Jeff Cook, the Grammy-winning founding guitarist, keyboardist and fiddler of Alabama — one of the crucial profitable nation teams of all time, with had 33 No. 1 nation hits, together with 21 in a row — died Tuesday at his dwelling in Destin, FL, a band rep to the Associated Press. He was 73.
Cook had been recognized with Parkinson’s illness in 2017.
Born on August 27, 1949, in Fort Payne, AL, Cook co-founded the band as within the early Nineteen Seventies together with his cousins — singer-guitarist Randy Owen and bassist Teddy Gentry — and drummer Bennett Vartanian. The group spent a number of summers taking part in in a Myrtle Beach, SC, bar known as The Bowery and renamed Alabama in 1977, the group broke via with “My Home’s in Alabama,” which peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs in 1980. That preliminary success launched the quartet to superstardom: Its subsequent 21 singles all topped that that chart, save for a 1982 Christmas track.
“More than anything,” Cook is quoted on the band’s web site, “our longevity is a tribute to the hard work we did in selecting songs — because it’s the songs that people remember.”
Overall, the group with a Southern rock edge racked up greater than 50 Top 10 nation singles, together with such enduring classics as “Song of the South” and “Jukebox in My Mind,” and 20 platinum albums from 1980-2011. They have bought practically 50 million albums within the U.S., per the RIAA — which ranks the group because the thirty first best-selling act of all time.
Billboard lists the group because the No. 5 nation act of the Eighties and No. 6 of the ’90s. As of 2012, it ranked because the No. 17 act within the Hot Country Songs’ 68-year historical past to that time.
Its greatest crossover single was “Love in the First Degree,” which hit No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981.
Alabama additionally gained back-to-back Grammys for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1982 and 1983 with the LPs Mountain Music and The Closer You Get…, respectively. It amassed extra a dozen Academy of Country Music Awards, together with a pair of career nods, two Entertainer of the Year wins and Artist of the Decade for the Eighties. The group additionally gained 17 (*73*) Music Awards, together with 12 for Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group; it gained that class eight consecutive instances from 1991-99.
Mountain Music stays Alabama’s best-selling studio album, licensed 5 instances platinum, however two of its hits compilation discs even have bought 5 million-plus.
In 1985, Cook, Albert Lee and Steve Morse had been named the highest three guitarists by Guitar Player journal’s reader ballot.
The group’s 2013 album and video, recorded stay on the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, options covers of their songs by such stars as Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eli Young Band, Florida Georgia Line, Jamey Johnson, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts and Trisha Yearwood.
The group was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Cook went on to launch Cook Sound Studios as a manner to assist native musicians share their music. ” In Jeff’s phrases, “This area “[DeKalb County] has its share of talented musicians,” mentioned mentioned on the band’s web site, “and now the opportunity is there for each of them to cut demos, records, etc., at an affordable price. Plus, it’s nice to share your dreams with others.”
After Alabama stop the in 2004, Cook recorded eight albums and toured with the Allstar Goodtime Band. But Alabama reunited for a fiftieth anniversary jaunt this year.
Cook is survived by his spouse of 27 year, Lisa Williams.