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


Guitarist Jeff Cook, who co-founded the profitable nation group Alabama and steered them up the charts with such hits as “Song of the South” and “Dixieland Delight,” has died. He was 73.

Cook had Parkinson’s illness and disclosed his prognosis in 2017. He died Tuesday at his house in Destin, Florida, mentioned Don Murry Grubbs, a consultant for the band.

Tributes poured in from nation stars, together with Travis Tritt who called Cook “an incredible man and one heckuva 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 participant and vocalist, Cook — alongside cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry — landed eight No. 1 songs on the nation charts between spring 1980 and summer time 1982, in response to the Country Music Hall of Fame. That run included the pop crossover hits “Love In The First Degree” and “Feels So Right,” in addition to “Tennessee River” and “Mountain 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,” Kenny Chesney mentioned in a press release. “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.”

The band had a three-year run as CMA Entertainer of the Year from 1982-1985 and earned 5 ACM Award Entertainer of the Year trophies from 1981-1985. He stopped touring with Alabama in 2018.

Cook launched a handful of solo initiatives and toured together with his Allstar Goodtime Band. He additionally launched collaborations with Charlie Daniels and “Star Trek” star William Shatner. He entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005 as a member of Alabama.

Survivors embrace his spouse, Lisa. 

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