The late Jeff Cook, Co-Founder of Alabama, to be Remembered in Service Saturday
By Marla Jones
Before the bands take the stage, fans, friends, and family will remember Jeff Cook with a Celebration of Life at noon Saturday at the DeKalb County VFW Fairgrounds -- the site for the 17th June Jam music festival.
Cook was a founding member of the band Alabama, and its legendary lead guitarist. Cook passed away in November at age 73, after battling Parkinson’s Disease since 2012.
According to Lisa Cook, wife of the late musician, all the artists performing at the June Jam, wanted to do something special in honor of Jeff.
During the service, Teddy Gentry will perform one of the many songs that Cook wrote. Randy Owen and Lisa Cook will speak of the beautiful life and career of Jeff Cook.
Pastors from the Cook’s home church will also be present for the service.
The ceremony will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the VFW Fairgrounds – the site of this year’s June Jam, the first to be held since 1997. Tickets to the June Jam will be required for admittance to the ceremony.
Owens and Gentry surprised many people in February with the announcement that the music festival would make a comeback for 2023. The festival was the event of the summer in Fort Payne (and much of the surrounding region) from 1982 to 1997, and raised more than $15 million for a variety of charities and causes in the area.
Cook continued to tour with Alabama till 2017, when he decided it was time to slow down and left his body heal. With his blessings, the band continued to perform because Cook never wanted “the music to stop or the party to end.”
In November 2021, the Cooks established the Jeff and Lisa Cook Foundation. According to the foundation’s website, “the decision was made to bring people together to help educate and supply reources which would enable people to better help themselves and each other.
“A commitment was made to bring like-minded people together to inspire and education for the well-being of all those involved,” and to “assist and encourage as many people as possible.”
When Cook died last year, there was a request for donations to the foundation in lieu of flowers – a way to continue Cook’s legacy in serving others, as well as in song.