Over 50 years ago, a shy Liverpudlian teen named Freda Kelly started running the fan club for a little British band. She was a loyal super-fan who would stay with the band from the very beginning to the very end. That band was the Beatles, and Kelly worked for them for 11 years.
Kelly got to know the band back in 1961 when they first hit the scene in Liverpool. She was friends with the Fab Four before their manager Brian Epstein even got involved. A year later, Epstein signed on as manager and Kelly got a job as secretary, a title she carried throughout the Beatles’ entire ride.
A new documentary, Good Ol’ Freda, will tell the story of the super-fan turned Beatles secretary and friend. The title comes from the line that the band shouts out on their 1963 Christmas record. Under Kelly’s management, the Official Beatles Fan Club grew from 100 people to more than 70,000 members worldwide.
The documentary was filmed with the support of the living Beatles and will feature original Beatles music. Director Ryan White secured the rights for four Beatles songs, including the popular “Love Me Do,” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” Kelly is now in her sixties, and it is the first time she has really opened up about her star-studded experience with the Fab Four. “Freda closed the Beatles’ offices, so she left with truckloads of Beatles stuff and gave it all away to fans over the years,” said White. Good Ol’ Freda will premiere at SXSW on March 9.