Le Garde Twins


National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Tom and Ted Le Garde (b. 1931) are country singing twins, born in MacKay in central Queensland. Growing up in the bush as the youngest of a family of 9, they left home at the age of 15 to become cowboys and rodeo riders. They joined Buddy Williams’ touring rodeo and circus and in 1948 they were the youngest professional rodeo riders at 17. They alternated between being rodeo riders and singers, performing throughout Australia as ‘Australia’s Yodelling Stockmen,’ but in 1950, they decided to focus on their music careers. The LeGardes signed to the Rodeo Label from 1950 – 1952 where they released a string of hits before leaving for North America in 1957. They travelled around Canada and the United States before settling in Los Angeles and then Nashville in 1958 where they stayed until 1963. Over the next few years they moved between Australia and the United States, where they ran shows, performed, recorded albums, and even appeared in an episode of ‘Star Trek’. Throughout the 1980s the twins launched their own Boomerang Label and toured around the United Kingdom, and in the following decade they operated their own theatre near Nashville’s music row. They won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 CMC Rocks the Hunter festival, where they stole the show with their performance. Their autobiography, ‘Showbiz Hustlers’ was published in February 2016.
This photograph was taken in California whilst they were in Hollywood, performing on Doye O’Dell’s ‘Western Varieties’ TV show as well as hosting their own on KTLA.

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