Founding member of ALABAMA Jeff Cook passes away at age 73
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WAFF) - The founding member of group ALABAMA, Jeff Cook, passed away at the age of 73 on Monday.
Cook was at his beach home in Destin, FL. surrounded by his close friends and family. In 2012, the multi-award-winning guitarist was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Cook was born in Fort Payne, AL. on August 27, 1949, and began playing lead guitar and keyboards at the age of 13. After getting his broadcast license at the age of 14, he went to work as a disc jockey at a local Fort Payne radio station. He later owned is own radio and TV stations.
After graduating from Fort Payne High School, Cook received a degree in Electronic Technology from Gadsden State Community College.
More than 50 years ago, Cook and his cousins Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen left Fort Payne to spend the summer playing music in Myrtle Beach, S.C. at a bar called The Bowery. After six years and plenty of tip jars later the group was able to get a major label deal.
The group created eight No. 1 songs including “Song of the South” and “Dixieland Delight”. Between 1981 and 1985 the band earned three consecutive wins as the CMA Entertainer of the Year and earned five ACM Award Entertainer of the Year trophies.
In 2018, Cook stopped touring with the group due to his health battle.
Cook is survived by his wife of 27 years Lisa Cook, his mother Betty Cook, and his brother David Cook amongst his in-laws, nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers his family has requested donations be made to THE JEFF AND LISA COOK FOUNDATION. The foundation was formed along with The Jeff and Lisa Cook Children’s Home to house orphaned children worldwide.
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