Alligator Records

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Alligator Records
Founded1971; 52 years ago (1971)
FounderBruce Iglauer
Distributor(s)ADA (US), Warner Music (Canada)
Country of originU.S.
LocationChicago, Illinois

Alligator Records is an American, Chicago-based independent blues record label founded by Bruce Iglauer in 1971.[1][2] Iglauer was also one of the founders of the Living Blues magazine in Chicago in 1970.


Iglauer started the label using his savings to record and produce his favorite band Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers,[3] whom his employer, Bob Koester of Delmark Records, declined to record. Nine months after the release of the first album, he stopped working at Delmark Records to concentrate fully on the band and his label.[4] Only 1,000 copies of the Taylor's debut album were made, while Iglauer took over managing the group. Other early releases for the fledgling label included recordings by Big Walter Horton with Carey Bell and Fenton Robinson. In 1976, Koko Taylor's I Got What It Takes was nominated for a Grammy Award, and Albert Collins soon signed to the label. Iglauer mainly worked as executive producer.[5]

In 1982, the label won its first Grammy Award for the album, I'm Here, by Clifton Chenier. The second Grammy came in 1985 for Showdown! by Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, and Robert Cray. In 1991, a 20th anniversary compilation album was issued.[5]

Since its founding, Alligator Records has released over 250 blues and blues/rock albums, as well as a defunct reggae series. Alligator artists include Lonnie Mack, Marcia Ball, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Eddy Clearwater, Sam Lay, Smokin' Joe Kubek, Roomful of Blues, Eric Lindell, JJ Grey & MOFRO, Lee Rocker, Cephas & Wiggins, and Michael Burks. More recently, veterans Charlie Musselwhite and James Cotton have re-signed to the label.

Alligator celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011 while reporting a profit for the previous year.[6] In January 2021, Exceleration Records invested in Alligator, becoming a financial and administrative partner with Iglauer.[7] In 2021, Alligator celebrated its 50th anniversary,[8] in observance of which Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared June 18, 2021 as “Alligator Records Day” in Chicago,[8] and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky added comments on Iglauer's and Alligator's part in the "American cultural legacy of Chicago blues music" to the Congressional Record.[9]


Alligator Records commenced releasing LPs in 1971 continuing through to the present with a focus on Chicago blues artists.[4][5][10]


Catalog No. (AL) Album Artist Details
4701 Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers Hound Dog Taylor
4702 Big Walter Horton with Carey Bell Big Walter Horton and Carey Bell
4703 The Son Seals Blues Band Son Seals
4704 Natural Boogie Hound Dog Taylor
4705 Somebody Loan Me a Dime Fenton Robinson
4706 I Got What It Takes Koko Taylor
4707 Beware of the Dog Hound Dog Taylor
4708 Midnight Son Son Seals
4709 Stomping on a Saturday Night Blind John Davis
4710 I Hear Some Blues Downstairs Fenton Robinson
4711 The Earthshaker Koko Taylor
4712 Live and Burning Son Seals
4713 Ice Pickin' Albert Collins
4714 Bayou Lightning Lonnie Brooks
4715 Someday You'll Have These Blues Phillip Walker
4716 Been Gone Too Long Lonesome Sundown
4717 Johnny Jones with Billy Boy Arnold Johnny Jones and Billy Boy Arnold
4718 Crawfish Fiesta Professor Longhair
4719 Frostbite Albert Collins
4720 Chicago Fire Son Seals
4721 Turn On the Night Lonnie Brooks
4722 Condition: Blue Tony Mathews
4723 Stone Crazy! Buddy Guy
4724 From the Heart of a Woman Koko Taylor
4725 Frozen Alive! Albert Collins
4726 The New Johnny Otis Show with Shuggie Otis Johnny Otis and Shuggie Otis
4727 Genuine Houserocking Music Hound Dog Taylor
4728 Raw Magic Magic Slim
4729 I'm Here! Clifton Chenier and His Red Hot Louisiana Band
4730 Don't Lose Your Cool Albert Collins
4731 Hot Shot Lonnie Brooks
4732 Playing for Keeps Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows
4733 Live in Japan Albert Collins
4734 Whoopin' Sonny Terry with Johnny Winter and Willie Dixon
4735 Guitar Slinger Johnny Winter
4736 Nightflight Fenton Robinson
4737 High Compression James Cotton
4738 Bad Axe Son Seals
4739 Strike Like Lightning Lonnie Mack
4740 Queen of the Blues Koko Taylor
4741 When a Guitar Plays the Blues Roy Buchanan
4742 Serious Business Johnny Winter
4743 Showdown! Albert Collins, Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland
4744 Bar Room Preacher Jimmy Johnson
4745 Pressure Cooker Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
4746 Live from Chicago - Mr. Superharp Himself! James Cotton
4747 Dancing on the Edge Roy Buchanan
4748 3rd Degree Johnny Winter
4749 Roughhousin' Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials
4750 Second Sight Lonnie Mack
4751 Wound Up Tight Lonnie Brooks
4752 Cold Snap Albert Collins
4753 All the Way Crazy Little Charlie & the Nightcats
4754 An Audience with the Queen Koko Taylor
4755 Live from Chicago! Bigger Than Life!! Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows
4756 Hot Wires Roy Buchanan
4757 I'm in the Wrong Business! A.C. Reed
4758 Edge of the City The Kinsey Report
4759 Live from Chicago: Bayou Lightning Strikes Lonnie Brooks
4760 The Siegel–Schwall Reunion Concert Siegel–Schwall Band
4761 Disturbing the Peace Little Charlie & the Nightcats
4762 Years Since Yesterday The Paladins
4763 Generic Blues Album Maurice John Vaughn
4764 Big News from Baton Rouge!! Kenny Neal
4765 Georgia Blue Tinsley Ellis
4766 The Swamp Boogie Queen Katie Webster
4767 Big Fun Elvin Bishop
4768 Harp and Soul Lazy Lester
4769 That Woman is Poison! Rufus Thomas
4770 Lucky Strikes! Lucky Peterson
4771 One More for the Road Charles Brown reissue of Blue Side LP
4772 Chicken, Gravy and Biscuits Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
4773 Live from Austin Delbert McClinton
4774 Devil Child Kenny Neal
4775 Midnight Drive The Kinsey Report
4776 The Big Break Little Charlie & the Nightcats
4777 Two-Fisted Mama Katie Webster
4778 Fanning the Flames Tinsley Ellis
4779 Standing My Ground Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
4780 The Uppity Blues Women Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women
4781 Ace of Harps Charlie Musselwhite
4782 Let's Buzz! The Paladins
4783 Louisiana Legend Raful Neal
4784 Jump for Joy Koko Taylor
4785 Return of the Thin Man Noble "Thin Man" Watts
4786 Live! Attack of the Killer V Lonnie Mack
4787 Keep It To Ourselves Sonny Boy Williamson recorded in 1963
4788 Blowin' Like Hell William Clarke
4789 Triple Play Lucky Peterson
4790 Harp Attack! James Cotton, Carey Bell, Junior Wells and Billy Branch
4791 Don't Let the Bossman Get You Down! Elvin Bishop
4792 Tore Up! Nappy Brown
4793 Street Party The Mellow Fellows
4794 Captured Live Little Charlie & the Nightcats
4795 Walking On Fire Kenny Neal
4796 Hot Flash Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women
4797 Lost in the Blues Otis Rush
4798 Living in the Danger Zone Son Seals
4799 Satisfaction Guaranteed Lonnie Brooks
4800 The Touch Johnny Heartsman
4801 Signature Charlie Musselwhite
4802 Alone & Acoustic Buddy Guy and Junior Wells
4803 No Foolin'! Katie Webster
4804 No Looking Back Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
4805 Trouble Time Tinsley Ellis
4806 Serious Intentions William Clarke
4807 Short Fuse Blues Dave Hole
4809 ...What You See Is What You Get Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
4810 Bayou Blood Kenny Neal
4811 Broadcasting Saffire − The Uppity Blues Women
4812 Night Vision Little Charlie & the Nightcats
4813 In the Shadow of the City Maurice John Vaughn
4814 Working Overtime Dave Hole
4815 Back Where I Belong Billy Boy Arnold
4816 Down in the Alley Bob Margolin
4817 Force of Nature Koko Taylor
4818 In My Time Charlie Musselwhite
4819 Blue Blazes Sugar Blue
4820 Soul Fixin' Man Luther Allison
4821 Bloodlines Michael Hill's Blues Mob
4822 Nothing but the Truth Son Seals
4823 Storm Warning Tinsley Ellis
4824 Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues Corky Siegel
4825 Hoodoo Moon Kenny Neal
4826 Old, New, Borrowed & Blue Saffire − The Uppity Blues Women
4827 Groove Time William Clarke
4828 Deep Down Carey Bell
4829 Straight Up! Little Charlie & the Nightcats
4830 Too Much Fun C. J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
4831 In Your Eyes Sugar Blue
4832 Steel on Steel Dave Hole
4833 Ace in the Hole Elvin Bishop
4834 Blue Streak Luther Allison
4835 My Blues & My Guitar Bob Margolin
4836 Eldorado Cadillac Billy Boy Arnold
4837 Between Midnight and Day Corey Harris
4838 Cool Down Cephas & Wiggins
4839 Border Town Legend Long John Hunter
4840 Cleaning House Saffire − The Uppity Blues Women
4841 Wake Up and Live! Floyd Dixon
4842 The Hard Way William Clarke
4843 Roadhouse Rules Lonnie Brooks
4844 The Big Squeeze C. J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
4845 Have Mercy! Michael Hill's Blues Mob
4846 Son Seals Live: Spontaneous Combustion Son Seals
4847 Ticket to Chicago Dave Hole
4848 Music Makin' Mama Ann Rabson
4849 Reckless Luther Allison
4850 Fish Ain't Bitin' Corey Harris
4851 Up and In Bob Margolin
4852 Fire It Up Tinsley Ellis
4853 Swinging from the Rafters Long John Hunter
4854 Good Luck Man Carey Bell
4855 Hound Dog Taylor: A Tribute Various Artists
4856 Live & Uppity Saffire − The Uppity Blues Women
4857 Turn the Heat Up Shemekia Copeland
4858 New York State of Blues Michael Hill's Blues Mob
4859 The Skin I'm In Elvin Bishop
4860 Smoke and Steel The Kinsey Report
4861 Ride with Me Long John Hunter
4862 Shadow of the Blues Little Charlie & the Nightcats
4863 Homemade Cephas & Wiggins
4864 Greens from the Garden Corey Harris
4865 Under the Spell Dave Hole
4866 Lone Star Shootout Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter and Phillip Walker
4867 Front Porch Blues John Jackson
4868 Get Wild! Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
4869 Live in Chicago Luther Allison
4870 Bitter Sweet Blues Gaye Adegbalola
4871 Suspicion Coco Montoya
4872 Vü-Dü Menz Corey Harris and Henry Butler
4873 Royal Blue Koko Taylor
4874 That's My Partner! Elvin Bishop and Little Smokey Smothers
4875 Wicked Shemekia Copeland
4876 The Chill Rusty Zinn
4877 Speaking in Tongues The Holmes Brothers
4878 Make It Rain Michael Burks
4879 Presumed Innocent Marcia Ball
4880 Ain't Gonna Hush! Saffire − The Uppity Blues Women
4881 Outside Looking In Dave Hole
4882 Step It Up! C. J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
4883 That's Big! Little Charlie & the Nightcats
4884 From Austin with Soul W. C. Clark
4885 Can't Look Back Coco Montoya
4886 Heads Up! Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
4887 Talking to Strangers Shemekia Copeland
4888 Somebody Told the Truth Cephas & Wiggins
4889 That's Right! Roomful of Blues
4890 The Live One Dave Hole
4891 So Many Rivers Marcia Ball
4892 I Smell Smoke Michael Burks
4993 Simple Truths The Holmes Brothers
4894 Double Take Kenny Neal and Billy Branch
4895 Watch Your Back Guitar Shorty
4896 Release the Hound Hound Dog Taylor
4897 Deep in the Heart W. C. Clark
4898 Second Nature Carey Bell and Lurrie Bell
4899 Have a Little Faith Mavis Staples
4900 Standing Room Only Roomful of Blues
4901 Corky Siegel's Traveling Chamber Blues Show! Corky Siegel
4902 Nine Lives Little Charlie & the Nightcats
4903 Live! Down the Road Marcia Ball
4904 Live - Highwayman Tinsley Ellis
4905 The Soul Truth Shemekia Copeland
4906 Flash Forward The Siegel-Schwall Band
4907 Racin' the Devil Lee Rocker
4908 Change in the Weather Eric Lindell
4909 Rattleshake Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
4910 Shoulder to Shoulder Cephas & Wiggins
4911 We The People Guitar Shorty
4912 State of Grace The Holmes Brothers
4913 Dirty Deal Coco Montoya
4914 Country Ghetto JJ Grey & Mofro
4915 Old School Koko Taylor
4916 Moment of Truth Tinsley Ellis
4917 Black Cat Bone Lee Rocker
4918 Low on Cash, Rich in Love Eric Lindell
4919 Raisin' a Ruckus Roomful of Blues
4920 Blood Brothers Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King
4921 West Side Strut Eddy Clearwater
4922 Peace, Love & BBQ Marcia Ball
4923 Iron Man Michael Burks
4924 What Love Will Do Janiva Magness
4925 Orange Blossoms JJ Grey & Mofro
4926 Full Tilt Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
4927 Havin' the Last Word Saffire − The Uppity Blues Women
4928 Gulf Coast Highway Eric Lindell
4929 Lay Your Burden Down Buckwheat Zydeco
4930 Twisted Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
4931 Hard Believer Tommy Castro
4932 Speak No Evil Tinsley Ellis
4933 Feed My Soul The Holmes Brothers
4934 Bare Knuckle Guitar Shorty
4935 The Devil is an Angel Too Janiva Magness
4936 American Patchwork Anders Osborne
4937 Have Blues, Will Travel Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King
4938 Georgia Warhorse JJ Grey & Mofro
4939 The Well Charlie Musselwhite
4940 Giant James Cotton
4941 Hook, Line & Sinker Roomful of Blues
4942 Roadside Attractions Marcia Ball
4943 The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue Live! Various Artists
4944 Brighter Days: The Film and Live Concert Album JJ Grey & Mofro CD and DVD
4945 Hellfire Joe Louis Walker
4946 Stronger For It Janiva Magness
4947 Soul Shot Curtis Salgado
4948 Black Eye Galaxy Anders Osborne
4949 Jump Start Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
4950 One Wrong Turn Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
4951 Show of Strength Michael Burks
4952 On My Mind / In My Heart Jesse Dee
4953 This River JJ Grey & Mofro
4954 Cotton Mouth Man James Cotton
4955 45 Live Roomful of Blues
4956 Peace Anders Osborne
4957 Brotherhood The Holmes Brothers
4958 The Devil You Know Tommy Castro and the Pain Killers
4959 Hornet's Nest Joe Louis Walker
4960 Refuse to Lose Jarekus Singleton
4961 Don't Call No Ambulance Selwyn Birchwood
4962 You Asked For It...Live Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
4963 Can't Even Do Wrong Right Elvin Bishop
4964 The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man Marcia Ball
4965 Meet Me in Bluesland The Kentucky Headhunters with Johnnie Johnson
4966 Outskirts of Love Shemekia Copeland
4967 Method to My Madness Tommy Castro and The Painkillers
4968 God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson Various Artists
4969 The Chicago Way Toronzo Cannon
4970 The Beautiful Lowdown Curtis Salgado
4971 Promised Land or Bust Moreland and Arbuckle
4972 The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
4973 Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio Elvin Bishop
4974 Hard Truth Coco Montoya
4975 Pick Your Poison Selwyn Birchwood
4976 Royal Mint The Cash Box Kings
4977 Groovin' in Greaseland Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
4978 Stompin' Ground Tommy Castro and The Painkillers
4979 Winning Hand Tinsley Ellis
4980 Rough Cut Curtis Salgado and Alan Hager
4981 The High Cost of Low Living Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling
4982 Shine Bright Marcia Ball
4983 Something Smells Funky Round Here Elvin Bishop
4984 America's Child Shemekia Copeland
4985 Revolution in Your Heart Eric Lindell
4986 Tough as Love Lindsay Beaver
4987 Journeys to the Heart of the Blues Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz and Giles Robson
4988 Live at the Ramblin' Man Fair The Kentucky Headhunters
4989 Killin' It Live Tommy Castro and The Pain Killers
4990 Kingfish Christone "Kingfish" Ingram
4991 Hail to the Kings! The Cash Box Kings
4992 Roots and Branches: The Songs of Little Walter Billy Branch
4993 Lucky Guy! Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling
4994 Coming in Hot Coco Montoya
4995 The Preacher, the Politician or the Pimp Toronzo Cannon
4996 Contemporary Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
4997 Ice Cream In Hell Tinsley Ellis
4998 In A Roomfull Of Blues Roomfull Of Blues
4999 Living In A Burning House Selwyn Birchwood
5001 Uncivil War Shemekia Copeland
5002 Damage Control Curtis Salgado
5003 Raisin' Cain Chris Cain
5004 100 Years Of Blues Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite


Catalog No. Album Artist Details
8302 Rasta Festival Black Slate
8303 Indestructible Mighty Diamonds
8304 Youthman Penitentiary Edi Fitzroy and the Roots Radics Band
8305 Forward The Abyssinians
8306 Check It! Mutabaruka
8307 King David's Melody Augustus Pablo
8308 In the Future Pablo Moses
8309 Scattered Lights The Skatalites
8310 Rockers All-Star Explosion Various Artists
8311 Tension Pablo Moses
8312 High Times All-Star Explosion Various Artists
8313 Triumph! Joe Higgs

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trakin, Roy Alligator Records Founder Bruce Iglauer to Receive A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine Hollywood Reporter. August 4, 2015
  2. ^ Reich, Howard (November 28, 2018). "Alligator Records Boss Bruce Iglauer Finally Tells the Story Behind the Legendary Chicago Blues Label". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 1, 2018. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Past Honorees - Chicago". Archived from the original on 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  4. ^ a b "Alligator Records Albums of the Month". 2012-04-09. Archived from the original on 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  5. ^ a b c Alligator Records : Encyclopedia of Popular Music Oxford Reference. 2012-02-17. ISBN 9780195313734. Archived from the original on 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  6. ^ Reich, Howard (2011-10-11). "Alligator Records celebrates 40th anniversary at SPACE - Chicago Tribune". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  7. ^ Guarino, Mark (October 22, 2021). "Bloodshot Records is bought by Exceleration Music". Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on 2021-10-25. Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  8. ^ a b Moore, Evan F. (June 15, 2021). "Chicago's Alligator Records celebrates 50th anniversary in 'home of the blues'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2021-06-16.
  9. ^ Sweet, Lynn (November 22, 2022). "Alligator Records founder Iglauer honored in D.C. for 50th anniversary of Chicago blues label". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 29, 2022. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  10. ^ Multiple sources:

External links[edit]