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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Elvis in Australia

Die-hard Elvis fans from Canberra and surrounding areas share their insights into the phenomenon that was Elvis Presley.

Interview with Norma Scully for Elvis at 21
Video: 3 minutes
Interview with Jacqueline Feilich for Elvis at 21
Video: 3 minutes
Interview with Kristy Leigh for Elvis at 21
Video: 3 minutes
Interview with Maria Ramsden for Elvis at 21
Video: 3 minutes
Interview with Andrew Leonard for Elvis at 21
Video: 3 minutes
Interview with Mandy Squair for Elvis at 21
Video: 3 minutes
Interview with Caitlin and Colleen Bladin for Elvis at 21
Video: 3 minutes
Interview with Garry Buckley for Elvis at 21
Video: 3 minutes
Interview with Melinda Whiles for Elvis at 21
Video: 2 minutes
Interview with Susan McDougall for Elvis at 21
Video: 2 minutes

In 1968 Elvis' gold Cadillac toured around Australia raising money for several charity organisations. This was the closest Australians got to a tour from the King himself. And yet, Australia's fascination with Elvis Presley continues to this day. Each year the population of Parkes, New South Wales, swells by an estimated 18,000 Elvis fans who brave searing summer temperatures to celebrate lycra jumpsuits, big sideburns, quiffs, rock-star sunglasses and all-things-Elvis at the Parkes Elvis Festival.

In preparation for the Elvis at 21 exhibition, on display at the National Portrait Gallery from 7 December 2013 – 10 March 2014, we wanted to gain a greater appreciation of what Elvis means to Australians today. We would like to thank the following die-hard Elvis fans from Canberra and surrounding areas for sharing their insights into the phenomenon that was Elvis Presley. This suite of interviews is also available on the National Portrait Gallery's Youtube channel.

Video transcript

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Related information

On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer
On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer
On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer
On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer

Elvis At 21

Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer

Previous exhibition, 2013

Elvis at 21 is a photographic exhibition capturing Elvis’ rise to fame in the year 1956, before security and money built walls between him and his fans.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.