Linda Lewis and Jim Cregan’s marriage to Surrey before flirting with Muhammad Ali effectively ended their marriage
Linda had chart success with Rock A Doodle Do and the song Shoop Shoop (It’s In His Kiss)
At St Barnabas’ Church in East Molesey, two 1970s music stars were happily married. Taking place on March 18, 1977, singer Linda Lewis, who sang icons such as David Bowie and Jamiroquai, married her first husband, rock guitarist and bassist Jim Cregan.
Jim is best known for his associations with Family, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, and Rod Stewart, and worked with Linda as a record producer. Linda later revealed in a pop memoir that she had a short affair with Harley, who was with Jim in Cockney Rebel.
The couple met while walking on Hampstead Heath one day before getting married several years later. This union only lasted three years as Linda suggested they were too far apart, especially after Jim joined Rod Stewart’s band, and they both cheated.
READ MORE: Step back to 1970s Surrey with 16 stunning archival photos
Once, around 1979, they were staying in a New Zealand hotel when boxing legend Muhammad Ali walked in. After arguing with Jim at the hotel bar and storming off, Linda accidentally stumbles into a room with Ali and his girl entourage.
Ali invited her in and started talking to her, but after a while Jim came to find her and entered the room. When told he was Linda’s husband, Ali asked, “What are you doing with that white honkey?”
Jim left and Linda did the right thing by apologizing to Ali and suing her husband, although Linda later had a lot of regrets that she hadn’t stayed. This may have been the beginning of the end for the couple’s marriage.
These photos unearthed by our archives show the happy event that took place in front of our door.
- To commemorate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we’re giving you the opportunity to ‘wave a flag’ for Her Majesty and leave greetings on our interactive map at thequeengoesplatinum.co.uk
- Do you like nostalgia? Receive the best articles by email for free with our nostalgia newsletter. Click here to view all Surrey Live newsletters.
- For more amazing nostalgic stories, click here for trips down memory lane!