Guitarist Jeff Cook, who co-founded the successful country 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 revealed his diagnosis in 2017. Band representative Don Murry Grubbs said he died Tuesday at his home in Destin, Florida.
Tributes poured in from country stars, including Travis Trita Who said Cook “A great man and a hekuwa bass fisherman.
According to the Country Music Hall of Fame, as a guitarist, fiddle player, and vocalist, Cook—along with cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry—landed eight #1 songs on the country charts between 1980 and summer 1982. That run included the pop crossover hits “Love in the First Degree” and “Feels So Right”, as well as “Tennessee River” and “Mountain Music”.
Kenny Chesney said in a statement, “Jeff Cook, and everyone in Alabama, was so generous with the knowledge and fun that it was when I went 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. heart.”
The band served for three years as the CMA Entertainer of the Year from 1982–1985, and earned five ACM Award Entertainer of the Year trophies from 1981–1985. They stopped touring with Alabama in 2018.
Cook released a few solo projects and toured with his Allstar Goodtime band. He also released 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 include his wife Lisa.