Fort Payne, Alabama
Members: Randy Owen - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Jeff Cook - Vocals, Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Fiddle, Bass
Teddy Gentry - Vocals, Bass Guitar
Mark Herndon - Drums, Percussion
1985 Music Industry Award
1987 America's Music Award
1987 Governor's Achievement Award
1989 Distinguished Service Award
1993 Induction Alabama Music Hall of Fame (Lifework Award)
Walk of Fame awards Star
Randy Owen (Dec. 13, 1949- ), Teddy Gentry (Jan. 22, 1952- ), Jeff Cook (Aug. 27, 1949- ), Mark Herndon (May 11, 1955- )
Formed in Fort Payne, the country supergroup Alabama blended the unbeatable talents of lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Randy Owen, bass player, songwriter and harmony vocalist Teddy Gentry, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Jeff Cook and drummer Mark Herndon.
First cousins Owen and Gentry grew up on separate cotton farms on Lookout Mountain, but the pair learned how to play guitar and also sang in church together before they were six years old. They played in high school bands before teaming with another cousin, Jeff Cook, to form Young Country in 1969. Once Owen and Cook graduated from college, they moved with Gentry to Anniston and changed the band’s name to Wildcountry in 1972.
Owen, Gentry and Cook became professional musicians in 1973, taking up residence in a honky-tonk called The Bowery in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The band often played there for thirteen hours a day, working its way through three drummers over the next six years. Their versatile repertoire encompassed rock, country, pop, dance music and rhythm-and-blues.
After signing a contract with GRT, the group changed its name to Alabama in 1977 and released a minor hit, “I Wanna Be With You Tonight.” Two years later, former rock drummer Mark Herndon joined the band and helped solidify Alabama’s signature sound. In 1980, MDJ released the Top 20 hit “My Home’s In Alabama,” which led to an RCA Records contract. The label’s move was unusual in country music at the time: Although a driving force in pop and rock, country had never been group-oriented. The success of Alabama inspired a healthy infusion of best-selling young bands into the genre.
Alabama’s remarkable streak of 27 No. 1 country hits began in the summer of 1980 with Owen’s invigorating “Tennessee River,” giving Alabama the distinction of being the first country group to top the charts with its first major-label release. The ballad “Why Lady Why” hit No. 1 at the end of 1980, with “Old Flame” (penned by Muscle Shoals songwriters Mac McAnally and Donny Lowery) following suit. By the touring season of 1981, Alabama scored three straight No. 1’s and became the hottest “youth appeal” act on the country scene.
For the remainder of the 1980s, Alabama continued to dominate the charts with “Feels So Right,” “When We Make Love,” “Once Upon a Lifetime,” “Love in the First Degree,” “Mountain Music,” “Dixieland Delight,” “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band),” “Roll On (18 Wheeler),” “Song of the South,” “Born Country,” “Take Me Down,” “The Closer You Get,” “Close Enough to Perfect,” “Touch Me When We’re Dancing” (penned by Muscle Shoals songwriters Terry Skinner, Jerry Wallace and Ken Bell) and “Lady Down on Love.” The group entered the 1990s with “I’m in a Hurry (and Don’t Know Why).”
For many years, Alabama championed and supported worthy causes. In 1989, Owen and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., established Country Cares, a network of 160 radio stations whose combined radiothons raised $130 million for St. Jude. In 1997, Alabama participated in Country Cares for Kids, a holiday album to benefit the hospital. Alabama’s June Jam, held in Fort Payne for fifteen years, developed into one of the premier country music concerts in the nation. Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Neal McCoy joined Fort Payne’s famous sons for concert performances that raised more than $4 million for organizations like Big Oak Ranch, a haven for abused, neglected or homeless children.
At the close of the 1980s, the Academy of Country Music named Alabama its Artist of the Decade. In 1998, the band received a star on the Hol
lywood Walk of Fame. They accepted the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award two years later. Alabama spent most of 2003 on its farewell tour, saying goodbye to fans. Two years later, they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as the album Songs of Inspiration climbed to No. 1.
Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame
Jeff Cook is a founding member of the country music supergroup ALABAMA. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition to his rich vocals, Jeff Cook, "Mr. Musician", served as vocals, Lead Guitar, and Fiddle for the group ALABAMA for many years. His career with ALABAMA resulted in 21 gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums, 42 number one singles, 2 Grammies, 23 American Music Awards, 3 CMA Entertainer of the Year Awards, ACM's Artist of the Decade, RIAA's Group of the Century, and more than 78 million records sold!!
After retiring from the road in 2004, ALABAMA left millions of their fans wanting more of the down-home country music they had been enjoying for almost 3 decades. Now, five years later, Jeff has cranked up his Allstar Goodtime Band, to bring their audiences a Smokin, House-Rockin' Goodime Show. The band consists of 8 members, all hand-picked by Jeff, to bring an amazing on-stage chemistry which creates what the band calls "Funtry" music. It is a mixture to target the casinos, fairs, and festival demographics. They love the diversified crowds!
Jeff and the band have released several CD's and they have something for most genres and includes the familiar "lick" of Jeff's well-known guitar and fiddle.
Now with a rejuvenated enthusiasm for performing, Jeff is back on stage with the Allstar Goodtime Band, singing new music, some timeless favorites, and almost 3 decades of ALABAMA hits.
Jeffery A. "Jeff" Cook (born August 27, 1949 in Fort Payne, Alabama) is an American musician who is best known as one of the founding members of the country music supergroup Alabama.
Born in Fort Payne, Alabama and of English and Native American descent, Cook is a graduate of Fort Payne High School and Jacksonville State University. He obtained a broadcast engineer license three days after his fourteenth birthday, and worked at a local radio station as a disk jockey while still in high school.
Cook co-founded the band Wildcountry, along with his cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, in 1972 (the name was switched to Alabama in 1977). He contributed vocals, lead guitar, keyboard, and fiddle to the group's productions. Since Alabama ceased active production and performance in 2003, Cook has formed the groups Cook & Glenn and the Allstar Goodtime Band, with which he performs.
In addition to his performance work, Cook founded Cook Sound Studios, Inc., in his native Fort Payne, and also established radio station WQRX-AM, which he later sold, in adjacent Valley Head, Alabama. Cook is also noted for his culinary endeavors, having operated a restaurant and marketed his own sauce.
Cook endorsed the 2008 presidential candidacy of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and made appearances with the candidate in Alabama.
^ a b Jeff Cook and the AGB: Jeff Cook biography
^ Allmusic Biography: Alabama
^ "Songwriters Honored with Special Concert," The Huntsville Times, September 13, 2007, p. 7G
^ "Cook's 'Zesty' Hobby a Feature of Saturday Event," The Huntsville Times, July 25, 2007, p, 1C
^ "Huckabee Tells Huntsville Crowd He'll Stay in Race," The Birmingham News blogs, February 2, 2008
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