News

CHICAGO'S WTTW-TV TO AIR SWEET HOME CHICAGO -- CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS ON SEPTEMBER 10 AND SEPTEMBER 12

[09/01/2021]
Concert Film Features Label Stars Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues, Shemekia Copeland, Lil’ Ed Williams, Toronzo Cannon and Label President Bruce Iglauer

Recorded Live At Governors State University
Center For Performing Arts


“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

Chicago television station WTTW will broadcast Sweet Home Chicago -- Celebrating 50 Years Of Alligator Records on Friday, September 10 at 9:30pm Central time, and on Sunday, September 12 at 12:30pm Central time. Find more information about the broadcast here. The concert was filmed live earlier this year at Governors State University (GSU) Center For Performing Arts as part of their 25th anniversary season.

The film features roof-raising performances from label stars Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues, Grammy-nominated vocalist Shemekia Copeland, slide guitarist Lil' Ed Williams, and guitarist and songwriter Toronzo Cannon. Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer appears as emcee.


Alligator Records, founded in 1971 by Iglauer, is home to some of the world’s foremost blues and roots rock talent and is regarded by fans and the media alike as the top contemporary blues record label in the world. 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.

Rolling Stone says, “Prestigious, scrappy independent blues label Alligator Records has reached dizzying heights in celebrating the blues.” From classic Windy City artists like Hound Dog Taylor and “Queen Of The Blues” Koko Taylor, to next generation legends Lil’ Ed Williams and Billy Branch to contemporary stars including Toronzo Cannon and Shemekia Copeland, Alligator’s discography reads like a who’s who in modern blues history. Legendary artists including Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison, Johnny Winter, Albert Collins, James Cotton, Rick Estrin, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Michael “Iron Man” Burks, The Holmes Brothers, Mavis Staples, Marcia Ball and rising stars Selwyn Birchwood and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram are just some of the blues immortals who have recorded groundbreaking music for the label. Now, at 50 years old, Alligator is still committed to discovering great new talent, proving that the passion, soul and redemptive power of blues and roots music is alive and well.

Sweet Home Chicago -- Celebrating 50 Years Of Alligator Records is produced by the Governors State University Center for Performing Arts with the generous support by the GSU Department of Learning and Media Design, Illinois Arts Council and First Midwest Bank.