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Beatles at the Ridge 2019 symposium speakers selected

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas -- John Lennon expert and biographer, Jude Southerland Kessler, and Recipe Records Series cookbook author Lanea Stagg are announcing the Beatles at the Ridge guest speakers for the Beatles Authors and Artists Symposium 2019. Slated for September 20-21, 2019, the Symposium will take place in Walnut Ridge, AR, and serve as the educational component for the two-day music festival.

"This is the seventh year that we have hosted The Beatles Authors and Artists Symposium, and we're thrilled about this line-up," Symposium co-chair Kessler said. "Our theme this year is Beatles Memorabilia, and our variety of special guests are a perfect fit for it."

Headlining the weekend will be Featured Author Jim Berkenstadt ("The Rock 'n' Roll Detective") whose book about fill-in drummer Jimmie Nicol, The Beatle Who Vanished, is being turned into a feature film. Jim will be talking about some of the mysteries associated with Beatles memorabilia, as well as hosting a viewing of the documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, on which he served as official historian.

Chas Newby and Jim Berkenstadt

Jim Berkenstadt is pictured above with early Beatles member, Chas Newby, whom Jim interviewed for his book The Beatle Who Vanished.

Also topping the bill will be Featured Artist, Ken Orth, with his "Meet the Look-Alikes!" collection of art pieces, album covers, T-shirts and more inspired by The Beatles. Ken recently wrote an article for Furore magazine on "the ultimate collectible," the Beatles poster for The White Album, which he will discuss. Ken will also give tours of the over 100 pieces of his collection that will be on display at the festival.

Art Schreiber, Ken Orth

This year's Primary Source Guest Speaker will be Art Schreiber. Art will speak on The Beatles in 1964 and play his "cuts" (as he calls them) – tapes of interviews that he did with The Beatles live that year when he traveled with them as a journalist for The Westinghouse Network. He will be bringing items he collected during that time on the North American Tour as well. Art, who is blind, will also be selling copies of his inspirational book, Out of Sight: Blind and Doing All Right.

Other respected Beatles at the Ridge 2019 guest speakers include Terry Crain (who will be celebrating the new release of his book on US Beatles memorabilia); Patricia Gallo-Stenman (author of Diary of a Beatlemaniac who will be showcasing her vast Beatles collection); emcee Susan Ryan (host of the Fab 4 NYC Walking Tours); Allison Boron and Erika White (hosts of the BC the Beatles podcast); plus Stagg, who will host a '60s-style British tea, and Kessler (author of The John Lennon Series, a 9-volume historical narrative biography of Lennon's life).

"But that's not all we have in store," said Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp, founder of Beatles at the Ridge. "Our 2019 Symposium will also welcome back gifted artist and photographer, Rande Kessler, plus we have the Argenta collection of rare Beatles' photographs for visitors to enjoy!"

Popular teen musician Cameron Hicks will also return this year, playing the entire Beatles' Help! album. Poet Terri Whitney will reprise her "Live Mic Poetry Reading," sharing her works from Any Rhyme at All and encouraging other poets to do the same. And popular Beatles vendors Bud Loveall and Rita Lokerson will be on hand as well.

The full festival schedule with times will be published soon on You can also follow along at

Related articles:

• New Beatles author to close Beatles at Ridge Symposium (7/23/19)
• Beatles festival Meet and Greet to feature Beatles poet, artist, and musician (6/21/19)
• Beatles podcast to host live Beatles at the Ridge show (5/17/19)
• Beatles symposium to host new Beatles author (3/28/19)
• Beatles at the Ridge headliners Say the Word (2/25/19)

Published January 28, 2019

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