Jeff Cook, who co-founded the successful country band Alabama and led it to the top of the charts with songs like “Song of the South” and “Dixieland Delight,” died at the age of 73.
Cook had Parkinson’s disease, which he told the public about in 2017. Don Murry Grubbs, a band representative, said that he died on Tuesday at his home in Destin, Florida.
Country stars, like Travis Tritt, who called Cook “a great guy and one heck of a bass fisherman,” and Charlie Daniels, who wrote on Twitter, “Heaven got another guitar/fiddle player today,” sent their condolences.
The Country Music Hall of Fame says that Cook, along with his cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, had eight No. 1 country songs between the spring of 1980 and the summer of 1982. Cook played guitar, fiddle, and sang.
During that time, “Love in the First Degree,” “Feels So Right,” “Tennessee River,” and “Mountain Music” were all big hits. Kenny Chesney said in a statement, “Jeff Cook and all the guys in Alabama were so helpful and fun when I got to tour with them when I was a young artist.”
“They showed a kid in a T-shirt that country music could be rock, could be real, and could be someone who looked like me. Growing up in East Tennessee gave me the courage to pursue this dream.”
From 1982 to 1985, the band was named CMA Entertainer of the Year, and from 1981 to 1985, they won five ACM Awards for Entertainer of the Year. In 2018, he stopped going on tour with Alabama.
Cook put out a few solo albums and took his All-Star Goodtime Band on the road. He also worked with Daniels and William Shatner, who played Spock on “Star Trek.” As a member of Alabama, he got into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
Lisa, his wife, is one of the people who will remember him.