It is said that the two capitals of Mississippi are New Orleans and Memphis. When blacks moved north to escape the Delta, Memphis was their first destination. And in Memphis, Beale Street was the celebrated hub of music and nightlife.
As musicians aspired to successful careers, they bought stylish clothes for their stage performances. Lansky Brothers clothing store at 126 Beale Street provided suits for both B. B. King and Elvis Presley when they launched their careers. During the filming in 1974 for Give My Poor Heart Ease, Robert Shaw, a veteran salesman at Lansky’s, told me how he sold B. B. King a pair of pants and showed how he greeted his customers with a pitch that was as colorful as his clothes.