Alabama’s Randy Owen on Jeff Cook’s Death: ‘I’m Hurt in a Way I Can’t Describe’
Alabama's Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry each released statements about the death of group co-founder Jeff Cook. Both remember him as a brilliant musician and a brother in music.
"I'm hurt in a way I can't describe," Owen writes.
The 73-year-old guitarist died on Monday (Nov. 7). He'd been battling Parkinson's disease for a decade, revealing the news to fans in 2017.
"He lived to play our music we created together," Alabama's lead singer begins. "He could play any instrument he chose, but his harmonies I'll miss the most. I'm thankful we got to create music together for over 50 years. Wish we could play 'My Home's in Alabama' one more time."
Gentry's statement recalls their familial relationship (cousins), but makes clear he considered Cook more than that. "Closer than brothers, we lived together more than with our immediate families," he says.
Jeff, along with me and Randy, experienced the highs of undreamed success, as well as some very tough early years. None of us were perfect, but together we had something so special it will never die. No other guitar player I’ve known had the range of styles Jeff had. No one can take your place. Ever. Rest in peace till we get to jam again." -Teddy Gentry
Cook's death came just days before the 2022 CMA Awards, and while there was no formal tribute, Vocal Group of the Year winners Old Dominion talked about the importance of Alabama and Cook specifically.
"Alabama is a big part of all our childhood," Matt Ramsey said backstage after the show. "Just really, in the fabric of country music. Everyone who is an artist out there right now — I don't think there's anyone who will argue with that statement — they absolutely broke total new ground."
Cook is survived by his wife, Lisa, and several extended family members. In closing, Owen thanked Lisa "for loving him and being there for him to the end."