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Clothier who dressed Elvis Presley dies in Tenn.

Associated Press Modified: November 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm •  Published: November 15, 2012
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Presley made his first record, "That's All Right," at the old Sun Studio in 1954. Before long, Presley's star was rising, and he began shopping at Lansky Bros. in earnest.

The Lansky brothers often opened the store at night so Presley could avoid drawing crowds and took outfits to Graceland for him to check out.

Lansky dressed him for the "Louisiana Hayride" and his first TV spots on the Tommy Dorsey and Ed Sullivan shows.

Eventually, Lansky became a favorite of the Elvis faithful who flocked to Memphis by the thousands for annual gatherings in Presley's honor.

Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., described Lansky as "a business and fashion pioneer."

"Bernard Lansky will forever be known as the 'Clothier to the King,'" Soden said.

Lansky Bros. kept drawing the fans even after moving in 1981 from the Beale Street entertainment district to the Peabody Hotel, a downtown Memphis landmark a few blocks away.

"We get them from all over the world. The first thing when they get here, they've got to come down to Lansky's," Lansky said.

Fans weren't his only visitors. Entertainers like B.B. King, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, ZZ Top, Kiss, and Hootie and the Blowfish also dropped by to shop and visit.

Bernard and Guy Lansky parted ways in the 1980s, family members said.

In 1997, the Presley estate opened a nightclub called Elvis Presley's Memphis at Lansky's old store on Beale Street. It closed in 2003, and the building was left unused once again.

Lansky and son Hal came out with a line of 1950s-style clothes in 2001, and one of their four shops in the Peabody was called "Lansky 126," the street number of the old Beale Street store. All four shops are open to this day.

Lansky continued working past the age that most people retire.

"What am I going to retire for? What am I going to do?" he said at age 77, in June 2004. "I get here every morning at 6 o'clock, seven days a week."