The country rock band ‘Alabama’ loses a founding member

Jeff Cook, the guitarist of the country music band Alabama, has died at the age of 73, the Daily Caller reports

A statement announcing Cook’s passing suggests that Cook’s death was the result of Parkinson’s disease. Cook had been battling the illness for about a decade, although he didn’t make reveal his diagnosis until more recently.

The statement also revealed that Cook “passed away peacefully . . . with his family and close friends by his side at his beach home in Destin, Florida.”

“You are a legend”

Social media has been flooded with tributes to Cook following the news of his passing – especially from fellow country musicians. Among them is Jason Aldean.

“So sad to hear of the passing of Jeff Cook,” he tweeted. “I spent a lot of my life listening to him play guitar, what an iconic sound he had. I got a chance to perform with him multiple times over the years and I will never forget it.”

Aldean followed this up with another post that read, “RIP Mr. Jeff, you are a legend to many of us and your influence will be felt forever in country music.”

Looking back

Cook was a founding member of the country rock band Alabama, along with his cousins Randy Owen and Tedd Gentry. Cook seemingly played all instruments, but he was especially known for being a guitarist, fiddler, and vocalist.

After the band was formed in the 1970s, it would go on to achieve great success in the 1980s, topping country music charts with such hits as Feels So Right, Mountain Music, and Love In The First Degree, and earning the CMA Entertainer of the Year award for three years running.

“Alabama” would continue successfully touring until 2004, and, even after that, they would occasionally perform together through 2018.

Cook, himself, earned numerous awards and honors throughout his lifetime, including being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Till we get to jam again . . .”

Perhaps, the most touching tribute to Cook came from fellow “Alabama” member Tedd Gentry.

Gentry wrote:

Closer than brothers, we lived together more than with our immediate families. Don’t think I’ve known anyone who loved playing more. Jeff, along with me and Randy, experienced the highs of undreamed success, as well as some very tough early years. None of us were perfect, but together we had something so special it will never die. No other guitar player I’ve known had the range of styles Jeff had. No one can take your place. Ever. Rest in peace till we get to jam again.

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