Jeff Cook, guitarist and co-founder of acclaimed country band Alabama, dies at 54
JEFF M. COFFEY died Saturday at the age of 54.
A guitarist and founding member of Alabama, Coffey was one of a half-dozen members of the band who died in 2016. He died with his wife Julie at his side, according to a statement from Alabama’s longtime spokesperson, Jonny Wickers.
“Jeff was one of very few people on Earth who understood Alabama’s essence,” Wickers said in a statement. “He gave his full heart to Alabama and served so willingly and in love. He will be with his family now as he wanted in this world.”
Alabama played its final show Dec. 4, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
Coffey met Julie at a show by the country-rock band Black Oak Arkansas, where Julie was working as a door-person. Alabama would perform at the Ryman for about half a year before moving to Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
Coffey and Alabama played together from 1997, and the band would go on to release three albums (“Rumble of the Year,” 2000; “The Truth About Alabama,” 2002; and “Featuring Jeff Coffey,” 2003).
“Alabama’s music is one of the purest pieces of music you hear on this planet in its ability to evoke something universal in the human soul,” Coffey once said.
Alabama was awarded three Entertainer of the Year awards by the Country Music Association in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
The band released its last album in 2003, a collection of covers of 1950s classics including “Beaches of Aruba,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “All My Loving,” “All My Children” and an original version of “I Want You to Want Me” that he sang live at the band’s farewell concert. The album was produced by Chris Wood of the band Chicago.
“The lyrics and the