Jeff Cook, co-founder of country group Alabama, dies at 73

Jeff Cook, co-founder of country group Alabama, dies at 73

Guitarist Jeff Cook has died. He was the co-founder of the country group Alabama, and helped them climb the charts with hits like “Song of the South,” and “Dixieland Delight.” He was 73.

Cook had Parkinson’s disease and disclosed his diagnosis in 2017. Don Murry Grubbs, a representative of the band, stated that Cook died Tuesday at his Destin, Florida home.

Tributes came in from country stars like Travis Tritt , who called Cook a “great guy and one helluva bass fisherman.”

Alabama The Hits Tour 2018 - Atlanta, Georgia
Jeff Cook of Alabama performs on stage at The Fox Theatre on April 13, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images

As a guitarist, fiddle player and vocalist, Cook — alongside cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry — landed eight No. 1 songs on the country charts between spring 1980 and summer 1982, according to the Country Music Hall of Fame. This included pop crossover hits like “Love In The First Degree” 1980 and “Feels So Right” , according to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Jeff Cook and all the guys from Alabama were so generous with wisdom, fun, and fun when they gave me the opportunity to tour with them as young artists,” Kenny Chesney stated in a statement. “They showed a child in a T-shirt country music could be rock, could actually be real, could possibly be someone like me. It was my East Tennessee upbringing that gave me the courage to pursue this dream.

The band had a three-year run as CMA Entertainer of the Year from 1982-1985 and earned five ACM Award Entertainer of the Year trophies from 1981-1985. He stopped touring with Alabama in 2018.

Cook has released a few solo projects and toured with his Allstar Goodtime Band. He also collaborated with Charlie Daniels, William Shatner (Star Trek) and others. He entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005 as a member of Alabama.

Survivors includes his wife Lisa.

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