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1974-1979 - The Wedding Present

John and SheilaOn August 31st 1974, John married Sheila Gilhooly. The reception was held On August 31st 1974, John married Sheila Gilhooly. The reception was held in London's Regent's Park, with Rod Stewart as best man. John wore Liverpool colours and proudly walked down the aisle to 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. His relationship with Sheila was one of the most important things in his life.

Pretty soon, John was listening out for something other than the hottest new tunes. The pitter-patter of tiny feet soon filled John and Sheila's thatched cottage in a small village near Stowmarket in Suffolk. They had four children and all of them were given a special name in cheeky reference to John's beloved Liverpool FC - William Robert Anfield, Alexandra May Anfield, Thomas James Dalglish and Florence Shankly.

In 1976 John gave punk a push into the mainstream. Whilst listening to a newly acquired stack of records, he came across the debut release from an unknown New York band called The Ramones. 'Judy Is A Punk' was the final track of John's show that night. The following night, 'Blitzkrieg Bop' got a spin. Punk had arrived at the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The new genre gained momentum quickly - thanks in part to John's enthusiasm. John's prog rock and hippie playlists morphed into a stream of three-minute punk nuggets, featuring the likes of the Sex Pistols, Clash, The Damned, Buzzcocks, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Jam, and a little-known band from Northern Ireland called The Undertones. Their track, 'Teenage Kicks' hit John hard when he heard it for the first time in September 1978. He played the track back-to-back on his Radio 1 show, and it remained a firm favourite.

Christmas 1976 also saw the broadcast of the first Festive 50 chart. Never intended to be an annual ritual, the Festive 50 was an audio free-for-all, a chance for loyal listeners to choose their favourite tracks, no matter how old the music. Most of the songs in the first ever poll came from the past decade rather than from the past year. As a result, The Beatles, The Doors and Jimi Hendrix made an appearance, even though none of them were around at the time.

Despite a few teething problems, the Festive 50 ran every year around Christmas time. In 1982 the all-time chart was replaced by a year-only chart, but was briefly revived for the Millennium.

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