By Billy NevilleIt was an occasion befitting “The King” himself: the 65th anniversary of Lansky’s, the landmark store in downtown Memphis where the mighty Mississippi punctuates the southern landscape with rock & roll. And soul.
Here, legend and lore team up to weave the story of Elvis as a youngster, peering wistfully into the Lansky Brothers’ store window, to be greeted by Bernard Lansky himself. Elvis allegedly told Lansky that while he had no money, he intended one day to “own the place.” Not wanting to miss a sale (or a potential friendship), Lansky invited Elvis in to shop. And so it was that Elvis Presley became a life-long customer and special friend of the Lanskys. (The check for Elvis’ first purchase, made payable to Lansky Bros in the amount of $200.08, is dated July 7, 1957.)
At this special anniversary, the Lanskys and more than 500 loyal fans celebrated the unveiling of the Shelby County historical marker that now stands at the original store site on Beale Street. Bernard, his son Hal, and his granddaughter Julie were all on hand to receive well deserved congratulations from an appreciative crowd.
Happy Anniversary Lanskys: here’s to the next 65 years!