(WHNT) — Jeff Cook, a founding member of the Fort Payne-based group ALABAMA, passed away on Monday, November 7. He was 73.
According to the band’s publicity firm, Cook died at his beach home in Destin, Fla. “with his family and close friends by his side.”
Cook was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012. He made the diagnosis public in 2017, telling News 19, “I’m not calling it quits, but sometimes our bodies dictate what we have to do, and mine is telling me it’s time to take a break and heal. I do believe in prayer and I appreciate all the continued prayers throughout this difficult time.”
From then on, Cook’s presence on ALABAMA’s tours became less frequent. He stopped touring with the band altogether in 2018, according to a news release.
After the diagnosis, Cook and his wife of 27 years, Lisa Cook, established the “Jeff and Lisa Cook Foundation,” an organization “made to bring people together to help educate and supply resources which would enable people to better help themselves and each other.”
Cook helped co-found the ALABAMA band alongside Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry more than 50 years ago. While starting from humble beginnings, the band changed the face of country music, selling more than 80 million albums and charting more than 40 No. 1 hits.
In addition to performing, Cook established “Cook Sound Studios, Inc.” in Fort Payne. He was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Lisa Cook, his mother, Betty Cook, brother David Cook, father-in-law Jerrial Williams, brother-in-law Randy Williams, many nieces and nephews, and beloved dogs Blazer and Blakely.