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The woman behind The Beatles

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The Beatles invaded the United States 50 years ago on Friday and won over the hearts of millions of fans with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show a few days later.

The British invasion was experienced first-hand by their fan club president, Freda Kelly.

A teenager at the time, she took on the job way before The Beatles were The Beatles.

“(We met) at the Cabin club at Liverpool. I went to see a couple of boys I worked with and I saw them on stage. We became friends,” said Kelly.

The teen would answer mail.

“Eventually (we) had 40,000 fans in the fan club,” said Kelly.

Freda, now a grandmother who went on to work on a farm raising cattle after The Beatles broke up, is the subject of the new movie, ‘Good Ol’ Freda: Behind a Great Band, There Was a Great Woman.”

“It was not a mad fan thing with me, I was quite reserved. My attitude was I was getting paid to do this job that everyone else wanted, so I was quite satisfied,” said Kelly.

But that dream job almost slipped through her fingers.

“They were playing at the Empire and backstage all their families would go, so instead I went in another group’s backstage. I had a few drinks in there and then I decided to go back and just the four were in there. John (Lennon) said “where were you?” I told him and he said to go back to being their fan club president. He fired me on the spot. Are you firing me (I said to the other three) and they said we’re not firing you, then I said I’ll work for them. (I told John) get down on your hands and knees and beg me to come back. He met me half way, he did get down on one knee,” said Kelly.

Kelly will be sharing more memories of her time with The Beatles at The Beatles festival starting Friday at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan. She’ll also be speaking at the 92nd Street Y.

For more information on both events, visit: 92y.org/beatles and theFest.com
For more on the movie, visit GooldOlFreda.com 

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