Elvis Presley and Arlene Cogan


By: Elvis Australia
Source: www.elvis.com.au
March 21, 2011

Arlene Cogan met Elvis when she was 14 in 1957. Her uncle got her into the press conference and front row concert tickets for Elvis' show in Chicago. At the press conference, Elvis noticed her right away and told her to visit him in Memphis. Arlene did a few weeks later and became a part of 'Elvis' gang' along with other teens Frances and Heidi. They hung out at Graceland at the pool and inside, had meals with Vernon and Gladys, went to the roller rink and the fairgrounds and spent Christmas of 1957 with Elvis and his parents. Arlene soon moved to Memphis. Elvis could talk to the girls more than he could with the guys. Elvis would have the three girls up in his room at night kissing and talking and hugging. The were expected not to date anyone and remain virgins. Elvis even had a white panties test where he would literally pull the waistband of their pants out and look to see if their panties were white, and he would know that meant they were still virgins – plus white panties turned Elvis on. Elvis was hurt when the girls grew up and got married and 'left' him.

Arlene Cogan: I went on most of the last tour, followed the show from city to city, mainly because I was just worried about Elvis' health. I felt that he was unhappy, and I felt for the first time in my life that it was more important for him to see me sitting there than it was for me to see him. I wanted him to know somebody was there that cared about him. I went with a friend, Rose Clayton, to see him in Knoxville, Louisville, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Binghamton, Omaha, and Lincoln. (He cancelled two dates during that tour for health reasons). I had planned on going on to Indianapolis, but for some reason, I just came on back home to Memphis and didn't see that last concert.


Arlene Cogan (Bradley) is to the right in photo.

The above photo was taken at the home of Gene (Elvis' cousin) and Louise Smith on March 20, 1958. Arlene Cogan had gone to visit them and suddenly Elvis arrived on his motorcycle in the pouring rain. The plaque read in part 'In recognition of his CORN-spicious CORN-tribution toward the Progress, PrOPagation, POP-ularity and POPS-RITE-ness of POPCORN ...' and was dated March 19. The story can be read in the book 'Elvis, This One's For You' by Arlene Cogan.

August 16, 1977

On Tuesday, Aug. 16, 1977, Rose Phillips was one of the first people in Memphis to learn firsthand of Elvis Presley's death. On that day, she had gone to a late lunch with her friend Arlene Cogan, who was former president of the Chicago Elvis Presley Fan Club and a regular visitor at Graceland, at the Piccadilly Restaurant, in a shopping center just a block from Elvis' mansion.

'We had finished', Phillips recalls, 'and we were walking through the parking lot and we heard this ambulance go by. I remember Arlene joking, 'They're coming after us'. It was just a joke. Right after that we saw [Elvis' security chief] Sam Thompson and his dad just flying through the parking lot.

'We got back to her house, which was only a block away from there. We're only a quarter of a mile from Graceland. We just got settled in the room, and the phone rang. Arlene went to answer the phone, and it was Pauline, one of the cooks up at Graceland. And she said, 'Arlene, Elvis is dead'. And I heard Arlene yell, 'No! I knew it! I knew it!' I knew what had happened without her telling me. I saw the grief on her, and I just knew. Somehow or another, Elvis was gone. And my thought was, it's over'.

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