Alabama co-founder Jeff Cook has died

Jeff Cook, one of the founding members and guitarist for '80s country superstars Alabama, has died at age 73. He'd been suffering from Parkinson's Disease for a decade. The new came via Alabama's Facebook:

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.

The group formed in 1969, first as Young Country, then as Wild Country, but it was when they changed their name to Alabama in 1977 that things really took off. The band, which included Cook's cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, had their peak in the '80s, with eight albums hitting #1 on the US country charts that decade and smashes like "Mountain Music" that remain staples to this day. The band also had many crossover hits on the pop charts, including "Love in the First Degree," "Feels So Right," "Take Me Down," and "The Closer You Get."

Alabama kept a regular presence on the country charts through the mid-'90s, and apart from a few short hiatuses, have stayed active and through Cook's Parkinson's diagnosis, which he revealed in 2017, remaining a member of the band. Rest in peace.