- Jeff Cook was the guitarist and co-founder of Alabama.
- He suffered from Parkinson’s disease for 10 years.
- Jeff passed away at the age of 73 on Nov. 7.
Jeff Cook, the guitarist and co-founder of the band, Alabama, died at the age of 73 on Nov. 7. The singer’s death was announced via a press release issued by his relatives and it revealed he was surrounded by family and close friends when he passed on at his home in Destin, FL. A cause of death has not yet been released but he was known to have suffered from Parkinson’s disease for several years.
Find out more about Jeff and his successful music career below.
Jeff formed Alabama with his cousins in 1972.
The band, who started in 1969 via their Twitter bio, was originally called Wildcountry but was changed to Alabama in 1977 and included Jeff’s cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry. Jeff, who earned a broadcast engineer license at the age of 13, provided backing vocals, lead guitar, keyboard, and fiddle for the band, which was named after the state he grew up in. The band was successful, achieving hit singles like “Tennessee River,” “Feels So Right,” and “Mountain Music,” and were active until 2004, when they stopped producing and performing regularly until 2013. Jeff went on to form other music groups, including Cook & Glenn and the Allstar Goodtime Band, and ended up performing with Alabama again in 2022 for the band’s 50th anniversary tour.
He also worked as a solo artist.
Jeff started releasing solo albums in 2005, with On Fire. He went on to release nine more, including Just Pickin’, Ashes Won’t Burn, Jeff Cook Presents Christmas Joy, and Tribute to a Soldier. His last solo album, Why Not Me with William Shatner was released in 2018.
Jeff was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012.
The talented musician didn’t publicly reveal he was struggling with the disease until 2017. It led him to stop touring regularly with Alabama in 2018.
Many celebs paid tribute to him after his death.
Kenny Chesney was one of many who shared heartfelt messages about Jeff and the impact he made on country music. “Jeff Cook, and all of the guys in Alabama, were so generous with wisdom and fun when I got to tour with them as a young artist,” he shared said in a statement. “They showed a kid in a T-shirt that country music could be rock, could be real, could be someone who looked like me. Growing up in East Tennessee, that gave me the heart to chase this dream.”
Jason Aldean also took to Twitter to share a message. “So sad to hear of the passing of Jeff Cook. I spent a lot of my life listening to him play guitar, what an iconic sound he had. I got a chance to perform with him multiple times over the years and I will never forget it,” it read.
Sending out my deepest condolences to the family, friends and band mates of Jeff Cook from @TheAlabamaBand. Such a great guy an one heckuva bass fisherman. He will be truly missed.
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) November 8, 2022
Travis Tritt wrote, “Sending out my deepest condolences to the family, friends and band mates of Jeff Cook from @TheAlabamaBand. Such a great guy an one heckuva bass fisherman. He will be truly missed,” in a tweet, and Mike Love of The Beach Boys wrote, “Very sad to hear of the passing of a founding member of one of America’s greatest groups, Alabama. Rest in peace Jeff Cook. We’ll miss you.”
Jeff is survived by many family members.
Some of them include his wife of 27 years, Betty Cook, brother David Cook, Crystal Cook, father-in-law Jerrial Williams and brother-in-law Randy Williams, as well as several nieces and nephews.