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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.

Chad (portrait of Chad Morgan)

2013
Peter Hudson

oil on canvas laid on composition board (support: 175.0 cm x 201.0 cm)

Chadwick William Morgan OAM (b.1933) has been performing comic country songs for more than 60 years. Morgan was the eldest of 14 children. He grew up in rural Queensland and taught himself to play guitar. In 1952, when he was nineteen, Morgan performed at the Sydney Town Hall as one of ten national finalists on radio talent quest, Australia’s Amateur Hour. Soon after, EMI label Regal Zonophone recorded what would become an instant hit and his signature tune, ‘The Sheik of Scrubby Creek,’ which he wrote when he was 16. This song and others including ‘My Thrashing Machine,’ ‘The Duckinwilla Dance’ and ‘My Own Grandpa’ have become favourites across three generations of country music fans. Wearing his trademark buck teeth, Morgan toured Australia in the 1950s with the Slim Dusty Show and the All Star Western Show before creating his own travelling show. He has since released more than 20 albums and continues to tour and perform. Janine Hosking’s documentary about Morgan’s life I‘m not dead yet premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2011. According to his 1987 Australian Country Music Roll of Renown citation, Morgan is ‘the first Clown Prince of Australian country music… Chad’s humour is completely original, uniquely Australian.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2013
© Peter Hudson

Artist and subject

Peter Hudson (age 63 in 2013)

Chad Morgan OAM (age 80 in 2013)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency