Born and reared in Fort Payne, Alabama, at the foot of Lookout Mountain, Jeff has been playing lead guitar and keyboards in bands since the age of thirteen. Securing a broadcast license only three days after his 14th birthday, Jeff went to work as a disc jockey at a local radio station. The “Broadcast Bug” had gotten into Jeff’s blood and later resulted in him owning radio and TV stations. After graduating from Fort Payne High School, Jeff received a degree in Electronic Technology from Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden, Alabama and was named “Outstanding Alumni” by the American Association of Community Colleges. Jeff says that radio combines two of his favorite things, music and electronics.
In 1985, Jeff, along with Albert Lee and Steve Morse were named the top three guitarists by Guitar Player Magazine’s Reader Poll. Jeff plays electrifying lead guitar, and all of those “hot licks” on the fiddle you hear are Jeff, too. Between the guitar and fiddle you would think Jeff stays pretty busy. Well, ‘Mr. Energy’ has been deemed the “workhorse” of the group AND also plays keyboards, bass and mandolin. In his time off the road and in addition to music, Jeff enjoys coming to Fort Payne to work on electronics projects, go bass fishing, watch TV, and work in his recording studio, Cook Sound Studios.
One of Jeff’s lifelong dreams has come true with the construction of Cook Sound Studios. The studio is a way for Jeff to help other musicians share their music with others, just as Alabama has had the opportunity to do. In Jeff’s words, “This area (DeKalb County) has it’s share of talented musicians and now the opportunity is there for each of them to cut demos, records, etc. at an affordable price, plus it’s nice to share your dreams with others.”
He married former Delta flight attendant, Lisa Williams, on June 9, 1995. They live in “The Castle,” their home atop Lookout Mountain overlooking Fort Payne. “The Castle” was the very first project of Jeff’s construction company BassBuilders. They now spend a lot of time on Lake Guntersville, Alabama. Since the Governor of Alabama gave Jeff a lifetime appointment as “Alabama State Fishing Ambassador,” Jeff says “With a title like State Fishing Ambassador, I feel like I need to live on a lake.” They have no children but are quite content with their two Shelty dogs, BooBoo and Blazer, which they refer to as “the furry boys.” The Governor also proclaimed August 27th as Jeff Cook Day in the State of Alabama
One of Jeff’s favorite cities is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where he, with Alabama, spent seven summers playing their music for various crowds. His favorite states, outside of Alabama of course, are Florida and parts of California. Jeff says he has been playing music since “Three days before dirt.”
Since Alabama left the road in 2004, Jeff did not miss a beat forming the Allstar Goodtime Band (AGB). Jeff and this eight piece band have several CD’s out which include several number one songs on the Independent charts. “Having a horn section has enabled us to widen the scope of our music” Jeff says.
Jeff’s message to the fans is “Thank you for all of your support of ALABAMA– AIN’T WE HAVIN’ FUN NOW!”
Jeff Cook passed away on Nov 7th 2022.