As “Good Ol' Freda,” the documentary about Freda Kelly and her work for the Beatles premieres today at South By Southwest, one of the makers of the film told Indiewire.com Friday the fact they were able to license four Beatles songs was because she stayed loyal to them all these years.
"She was their longest serving employee. She's had countless offers to do a tell-all book or movie. She's still a working secretary today in Liverpool and makes a secretary's wage. She never sold them out.,” producer-director Ryan White told the website.
"It's a wonderful testament to Freda and our film, so we're very excited!," co-producer Kathy McCabe told Beatles Examiner the day permission to use the songs was announced.
White said they originally asked the Beatles' Apple Corps for 20 songs. I figured I'd start high,” he said. “When the approval came in for four, I was kind of shocked. It's a funny process. Once the Beatles get behind your film, everyone gets behind your film. This film's budget is tiny tiny. There's no way we could ever afford the soundtrack we have otherwise.”
White also revealed that he had known Freda Kelly through a relative. "My uncle is a guy named Billy Kinsley, who was in The Merseybeats. They were a famous band from the '60s. My aunt and uncle are in a whole group of friends that were involved in the '60s Liverpool music scene. I went back to Liverpool for weddings and Christmases, and so I knew Freda from casual conversations, weddings, and parties. I didn't know she was The Beatles' secretary.”
Kelly said in an interview with Beatles Examiner she resisted a long time before finally allowing the film to be made.
"I didn't want to do anything, really, in the beginning," she said. "And then, certain people have said, 'You should do this' and 'You should do that.' And you keep putting it off and keep going. 'Oh yeah, we'll do it one of these days.' When I was invited to do New Jersey (Fest for Beatles Fans in 2010), I was nervous, I really was. A lot of people helped me along the way. I was just overwhelmed by the reception I got. And then different people there said, 'You know, you should do something.' Then, I thought, 'You know, I wouldn't mind doing a little DVD. This is how is this film has come out of it."
And a lot of people are clearly interested: "Beatles secretary" was trending Saturday afternoon on Yahoo.
- See our complete coverage of "Good Ol' Freda": Beatles 101: 'Good Ol' Freda' film update: Tracking the story
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