Alabama's JEFF COOK announced that he has Parkinson's disease. He was diagnosed four years ago, but waited until now to go public. He's not quitting the band, but he is going to cut back on touring, for obvious reasons.
He said, quote, "This disease robs you of your coordination, your balance, and causes tremors. For me, this has made it extremely frustrating to try and play guitar, fiddle, or sing. Sometimes our bodies dictate what we have to do, and mine is telling me it's time to take a break."
His official hiatus begins April 29th, but he's going to join them for select shows. He'll be at the May 27th concert in Orange Beach, Alabama, plus a "fan event" in June. And he's definitely planning to be with them whenever they go into the recording studio.
This isn't the first time the band has dealt with serious health issues. Singer-guitarist RANDY OWEN was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 . . . and after treatment declared himself "absolutely perfect."
The third band member is bassist TEDDY GENTRY. (Tennessean)