Here are this week’s questions:
- Who was the native Louisvillian responsible for creating the retail institution Neiman Marcus in 1907?
- What was the name of the TV pitchman and car salesman who owned a car lot at 7th and York Streets in Louisville and was known for his green jacket and “optimistic” outlook on life?
- This legendary music store on Bardstown Road was owned by Jimmy Brown, who was nicknamed “Brown Jimmy” by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. What is the name of the store?
And here are the answers:
- Carrie Marcus Neiman was born in Louisville in 1883 to German-Jewish parents who relocated to Texas in 1895. She married Al Neiman in 1905 and then partnered with her brother, Herbert Marcus, to launch their clothing empire. Carrie and her colleague Moira Cullen were the brains of the operation. They realized that women couldn’t always find or afford a dressmaker, so they introduced a line of “Ready to Wear” women’s clothing that served the needs of female Texans who were flooding into the state during this time of tremendous growth in the state. Carrie refused until her death to expand the business outside of Dallas, so the huge expansion that followed was engineered by her heirs. She died in 1953 of complications from pleurisy.
- Bob Ryan, aka “The Smiling Irishman,” owned and operated Bob Ryan Auto Sales for 55 years. His TV commercials, touting “Louisville’s #1 Used Car Lot” were ubiquitous in the 1990’s and early 2000’s on cable channels in Louisville. The commercials have to be seen to be believed. Bob’s beaming smile and shock of white hair caught the attention of viewers and helped his business to be a successful local enterprise. Bob Ryan died in February of 2021 at age 95.
- While it has fallen on hard times in recent years and is now confined to online sales only, the Guitar Emporium has an illustrious history that has included providing musical instruments to scores of Louisvillians for multiple generations. In addition, owner Jimmy Brown has proven himself “Jimmy on the spot” for huge rock stars such as Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend. His unique selection of vintage guitars, some found at garage sales and repaired at the shop, proved enticing to bands travelling through Louisville, and his reputation grew throughout the rock and roll “I may not always be able to remember who bought what,” he says. “But I never forget the guitars.”
Thanks for playing!