Members of Alabama Share Their Personal Battles with Cancer and Parkinson’s Disease

The well-known singer from Alabama, Randy Owen, had to deal with a terrifying diagnosis of prostate cancer. “How long do I have?” was the first thought that entered his head. Jeff Cook, the guitarist and fiddler in his band, also found out he had the same kind of cancer. The bass player, Teddy Gentry, had a similar worry, but happily, after a month of waiting, his test results were clear.

Gentry said, “It was such an eerie feeling.” However, the reality is that it may occur to any of us at any time. We have no control over it, and it’s absolutely terrifying.”


The T.J. Martell Foundation’s 11th annual Nashville Honors Gala will present the Tony Martell Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award to Alabama, the venerable country music trio. Alabama is particularly honored to get this accolade from the top cancer research funding foundation because every member of the organization has been touched by the disease. Also scheduled to attend is Jeff Cook, who is presently battling Parkinson’s illness.

“America comes to mind when I think of Alabama.” Laura Heatherly, CEO of the T.J. Martell Foundation, said, “They have touched so many people in this country through their music and their wonderful beliefs in helping others.” “We love to honor and recognize those who have made amazing contributions to our community, and there is no doubt that Alabama has had an impact on communities all over the nation.”


In 2003, Alabama, who will celebrate their fiftieth anniversary in 2019, went on a farewell tour. Remarkably, they found that listeners were still moved by their music, which prompted a reunion for Brad Paisley’s hit song “Old Alabama” in 2011. Alabama hasn’t stopped creating songs or making plans since then.

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