Label's 50th Anniversary Year Culminates With Major International Recognition

“Alligator Records stands as one of the most enduring and revered independent blues labels in the world, its catalog holding inextinguishable works.”
The Chicago Tribune
“Prestigious, scrappy independent Alligator Records has reached dizzying heights in celebrating the blues.”
  –Rolling Stone
“With muscular, no-frills production, Alligator catches the blues as it melds with soul, rock, gospel, country and zydeco, partying away the pains of love. Alligator is the leading record label for the blues, and has succeeded where the giants have failed.”
  –The New York Times




On Friday, December 17, 2021, Alligator Records founder and president Bruce Iglauer was honored with the French Charles Cros Academy "In Honorem" Award. As a live ceremony is not possible this year, the highly coveted award was announced by host Alex Dutilh on his Open Jazz radio show on France Musique.

According to the Académie Charles Cros (ACC), "Members of the Jazz and Blues and Soul commissions have unanimously agreed to award this distinction to Bruce Iglauer, founder of Alligator Records, the independent label which has carried the colors of the blues high for 50 years, on the occasion of the release of 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin' Music (Alligator / Socadisc).

"The ACC has awarded prizes annually since 1948 and is placed under the high patronage of the President of the Republic. Each year, in addition to the President of the Republic's award, it also gives "In Honorem" awards to artists for their entire career, or to personalities for the importance of their work."

Previous winners include other record label owners as well as blues master Lucky Peterson and jazz stars Roy Haynes, Sonny Rollins and Lee Konitz.

Iglauer is thrilled to received this recognition, saying. "I am extremely honored to have Alligator Records receive this award. I accept it in the name of all the Alligator artists, from Hound Dog Taylor in 1971 to Christone "Kingfish" Ingram today, who have lived the blues and carried the tradition forward. The slogan of Alligator is 'Genuine Houserockin’ Music'. We hope that the 'rockin' means that our music not only rocks your body, but hopefully rocks your soul. Again, thank you."

On June 18, 2021, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared "Alligator Records Day" throughout the city via official proclamation. This is the same day Alligator Records--50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin' Music (a 2-LP or 3-CD set) was released. On September 18, 2021, the Mayor declared "Bruce Iglauer Day" across the city.

Alligator Records was born in 1971,when 23-year-old blues fan Bruce Iglauer spent his savings to record and release a record by his favorite Chicago blues band, Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers. He created Alligator Records to release that one LP. Today, Alligator boasts a catalog of over 350 titles, many of which are renowned, award-winning, time-tested classics of the genre. Career-defining albums from legendary artists like Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Son Seals, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Professor Longhair, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison and Michael “Iron Man” Burks share the catalog with releases from current blues and roots icons Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Guitar Shorty, Billy Boy Arnold and Mavis Staples. Records from today’s world-renowned stars like Shemekia Copeland, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Marcia Ball, Billy Branch, Tinsley Ellis, Joe Louis Walker, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, Curtis Salgado, Roomful Of Blues and The Cash Box Kings, as well as albums from trailblazing newer voices including Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Nick Moss, Toronzo Cannon and Selwyn Birchwood, clearly showcase Alligator’s wide-ranging, forward-looking vision. Alligator, like the blues itself, continues to break new ground while staying true to its Genuine Houserockin’ roots.