Jeff Cook

Alabama’s Jeff Cook revealed he has Parkinson’s disease and made the decision to stop touring with the band beginning April 29. Cook was diagnosed with the disease four years ago, but he and his bandmates Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry kept the information private until now.

Cook is one of the trio that compose the Country Music Hall of Fame band. He is the band’s fiddle player and guitarist.

He talked about the disease and how it affects him, “This disease robs you of your coordination, your balance, and causes tremors.” Cook continued, “For me, this has made it extremely frustrating to try and play guitar, fiddle or sing. I’ve 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.”

Cook began noticing the first effects of the disease when he struggled to his cast his fishing lure. The problems would continue when he struggled to hit certain guitar notes. Many speculated Cook’s struggles might have been a substance abuse problem. However, that couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

Despite Cook’s diagnosis and his stepping away from touring, Alabama will continue to play on. It was a decision the band came to back in 2010 when Owen was diagnosed with cancer.

“He wants us to go on,” Owen said. “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.’”

While Cook is planning to stop touring with Alabama, he does plan on playing at their May 27 concert in Orange Beach, Alabama, and an upcoming fan event. He also noted he will drop in and sing when he feels like it.

“Whenever he can be there, he will,” Owen added. “And I believe he will. I don’t see the future, but I feel the future.”

Alabama came to national prominence in 1980. Since then they’ve sold more than 75 million albums and singles. They have 43 number 1 songs.

Here’s one of my favorites:

I’ll definitely be praying for Jeff’s recovery and hope he is able to return to the tour full time and continue to bring his gift of music to the world.

Share if you are praying for Jeff Cook and Alabama that he may overcome Parkinson’s

Source: USA Today

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