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Retailer who helped Elvis with fashion advice passes away

Retailer who helped Elvis with fashion advice passes away

THE death has taken place of Bernard Lansky who owned a men’s clothing store in Memphis where Elvis Presley liked to shop. He was 85.

Mr. Lansky would often recall how the young Elvis, before he was famous, would stop and admire the window displays, once declaring to the retailer: “When I get rich, I’m going to buy you out”. Mr. Lansky said he replied: “Don’t buy me out. Just buy from me”.

Not long after this encounter, Elvis made his first record, That’s All Right, and was soon a regular customer at Lanksy’s. When the young singer was invited to New York to appear on the top TV shows hosted by Ed Sullivan and Tommy Dorsey, it was to Bernard Lansky that he rushed for advice on what he should wear.

The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll remained one of the store’s best customers for the rest of his life with Mr. Lansky always searching for special items of clothing for the singer.

On some occasions the shop would be opened at night so that Elvis could visit without drawing the crowds. At other times outfits were taken to the singer’s Graceland home for private fittings.

Following Elvis’s death, it was Mr. Lansky who picked out the white suit and blue tie that the singer was dressed in for his burial.

Mr. Lansky recalled: “I put his first suit on him and his last suit on him”.

Over the years, many other music stars — including Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash — shopped at Lansky’s.

To view an interview with Bernard Lansky, click here.

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