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Rick Carey, WA, 1998 (printed 2004)

John Elliott

type C photograph (sheet: 60.7 cm x 50.6 cm, image: 50.0 cm x 33.0 cm)

Rick and Thelma Carey comprise Australian country music's most famous double act, Rick and Thel. The couple began performing together as The Sliprail Swingsters in 1949. After marrying in 1952 they scored a recording contract with EMI. Among their best-loved songs were the tear-jerker "Fourteen Red Roses for Jenny" and the novelty songs "He's a - She's a" and "I'll Take the Dog." In the 1950s they toured Australia with the famous All Star Western Show, also featuring Chad Morgan and Kevin King. On that tour Rick developed his famed comic character Cousin Ratsack. The Rick and Thel Show, with its blend of music and comedy, was a favourite on the Australian country scene in the 60s and 70s, but the pair went off the road when Thel was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1980s. After her death in 1998 Rick retired from the public eye, although he has recently made a handful of one-off appearances. In 1985 Rick and Thel were inducted into the Australian Country Music Federation's Roll of Renown.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005

Accession number: 2005.42

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Elliott (age 47 in 1998)

Rick Carey

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

John Elliott (19 portraits)

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