Guitarist Jeff Cook, who co-founded the seminal nation group Alabama and topped the charts with hits like “Song of the South” and “Dixieland Delight,” has died. He was 73 years old.
Cook had Parkinson’s disease and disclosed his research in 2017. Band mentor Don Murry Grubbs said he died Tuesday at his residence in Destin, Florida.
From Nation stars including Travis Tritt, who known Cook as “a great man and a hekuwa bass fisherman”, and Jason Aldean, who tweeted: “I’ve had the opportunity to work with him several times over time. Tribute paid. I will always remember it.” Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young said: “Everything he did was rooted in his deep love of music, a love he shared with millions of people.”
As a guitarist, fiddle participant and vocalist, Cook – along with cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry – landed eight #1 songs on the nation charts between the spring 1980 and summer 1982 seasons 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”.
Kenny Chesney said in a press release, “Jeff Cook, and everyone in Alabama, was so generous with knowledge and fun when I had the opportunity to tour with him as a young artist.” “He 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 inspired me to chase this dream. Gave heart.”
The band served for three years as the CMA Entertainer of the Year from 1982–1985 and earned 5 ACM Award Entertainer of the Year trophies from 1981–1985. They stopped touring with Alabama in 2018.
Cook took up some solo work and toured with his Allstar Goodtime band. He also began collaborating with Charlie Daniels and star trek Star William Shatner. He entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005 as a member of Alabama.
A musical he co-wrote in 2015, “No Bad Days,” took on new meaning after his analysis. “After I got the Parkinson’s analysis, people would quote me music and say, ‘No bad days,'” Cook said. tennessine in 2019. “They write me letters, notes and emails and they sign ‘No Bad Days.’ I know there is help.”
The survivors embraced his wife, Lisa.