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Fab Freda

Freda Kelly earned scarcely more than 5 pounds sterling a week (roughly US$25 with inflation) when she started working as a secretary back in 1962. Even so, it was a dream job for the shy 17-year-old from Liverpool: She served as the Beatles’ secretary, managing their fan mail from the dawn of Beatlemania until the band broke up almost a decade later. In the years that followed, Kelly maintained a discrete silence about the time when she was, as Ringo put it, “like part of the family,” but she opens up in “Good Ol’ Freda,” a charming documentary set to be released on September 6. The result is an intimate look at the Fab Four from the point of view of a ’60s Cinderella. Don’t expect Kelly to tell all, however. Asked if she went out with any of the Beatles, she laughs and replies, “Pass.” No stories there? “Oh, there is stories,” she says in her unmistakable Liverpool accent, “but I don’t want anybody’s hair falling out.” — John Birmingham

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