Fans and country music stars alive started sharing tributes for Jeff Cook, the guitarist and fiddle player for Alabama. He died Tuesday, five years after revealing a Parkinson’s diagnosis.
The Country Music Association was one of the first groups to acknowledge his death. The CMA official social media account posted: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jeff Cook, co-founding member of legendary band Alabama and Country Music Hall of Fame member. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones during this time.”
The official Charlie Daniels Twitter account also passed along their memories. Daniels’ son has taken over the account since his dad died a year ago.
“Heaven gained another guitar/fiddle player today. Mom and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Alabama’s Jeff Cook after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. Prayers for his family and many fans. – CD, Jr. & Hazel Daniels.”
Travis Tritt Remembered Jeff Cook as ‘One Heckuva Bass Fisherman’
The Associated Press reported that Cook, 73, died at his home in Destin, Fla. Cook had fought Parkinson’s for a decade. He didn’t publicly reveal his diagnosis until 2017.
Travis Tritt, who came to country music fame in the 1990s, also paid his respects to Cook, writing “sending out my deepest condolences to the family, friends and band mates of Jeff Cook from Alabama. Such a great guy and one heckuva bass fisherman. He will be truly missed.”
Jason Isbell shared some memories of the fiddle player. “Such sad news. Jeff was a sweet sweet man and a hugely influential musician for us Alabama folks. Heartbreaking.”
Fans also were tweeting their replies to the Alabama group, which shared the news of Cook’s death on social media. One wrote “So very, very sorry. Our hearts are broken with this news. My family and I will keep his friends, family and fellow fans in our prayers.”
Another wrote: “Rest In Peace. You were a great musician! I can remember running into you in Nashville grocery shopping and you were such a gentleman. I will never see a double guitar and not think of you playing.”
Jeff Cook, along with his cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, started the group in 1969. But they initially called themselves Wild Country. By 1977, they changed the name to Alabama. Their greatest success unfolded in the 1980s, when they released 27 songs that hit No. 1. Some of those songs included Dixieland Delight, Tennessee River and If You’re Going to Play in Texas (You’ve Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band.)”