BREAKING: Music world mourns death of legendary Country Music Hall of Famer aged 73

Music world mourns death of legendary Country Music Hall of Famer aged 73

Jeff Cook, the Country Music Hall of Famer and co-founder and guitarist of  Alabama, the most successful country band of all time, passed away aged 73 after battling Parkinson’s disease.

 

Jeff Cook, the legendary Country Music Hall of Famer who co-founded the country supergroup Alabama, passed away on Monday, November 7. He had spent many years battling Parkinson’s disease.

His death was confirmed in a post by the band on social media this Tuesday 8. They said their bandmate was surrounded by family members and close friends when he passed away at his beach home in the city of Destin in northwest Florida.

A statement from the band read: “Jeff Cook, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Musicians Hall of Fame, Fiddlers Hall of Fame, and Gibson’s Guitarist of the Year, passed away peacefully yesterday, November 7, with his family and close friends by his side at his beach home in Destin, Florida”

“He was 73. The multi-award-winning guitarist was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012. Cook was a champion in all he attempted and he courageously faced his battle with a positive attitude”.

“Jeffrey Alan Cook was born in Fort Payne, Alabama on August 27, 1949. He began playing lead guitar and keyboards in bands at the age of 13. Securing a broadcast license only three days after his 14th birthday, Cook went to work as a disc jockey at a local Fort Payne radio station. The broadcast bug had entered his blood and later resulted in him owning radio and TV stations”.

“After graduating from Fort Payne High School, Cook received a degree in Electronic Technology from Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden, Alabama, and was named ‘Outstanding Alumni’ by the American Association of Community Colleges. Cook loved that radio combined two of his favourite things, music and electronics”.

“One of Cook’s lifelong dreams came true with the construction of Cook Sound Studios and his home, ‘Cook Castle’, based in Fort Payne. The studio was a way for him to help musicians share their music with others. Outside of music, one of his favourite hobbies was bass fishing. He was proud to be an official ‘Fishing Ambassador’ to the state of Alabama, as proclaimed by five Governors.

“Cook is credited for introducing the electric double-neck guitar to country music. He was also an accomplished musician with the ability to play the piano, guitar, fiddle, bass guitar, banjo, mandolin, and anything else thrown in front of him”.

“He married the love of his life, Lisa Williams, on June 9, 1995. The Cooks resided in ‘Cook Castle’ atop Lookout Mountain in Fort Payne, AL, Guntersville, AL and Destin/Miramar Beach, FL”.

“As a member of ALABAMA, Cook enjoyed one of the most successful careers in country music history. Over 50 years ago, Cook, along with cousins Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen, left Fort Payne to spend the summer playing music in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina bar called The Bowery”.

“It took Cook, Gentry, and Owen six long years of tip jars and word-of-mouth to earn the major label deal they’d been dreaming of. Then, took seemingly no time at all to change the face of country music forever. Cook’s iconic guitar licks, unique fiddle style, exceptional vocals and harmony, along with his bandmates, went on to sell 80 million albums and charted 43 No. 1 hits, becoming the biggest group in the history of the country genre”.

“Due to Cook’s health battle, he ceased touring with ALABAMA in 2018. With his encouragement and well wishes, ALABAMA went on because Cook never wanted ‘the music to stop or the party to end'”.

“With his profound desire to help others, The Jeff and Lisa Cook Foundation was formed along with The Jeff and Lisa Cook Children’s Home to house orphaned children worldwide, starting in the Philippines”.

“Cook is survived by his wife of 27 years Lisa Cook, beloved puppies Blazer and Blakely, his mother Betty Cook, his brother David Cook, Crystal Cook, his father-in-law Jerrial Williams, his brother-in-law Randy Williams, and many nieces and nephews. Cook was pre-deceased by his father James Cook and his mother-in-law, JoAnn Williams” 

“Jeffrey Alan Cook will always be thankful for his loving family, many close friends and especially… his FANS”

“In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to THE JEFF AND LISA COOK FOUNDATION:

P.O. BOX 680067, Fort Payne, AL 35968 or through the foundation website: thejeffandlisacookfoundation.org

Arrangements for Cook’s “Celebration of Life” will be announced at a later date”.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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