Pete Q. Harris, Nigel Green and Richard Jon Smith were Jive’s in-house production trio, The Willesden Dodgers. They were based in Battery Studios, London, and produced and engineered albums for Whodini, together with the late Larry Smith.
Richard is from South Africa and was a successful singer, songwriter and producer, releasing many albums and singles throughout the 1970s. He has many albums to his name including two albums for Jive just prior to his debut as a member of the Willesden Dodgers which themselves, spawned a few successful singles. Nigel and award-winning composer/song writer Peter still work in the music industry today with Nigel having done live mixing for the likes of Shania Twain and Bruce Springsteen.
In the early 1980s, the trio released a series of instrumental albums: Jive Rhythm Trax, More Jive Rhythm Trax and Jive Scratch Trax. The first of these included the classic electro and often sampled track, 122bpm. They followed those with their fourth and final album, 1st Base, in 1986.
Gunsmoke Breakout and Breakin’ Out were two stand-alone single releases from the group and were synonymous with the classic live jam from 1985, Hip Hop At The Hippodrome aka Electro Rock which was hosted by the late Mike Allen from Capital Radio. The event featured b-boy crews from the UK and US and performances from Zulu Nation members, Afrika Bambaataa, Jazzy Joyce, Lisa Lee, Ikey C and Cool B plus UK artists, Dizzy Heights, Junior Gee, Family Quest, City Limits Crew, Hardrock Soul Movement and beatboxers Yankee and Sipho aka Bass & Treble.
A reworked version of Breakin’ Out retitled Party (No Sheep Is Safe Tonight) also appeared on the 1985 soundtrack to The Jewel Of The Nile with some additional vocals. Pete also wrote the Love Theme for the soundtrack but it was never played to the director so instead they used the track by Jack Nitzsche.
The third and final single from the trio was Not This President. The track was taken from their album, 1st Base. It had a more commercial sound and featured sample fodder from US media related to the presidency at the time.
All three releases appeared on Jive’s subsidiary label, Jive Electro, which was set up to function as a platform for The Willesden Dodgers productions.
Many thanks to Pete for getting in touch with some additional information and thanks to Fab for the acetate info and permission to use the images.