June 18 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the leading American blues music companies. In 2021, it will be 50 years since Alligator Records released their first release, the LP “Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers”. The anniversary will be marked with the release of 50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin ‘Music.
In 1971, 23-year-old blues lover Bruce Iglauer scraped together his savings to release an LP featuring his favorite Chicago band, Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers. He started the company Alligator Records to release the album.
Iglauer tells in his book “Bitten by the Blues” about the experience that changed his life: From the moment I entered Florence’s Lounge, the sound of distorted electric guitar filled the room. I could hear the unmistakable sound of steel against steel as the slide flew up and down the strings. The drums knocked out a shuffle so catchy and simple that even I could dance to it … That afternoon I fell in love with Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers.
Since the release of the first LP with Hound Dog Taylor, Alligator Records with its staff of 14 people has become one of the most successful blues companies in the world. The catalog today consists of more than 350 titles, among them many award-winning publications and publications that have long been considered classics. The company’s artists have received 48 Grammy nominations, received three Grammy Awards, more than 150 Blues Music Awards and 70 Living Blues Awards.
Alligator Records – 50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin ‘Music Alligator Records features music by artists such as Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Son Seals, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Professor Longhair, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison, Michael “Iron Man” Burks, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Guitar Shorty, Billy Boy Arnold and Mavis Staples. Among today’s well-established stars we will hear Shemekia Copeland, Lil ‘Ed & The Blues Imperials, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Marcia Ball, Billy Branch, JJ Gray & Mofro, Tinsley Ellis, Joe Louis Walker, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, Nick Moss, Curtis Salgado and Roomful Of Blues. Among more recent names are these: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Toronzo Cannon and Selwyn Birchwood.