White, a 2000 Chamblee High School graduate, currently lives in Los Angeles and is a documentary filmmaker. He will premiere his film at the Atlanta Film Festival Saturday at 9:15 p.m. at Druid Hills Baptist Church.
“Good Ol’ Freda” chronicles the 11-year working relationship between Kelly and The Beatles. Kelly worked as the group’s secretary during their tenure as one of the most famous pop groups in the world. A trusted friend and confidante, Kelly has never spoken publicly about her time with The Beatles, until now.
“She was their right hand woman and the only one from their inner circle who has never gone on record,” said White. “And for the first time in 50 years she’s coming out of the shadows.”
White added Kelly could have easily written a tell-all book, but never did and is still a working secretary in Liverpool, England.
“She never got rich off the Beatles — and was never interested in getting recognition for her role,” he said.
As to why she decided to speak out now, White said Kelly —who is in her late 60s — realizes what a great story she has to share with her family, especially her new grandson.
“When he was born she saw that this kid could potentially never know her history and this decade she lived,” said White. “She decided she wanted to do something as a legacy for her family so they would know this story.”
Besides being the first to have Kelly open up about her past, White also scored another victory by receiving permission to use Beatles songs in his documentary, something that is rarely granted.
“It is one of the only times ever they’ve given permission,” he said. “They are notoriously strict with that. It’s pretty amazing and really a testament to Freda. I think Paul and Ringo have so much respect for how she’s lived her life — they are a major part of the approval process.”
After its Atlanta premiere, White is looking forward to showcasing his documentary around the world, which is sure to draw a multitude of Beatles fans, who remember seeing Kelly’s signature and name on Beatles letters and fan club paraphernalia.
If you go:
When: Saturday, 9:15 p.m.
Where: Druid Hills Baptist Church