By Mark Kennedy | Associated Press
NEW YORK – Guitarist Jeff Cook, who co-founded the successful country group Alabama and catapulted them into the charts with hits like ‘Song of the South’ and ‘Dixieland Delight,’ has died. He was 73.
Cook had Parkinson’s disease and announced his diagnosis in 2017. He died Tuesday at his home in Destin, Fla., said Don Murry Grubbs, a representative for the band.
Tributes poured in from country stars, including Travis Tritt, who called Cook “a great guy and a friggin’ bass fisherman,” and Charlie Daniels, who tweeted that “heaven won another guitar/fiddle player today.”
A guitarist, violinist, and singer, Cook had eight No. 1 songs on the country charts between spring 1980 and summer 1982, alongside cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, according to the Country Music Hall of Fame. That run included pop crossover hits “Love In The First Degree” and “Feels So Right,” as well as “Tennessee River” and “Mountain Music.”
“Jeff Cook and all the guys in Alabama were so generous with wisdom and fun when I got to tour with them as a young artist,” Kenny Chesney said in a statement. “You showed a kid in a t-shirt that country music can be rock, it can be real, it can be someone who looks like me. Growing up in East Tennessee gave me the heart to pursue that dream.”
The band was CMA Entertainer of the Year for three years from 1982 to 1985 and received five trophies for the ACM Award Entertainer of the Year from 1981 to 1985. He stopped touring with Alabama in 2018.
Cook released a handful of 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.
Among the survivors is his wife Lisa.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/08/musician-jeff-cook-dies-at-73-was-co-founder-of-the-country-band-alabama/ musician Jeff Cook dies; The Alabama co-founder was in the Country Music Hall of Fame