Alabama Co-Founding Member Jeff Cook Loses Fight With Parkinson's

He was a founding member of the biggest Country Music Group of all-time Alabama and his lead guitar playing helped propel many of the band's hits to Number One! Jeff Cook passed away Monday after a ten year long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 73 years old.

Cook went from "playing" the hits as a 14 year old dee-jay to actually performing the hits when he formed "Wild Country" in 1972 with Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry. In 1977 they changed their name to Alabama and the rest is history. A history that includes 41 number one hits, the first of which "Tennessee River" came in 1980. Many more chart toppers would follow including "Mountain Music", "Old Flame", "Dixieland Delight", "Roll On" , and "Song of the South". As a group Alabama was a three time CMA and five time ACM Entertainer of the Year. They were also named the ACM Artist of the Decade for the 1980's. The band collected over 200 awards and are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Cook, a multi-instrumentalist, "hung up" his fiddle in 2018. The effects of the disease "robs you of your coordination, your balance and causes tremors" Cook said.

Cook is survived by his wife Lisa. No funeral arrangements have been announced.

Alabama with some of the WNCO radio station staff at The Richland County Fair in 1992. Jeff Cook is second from the right .Photo: unknown

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