Sad to share the passing of another legend, Alabama’s co-founder, Jeff Cook.
Jeffrey Alan Cook was born in Fort Payne, Alabama, and was of English and Native America descent. Cook was a graduate of Fort Payne High School and Jacksonville State University where he obtained a broadcast engineer license three days after his fourteenth birthday, and worked at a local radio station as a disc jockey while still in high school.
Cook co-founded the band Wildcountry, along with his cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry in 1972 and then the name was changed to Alabama in 1977. Jeff contributed 50 years inside the Alabama family as both lead and backing vocals, lead guitar, keyboard, and fiddle specialist, rounding out this historical act as the most awarded band in the history of country music, with well over 200 awards from a variety of organizations sharing over 43 number-one hits and 7 multi-platinum awarded albums. Cook was a Bob Hope Humanitarian Awarded artist, who shares a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and was a 2 time Grammy and People Choice recipient. As well, Alan was a Country Music Hall of Famer, an Americaan Country Music, a 7 time Country Music Award recipient who was also a 17 time American Music Awarded 28-time Billboard and Cashbox recipient, with his most recent honor being presented to him in 2019 as 1 of the newest additions inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019.
Jeff founded his own creative space entitled Cook Sound Studios, Inc., in his native Fort Payne, and also established radio station WQRX-AM. Cook was also noted for his culinary endeavors, having operated a restaurant, and marketed his own sauce.
Cook endorsed the 2008 presidential candidacy of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and made appearances with the candidate in Alabama.
THIS next part really hits home for me. Sadly on April 11, 2017, Cook disclosed that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years earlier. He stopped touring regularly with Alabama in 2018 but regained the stage on the Alabama 50th Anniversy 2022 Tour, til Jeff died from complications of the disease in Destin, Florida, on November 8, 2022, at the age of 73.
Thank you for your devotion to your craft, your passion, your creativity, and your in-depth dedication to entertaining the country music masses world wide Jeff. RIP.