Jeff Cook, one third of Alabama, has revealed that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and will be stepping away from touring. USA Today first reported the news that Cook was diagnosed four years ago, but has kept quiet until now. Cook decided to share the news as the disease begins to affect his musical abilities.
“Approximately four years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,” Cook says in a statement. “This disease robs you of your coordination, your balance, and causes tremors. I also note that not every case is the same and affects people in different ways. For me, this has made it extremely frustrating to play guitar, fiddle, or sing.
“I have tried not to burden anyone with the details of my condition because I do not want the music to stop or the party to end and that won’t change, no matter what.
“Let me say, 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 through this difficult time.
“I do plan to be at some of the shows and events when possible, and I hope to see you there.”
“I love these guys (Randy and Teddy) and I love everyone involved with the group Alabama, and especially our fans. I want our fans and everyone involved to know that I do support all the decisions made by Randy and Teddy, as they continue to support mine.
“I do plan to be at some of the shows and events when possible, and I hope to see you there.
“Just remember, life is good and as long as you’re breathing…there’s ‘No Bad Days’.”
Cook’s decision to step away from touring is effective beginning April 29th. Cook is planning to perform at the band’s May 27th concert in Orange Beach, AL, and will step in when he feels up to it.
Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry’s decision to continue as Alabama has been blessed by Cook.
“He wants us to go on,” Owen tells USA Today. “We want the music to go on. I’m going to be very honest. I don’t know if I have the fire. The only way I do, is knowing that Jeff is totally, ‘Go get it.'”
The band is hoping Cook’s health will improve so he can rejoin them regularly on tour. Besides several tour dates, Alabama is holding their Fan Appreciation Weekend 2017 in their hometown of Fort Payne, AL June 15-18. Cook is expected to attend as he hosts the Jeff Cook & The All-Star Good Time Band Fan Daze Concert on June 16th at DeKalb Theatre.
Alabama has 21 gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums, 42 number one singles, and more than 78 million records sold since they signed their record contract in April 1980. The band’s last album, Southern Drawl, was released in 2015.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.