The City of Chicago will honor Alligator Records' 40th Anniversary with a no-holds-barred celebration on Sunday, June 12, 2011, as part of this year's Chicago Blues Festival. Legendary Chicago blues guitarist/vocalist Lonnie Brooks and his band will be joined throughout the evening by some very special guests, including guitarist/vocalist Michael "Iron Man" Burks, harmonica master/vocalist Rick Estrin, pianist/vocalist Ann Rabson, and guitarist/vocalist Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater.

The All-Star concert, which closes out the Chicago Blues Festival on the Petrillo Main Stage, will be preceded by a set from vocal powerhouse Shemekia Copeland, who began her career as an Alligator artist.

On February 22 the label released The Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection to widespread critical and popular acclaim. The two-CDs-for-the-price-of-one set received a glowing four-star review from Rolling Stone, and label founder and president Bruce Iglauer was recently featured on NPR's Weekend Edition, in addition to even more national and regional coverage, including a two-part, two-hour interview and feature on XM/Sirius B.B. King's Bluesville Channel 74.

To read a full history of the label, click Alligator Records.

Below is a short reminiscence from Iglauer:
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.