Various Artists/Anthologies

Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection

Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection

Budget-priced double CD release celebrating the 40th anniversary of the world’s premier blues label. 38 songs (over 157 minutes of music)

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You could say that Alligator Records was born in January, 1970, at a little neighborhood bar called Florence’s Lounge on Chicago’s South Side. On a Sunday afternoon, a blues fan newly arri...
You could say that Alligator Records was born in January, 1970, at a little neighborhood bar called Florence’s Lounge on Chicago’s South Side. On a Sunday afternoon, a blues fan newly arrived in the city dropped in to check out a gig by a tall, gangly guitarist that everyone called “Dog.” When I stepped into the crowded little club packed with dancing, drinking, laughing patrons, I was overwhelmed by joyful, raw and energized electric boogie blues. Hound Dog Taylor, perched on a folding chair with a steel slide on the fifth of his six fingers, was pouring out piercing, distorted licks and chords on a cheap Japanese guitar and singing in a high, cracking true bluesman’s voice. He was accompanied only by a broken-toothed second guitarist named Brewer Phillips, playing ever-changing bass lines on an old Fender Telecaster, and a gum-chewing drummer named Ted Harvey who propelled every song forward, picking up the tempo on his minimalist kit, and making it impossible to keep from dancing. It was simply the happiest music I ever heard, and I knew it had to be recorded.

I spent the next year and a half learning everything I could about making and selling records from my boss and mentor, Bob Koester of Delmark Records. Finally, in May of 1971, I was ready to take this amazing little band into the studio. I wanted to capture the spirit of Florence’s Lounge on tape, for all the world to hear. And fueled by a sufficient amount of Canadian Club and the encouragement of my co-producer Wesley Race, they delivered just that spirit. They fulfilled my dream, and started another one—now I wanted to record the other wonderful bands I was hearing every night in the little blues bars on the South and West Sides of Chicago, musicians like Koko Taylor and Fenton Robinson and Carey Bell and Son Seals. And soon, the dream expanded to recording blues musicians from all across the country, legendary artists like Albert Collins and Professor Longhair and Gatemouth Brown and Johnny Otis, and talented newcomers like Shemekia Copeland and Corey Harris.

When I created Alligator Records, the very first promo piece to promote that very first Hound Dog Taylor album was headed “Genuine Houserockin’ Music.” That became our slogan, and we wear it proudly today. “Genuine” because the music we record is deeply rooted in the blues tradition (even when it pushes the standard definition of blues) and is created by musicians who have honed their songs not on synthesizers in their bedrooms, but in front of real audiences, responding to the emotional needs of their listeners. “House” instead of “theatre” or “arena” or “stadium,” because our music is ultimately intimate, even when it’s big and loud. It’s not meant to be presented. It’s meant to be shared between the musicians and the audience, like everyone at Florence’s shared the music with Hound Dog Taylor. And “Rockin’” because it’s designed to move you. Most of Alligator’s records will move your feet or your body, but we’ve tried to make records that will move that other part of you—your soul. Sometimes that can mean music that cleanses your inner pain by pulling it out of you, the “hurts so good” that is so special to the blues. And sometimes it just means the pure release and fun of musicians pouring their energy into a great groove.

Over the forty years, our definition of “Genuine Houserockin’ Music” has expanded to include not only pure blues artists, but also musicians and songwriters who have taken the spirit of the blues and created their own sounds and styles, sometimes called roots rock or rockabilly or front porch soul or, in a few cases, gospel, the ultimate soul-rockin’ music. But our mission has remained the same—to record honest, blues-infused music that moves the feet and soothes the soul, and hopefully makes you feel as good as a Sunday afternoon at Florence’s Lounge.

Bruce Iglauer

Compiled by Bruce Iglauer and the Alligator Records staff
Compilation mastered by
Collin Jordan and Bruce Iglauer at The Boiler Room, Chicago, IL
Packaging Design
by Kevin Niemiec
Alligator logo by
Michael Trossman

Producers and co-producers who contributed to this collection: Bruce Iglauer, Dick Shurman, Wesley Race, Richard McLeese, John Porter, Wyzard, Brian Brinkerhoff, Rick Estrin, Kid Andersen, Gary Nicholson, Chris Vachon, Joe Kubek, Didier Tricard, Son Seals, Dave Darling, Janiva Magness, Paul Barrere, Corey Harris, Larry Hoffman, Jim Gaines, Anders Osborne, Stanton Moore, Pepper Keenan, Lonnie Mack, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks, James Cotton, Jacklyn Hairston, Derek O’Brien, John Hahn, Jimmy Vivino, Allison Kaslow, Andy Kaslow, Elvin Bishop, Chris Goldsmith, Roy Buchanan, Mavis Staples, Jim Tullio, Tinsley Ellis, Eric Lindell, Saffire—The Uppity Blues Women, Joan Osborne, Katie Webster, Ice Cube Slim, Vasti Jackson, William Clarke, Steve Berlin and Dan Prothero

Special thanks to Didier Tricard of Isabel Records and Thomas Ruf of Ruf Records for allowing us to include tracks by Buddy Guy & Junior Wells and Luther Allison which were produced for their labels and for which they licensed rights to Alligator for territories outside of Europe and the UK.


Liner Notes

Complete 32 page booklet contains biographical information and photos of all artists featured on the compilation.  Simply too much information to list here.
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    Track Name Duration  
Play Song 1 I'm A Woman
Artist(s):  Koko Taylor
Author/Publisher:  McDaniel & Taylor, Arc Music, BMI
Play Song 2 I Ain't Drunk
Artist(s):  Albert Collins
Author/Publisher:  Liggins, EMI Unart Music, BMI
Play Song 3 Strange Feeling
Artist(s):  Michael Burks
Author/Publisher:  Burks, Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 4 Backup Plan
Artist(s):  Tommy Castro
Author/Publisher:  Castro & Estrin, Tommy Castro Music/Locked In Music, BMI
Play Song 5 Icicles In My Meatloaf
Artist(s):  Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
Author/Publisher:  Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 6 We The People
Artist(s):  Guitar Shorty
Author/Publisher:  Kearney & Harms, High Flying Blues Music/Harms Way Songs admin. by Chrysalis Music, BMI
Play Song 7 U B U
Artist(s):  Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
Author/Publisher:  Estrin, Locked In Music, BMI
Play Song 8 The Party's Still Going On
Artist(s):  Marcia Ball
Author/Publisher:  Ball, Nicholson & Hambridge, Gatorhythms admin. by Lew Bob Songs, BMI/Gary Nicholson Music admin. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, ASCAP/Tom Hambridge Tunes, ASCAP
Play Song 9 That's A Pretty Good Love
Artist(s):  Roomful of Blues
Author/Publisher:  Lucas & Mendelsohn, Screen Gems-EMI Music, BMI
Play Song 10 Have Blues, Will Travel
Artist(s):  Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King
Author/Publisher:  Kubek, King & Gurevich, Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 11 Going Home
Artist(s):  Son Seals
Author/Publisher:  Crutcher & Manuel, Irving Music, BMI
Play Song 12 Give ME My Coat And Shoes
Artist(s):  Buddy Guy & Junior Wells
Author/Publisher:  Guy, Editions Black & Blue admin. by Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 13 Slipped, Tripped And Fell In Love
Artist(s):  Janiva Magness
Author/Publisher:  Jackson, Screen Gems-EMI Music, BMI
Play Song 14 Mojo Boogie
Artist(s):  Johnny Winter
Author/Publisher:  Lenoir, Conrad Music, BMI
Play Song 15 Last Dirty Deal
Artist(s):  Coco Montoya
Author/Publisher:  Montoya & Steen, Mr. Squiggles Music admin. by Eyeball Music, BMI/Latersville Music admin. by Bug Music, ASCAP
Play Song 16 Fish Ain't Bitin'
Artist(s):  Corey Harris
Author/Publisher:  Harris, After Click Music, ASCAP
Play Song 17 All The King's Horses
Artist(s):  Luther Allison
Author/Publisher:  Allison & Solberg, Bad Love Music admin. by Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 18 Echoes Of My Sins
Artist(s):  Anders Osborne
Author/Publisher:  Osborne, Mr. Bubs Songs, BMI
Play Song 19 Double Whammy
Artist(s):  Lonnie Mack with Stevie Ray
Author/Publisher:  McIntosh, Mack's Flying V Music, BMI
Play Song 20 T-Bone Shuffle
Artist(s):  Albert Collins, Robert Cray & Johnny Copeland
Author/Publisher:  Walker, Unichappell Music, BMI
Play Song 21 Don’t Take Advantage Of Me
Artist(s):  Lonnie Brooks
Author/Publisher:  Brooks, Heavy Traffic Music admin. by Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 22 A Good Leavin’ Alone
Artist(s):  Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater
Author/Publisher:  Clearwater & Baker Brooks, Cleartone Music admin. by Eyeball Music/Ronnie Baker Brooks Music, BMI
Play Song 23 Sitting At Home Alone
Artist(s):  Hound Dog Taylor
Author/Publisher:  Taylor, Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 24 Roll Your Moneymaker
Artist(s):  Elvin Bishop & Little Smokey Smothers
Author/Publisher:  Harris, Conrad Music, BMI
Play Song 25 With The Quickness
Artist(s):  James Cotton
Author/Publisher:  Cotton, Cotton Kandy Music, BMI
Play Song 26 It’s My Own Tears
Artist(s):  Shemekia Copeland
Author/Publisher:  Copeland, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Inc., BMI
Play Song 27 Red Beans
Artist(s):  Professor Longhair
Author/Publisher:  Foster, Dare Music, BMI
Play Song 28 Where Hwy 61 Runs
Artist(s):  Charlie Musselwhite
Author/Publisher:  Musselwhite, Charlie Musselwhite/Chris Goldsmith admin. by Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 29 You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover
Artist(s):  Roy Buchanan with Delbert McClinton
Author/Publisher:  Dixon, Hoochie Coochie Music admin. by Bug Music, BMI
Play Song 30 Step Into The Light
Artist(s):  Mavis Staples
Author/Publisher:  Rosa, Tullio, Resnik & Staples, Warner Tamerlane obo Phantom Vox/WB/Muziekuitgeverj/Tools Music/Rezmusic/Staples Music, BMI
Play Song 31 Speak No Evil
Artist(s):  Tinsley Ellis
Author/Publisher:  Ellis, Heartfixer Music, BMI
Play Song 32 It’s A Drag
Artist(s):  Eric Lindell
Author/Publisher:  Lindell, E. Lindell Music admin. by Small Scale Music, ASCAP
Play Song 33 Going Down To The River
Artist(s):  Saffire & The Uppity Blues Women
Author/Publisher:  Daruda, Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 34 Feed My Soul
Artist(s):  The Holmes Brothers
Author/Publisher:  Holmes, Gardenville Music/Foggy Day Music admin. by Bug Music, BMI
Play Song 35 Two-Fisted Mama
Artist(s):  Katie Webster
Author/Publisher:  Thorne & Iglauer, Eyeball Music, BMI
Play Song 36 Daddy Pinocchio
Artist(s):  William Clarke
Author/Publisher:  Witherspoon & Taub, Careers-BMG Music, BMI
Play Song 37 When The Levee Breaks
Artist(s):  Buckwheat Zydeco
Author/Publisher:  McCoy, MPL Music Publ. obo Edwin H. Morris & Co., ASCAP
Play Song 38 The Sun Is Shining Down
Artist(s):  JJ Grey & Mofro
Author/Publisher:  Grey, JJ Grey Music, BMI
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