Jeff Cook, co-founder of country band Alabama, dead at 73

Musician Jeff Cook, who co-founded the country rock band Alabama, has died. He was 73.

Cook passed on Monday with his family and close friends by his side at his coastal property in Destin, Florida, on Tuesday, according to a news release.

“Jeffrey Alan Cook: 1949 – 2022,” Alabama’s Twitter account posted with a red heart.

News of the loss comes eight years after the country rock legend was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which he revealed publicly in 2017.

“Just remember, life is good and as long as you’re breathing…there’s ‘No Bad Days,’” he wrote at the time, quoting his own lyrics.

Cook was born in Fort Payne, Alabama, with a long history in radio that goes back to age 14 when he earned his broadcast engineer license and got hired to DJ at a local station.

Jeff Cook of Alabama attends the 43rd Annual CMA Awards at the Sommet Center on Nov. 11, 2009, in Nashville, Tennessee.
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The multi-instrumentalist and singer first fronted the band Wildcountry with his cousins, Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, in 1972 — that later became Alabama in 1977. In the meantime, he also made a return to radio when he founded Cook Sound Studios, Inc. ., in his hometown, and he also established radio station WQRX-AM in Valley Head, Alabama.

After the group initially ceased touring in 2004, he formed Cook & Glenn and the Allstar Goodtime Band, though would perform off-and-on as Alabama until his Parkinson’s diagnosis. The last time they played altogether was in 2018.

(LR) Musicians Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry, and Randy Owen of the group Alabama arrive at the 46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards RAM Red Carpet held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(LR) Musicians Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen of the group Alabama arrive at the 46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards RAM Red Carpet held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Frazer Harrison/ACMA2011

Alabama won the CMA Entertainer of the Year award for three consecutive years from 1982 to 1985. Their catalog includes hits like “Song of the South,” “Dixieland Delight,” “I’m in a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why) ” and “Mountain Music.”

Cook was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

He also co-wrote the band’s song “No Bad Days” in 2015, which took on a new meaning when he got his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

“After I got the Parkinson’s diagnosis, people would quote the song to me and say, ‘No bad days,’” he told The Tennessean in 2019. “They write me letters, notes and emails and they sign ‘No Bad Days.’ I know the support is there. They join me. People I don’t know come up to me and say, ‘How ya feeling?’ You just got to live it every day and take it as it comes. Prayer does work. And I know there was a lot of praying going on.”

Members of the band Alabama celebrated their 50th anniversary this year.

Jeff Cook performs at LP Field at the 2014 CMA Festival on June 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jeff Cook performs at LP Field at the 2014 CMA Festival on June 5, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee.
WireImage
(LR) Musicians Teddy Gentry, Randy Owen, Mark Heardon and Jeff Cook of the music group Alabama attend 13th Annual People's Choice Awards on March 15, 1987.
Musicians (from left) Teddy Gentry, Randy Owen, Mark Heardon and Jeff Cook of the music group Alabama attend the People’s Choice Awards on March 15, 1987.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Fellow country artists quickly reacted to the news of his death on Tuesday, starting with Travis Tritt.

“Sending out my deepest condolences to the family, friends and band mates of Jeff Cook from @TheAlabamaBand. Such a great guy an one heckuva bass fisherman. He will be truly missed,” he tweeted.

Jeff Cook performs with Alabama at the 2012 Stagecoach Country Music Festival - Indio, CA, in 2012.
Jeff Cook performs with Alabama at the 2012 Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, California, in 2012.
WireImage

“Jeff Cook, and all of the guys in Alabama, were so generous with wisdom and fun when I got to tour with them as a young artist,” singer Kenny Chesney said in a statement to The Post.

“But maybe even more, they 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 gave me the heart to chase this dream,” he added.

“Heaven gained another guitar/fiddle player today. Mom and I were saddened to hear about the passing of @TheAlabamaBand’s Jeff Cook after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. Prayers for his family and many fans,” Charlie Daniels Jr. and Hazel Daniels tweeted from the late Charlie Daniels’ account.

“So sad to hear of the passing of Jeff Cook,” Jason Aldean 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,” he added.

Cook is survived by his wife of 27 years, Lisa.

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