, but it had to be postponed until the end of the year. I promise it will be worth the wait, as it delves into artists and songs that I think deserve more attention. The chapters span songs from the 1950s through today, and Beatles fans will love it because the book includes information on artists that had a great impact on the band including Larry Williams, Arthur Alexander, and Fats Domino. These genres are my other passion besides The Beatles, so I'm very excited about Soul Searching!

Jude: You've had quite a busy year in 2017-2018, Kit. Not only did you write a new book, but you've started your own radio show. What does the program cover and where can we hear it?

Kit: As I was just saying about my upcoming book Soul Searching, I'm honored to be exploring my passion for that genre. So, one of my other dreams has come true: hosting a radio show about soul! It's called "Bottomless Soul," and it airs the third Monday of each month on Bumps Radio England at 11 pm ET. The 20-25-minute show is part of Toby Chicago's "Indies and Oldies Show". Thus far, I've aired episodes on Philadelphia Soul and Stevie Wonder's compositions for other artists, and I have many more uniquely-themed episodes planned! Yes, a soulful Beatles cover may make occasional appearance on my shows.

Jude: Most people realize that you also write for Beatlefan magazine, but they might not know about your recurring music blogs. Share those with us, if you don't mind.

Kit: I write columns for two sites: "Deep Beatles" for Something Else Reviews and "DeepSoul" for Blinded by Sound. In addition, I occasionally write for Cinema Sentries, where I focus on music in film.

Jude: I know that people who come to hear you speak at BATR, Kit, will want to get your monthly newsletter and follow you on social media. How can they do that?

Kit: They can follow me on Twitter at @kitotoole and on Facebook on my Kit O'Toole's Key Notes page. My website, also provides information on my latest appearances and other news. If you'd like to sign up for my monthly newsletter, just visit to fill out a very brief form. Finally, I broadcast a monthly Facebook Live show where I discuss the latest music news, let everyone know what I've been working on, and occasionally I interview a special guest! Just visit my Kit O'Toole's Key Notes page for exact times/dates of episodes. You can also listen to the audio from the shows Fridays-Sundays at 2 p.m. CT on Fab4Radio.

More information:

• Kit O'Toole
• Beatles at the Ridge
• Beatles at the Ridge on Facebook

Related articles:

• Liverpool film maker and author to be featured at Beatles at the Ridge (8/24/18)
• Beatles at Ridge 2018 to kick off with Lennon concert (7/27/18)
• Memphis teen music star to shine at Beatles Symposium (4/24/18)
• Beatles poet to speak at Beatles symposium (3/27/18)
• Former fan club president to address Beatles symposium (2/19/18)

Published September 10, 2018

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