Sad news. Country music group Alabama‘s Jeff Cook has revealed he is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and will stop touring immediately. According to reports, Cook received the diagnosis nearly four years ago, but Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry faithfully kept Cook’s secret until he was ready to go public with the news. Owen and Gentry revealed that keeping the truth buried proved difficult when substance abuse speculation was directed at their dear friend and bandmate.
“I did tell one guy one time it was none of his damn business,” Gentry added. “I couldn’t help it.”
Alabama shared the following message via their Facebook Page:
“To all the ALABAMA friends and fans, we wanted you to be among the first to know that Jeff Cook, lead guitarist and vocalist of The Group ALABAMA has Parkinson’s Disease and will be limiting his appearances in the future.
Jeff has confirmed that he will appear during Fan Appreciation Weekend in Fort Payne, AL, the weekend of June 15-18, 2017 at the ALABAMA Concert, The ALABAMA Gospel Concert, as well as his own show – Jeff Cook & The AGB Fan Daze Concert. Jeff will also continue to record with the group and make appearances with the group from time to time on tour.”
Though not life-threatening, Parkinson’s disease is a long-term movement disorder which impacts a person’s mobility and actions The life-altering disease develops gradually and does not have a cure, but medications may help symptoms.
“This disease robs you of your coordination, your balance, and causes tremors,” Cook wrote in a prepared statement for fans shared by USA TODAY. “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 wants fans to know that doesn’t plan to quit his musical endeavors due to the disease, he’s simply taking some much needed time off to let his body rest.
“If I’m healed overnight, I’ll be at the next show,” Cook shared with The Tennessean. “I do believe in prayer and I’m not giving up.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jeff Cook and his loved ones.