Illness

Jeff Cook of Alabama says he has Parkinson's disease

Members of the country band "Alabama" pose with their Award of Merit at
the 30th annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles, January 13, 2003.
From left are Jeff Cook, Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Mark Herndon.
REUTERS/Rick Wilking

FG/HB - RTRGHEJ

Members of the country band "Alabama" pose with their Award of Merit at the 30th annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles, January 13, 2003. From left are Jeff Cook, Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Mark Herndon. REUTERS/Rick Wilking FG/HB - RTRGHEJ

Jeff Cook, guitarist and fiddle player with the country band Alabama, announced he has Parkinson's disease and will no longer be regularly touring with the band.

Cook, along with frontman Randy Owen and bassist Teddy Gentry, told The Tennessean in a story published Tuesday that Cook was diagnosed about four years ago, but the band kept the news private until now. Cook said the chronic neurological disorder gives him tremors that make it hard for him to play his instruments, but he didn't want to stop playing music.

He said he is not quitting the band, but won't be regularly touring with them so he can rest.

The band dominated country music in the 1980s with hits like "Love in the First Degree," ''Mountain Music," and "Dixieland Delight."