Elvis Tribute Artists Radio

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Over the years, we have honored the legendary Sam Phillips, DJ Fontana, JD Sumner, James Blackwood, Janelle McComb, recognizing in each their contribution to the life and times of Elvis Presley. We have honored George Klein and Jerry Schilling whom Elvis considered his closest friends and we have honored Dick Grob and Sam Thompson who did so much for Elvis not only during his lifetime but since--

Over the years, guests have included the Jordanaires, JD Sumner and the Stamps, James Blackwood, Ronnie McDowell, Terry Mike Jeffrey and many others. This August we are going to relive the memories. - what we have done during the past fourteen years - and what we are going to do this year. We hope to make you nostalgic over what you will see - and we hope to make you feel blessed that you were a part of it all.” (Note: Among this year’s guests will be: The Jordanaires, Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling, George Klein, Richard Davis, DJ Fontana, Knox Phillips, and movie co-star Julie Parrish.)

Come share the memories of the last 15 years. Meet and greet our special guests. All proceeds donated to our charities of choice. Seating reserved. Nice casual dress. Cash bar. Tickets are $50.00 and non-refundable.

Contact Marian Cocke in the evenings for tickets (901) 324-9612 or Click Here to email.
If sending cheques by mail (for tickets or as a donation), please make them out to EPMD and send to: Marian J. Cocke, 784 Pecan Gardens Circle East, Memphis, TN 38122

This month’s guest columnist is Marian Cocke who was Elvis Presley’s nurse for the last 2 ½ years of his life, and who is now well-known in the “Elvis world” for her annual Elvis Presley Memorial Dinner Charity Event.

Marian was born an “army brat,” in Fort Benning, Georgia in l926, and, as part of an army family, traveled all over the US and overseas. She eventually became a nurse and settled with her husband and family in Memphis, Tennessee. In l975, she received a call asking her to hold a room for Elvis on the nursing unit she managed. As Marian says, “When Elvis and I met, the instant chemistry was there and when it came time to have private nurses for him, Elvis told me, ‘I’ll have private nurses if you want me to, but I want you to take care of me.’” So, Marian looked after Elvis for the next 2 ½ years. He wanted to pay her a salary, but she said no...as they were friends. When Elvis died in l977, Marian, like all Elvis’ friends and fans, was devastated.

For the last l5 years, Marian has organized a successful charity dinner in Memphis during Elvis Week, to remember her friend, Elvis, and to raise money for many charities...here, Marian picks up the story and reports on the history of the Elvis Presley Memorial Dinner Charity Event, and about this year’s 15th and final Dinner.

“When Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977, it was as though clocks stopped - lights went out - and a dark cloud fell on us . How? Why did this happen? The entire world grieved for the man who spent his life doing for others - the man who had filled our lives with his music and song - music that still brightens our day.

Elvis made a difference in my life - what could I do in honor of his life and to continue his legacy of giving??? It actually took me several years to find the right thing and the first Elvis Presley Memorial Dinner Charity Event was held on August 13, 1989. Fifteen years ago - twelve years after his death - but it took me that long to heal and knowing that however I chose to honor him, it had to be first class and it had to be done with class.

Because of a breakdown in communication and advertisement this dinner was the best kept secret in town - there were about 100 or less present and we went well into a deep hole - but - every cloud has a silver lining and the people who did come to that dinner went out and told others what they had missed and our numbers have grown from that day. From that first dinner in 1989 thru this coming August, we will have had over 10,000 people attend this event - we have raised over $500,000.00 and each of those who have been a part of this event have much to be proud of for they are the ones who have made it happen.

During the first six years we gave the Make A Wish Foundation $135,000.00 - but then - hey - Elvis didn't limit his giving so why should we. We chose to branch out and since then we have given to the Elvis Presley Trauma Center, The Baptist Foundation for Indigent Patient Care, the Humane Society, United Cerebral Palsy, Special Olympics, the Memphis Cancer Foundation and Presley Place . We have given often and we have given generously - and we have not stopped there. We buried 2 babies of indigent parents, and we buried a Mother of six who had no husband. We bought a child a computer, we sent a couple to Hot Springs - he had a terminal illness and we sent a young lady to California to see the ocean as she too had a terminal illness. We have given clothing and food to those who were naked and hungry and yes, Elvis - we may not have done it as well as you did nor as generously but we tried to do what we knew that you would do and we did for those who you would have been the first to step forward for and do.