G. Barney Rawlings dead at 86; Vegas production company helped HBO, Showtime with boxing productions
G. Barney Rawlings passed away last Thursday, a Las Vegas legend whose last company helped HBO Sports and Showtime produce boxing events and someone who also helped shape Las Vegas itself. In fact, without Rawlings it’s possible the NAB Convention would be held in Atlanta or Orlando. Rawlings, 86, died of melanoma Thursday at his Las Vegas home, his daughter Darlene Richards said.
Rawlings was born in Provo, Utah, on April 29, 1922. He came to
Southern Nevada on Labor Day 1947 to sing for three nights at the
Railroad Pass Casino for $150 — a far better gig than he’d had at a
Utah nightclub, where he earned $5 a night while attending the
University of Utah as a law student.
The casino crowd included Last Frontier Hotel show producer Hal
Braudis, who auditioned Rawlings the next day. Two days later Braudis
hired Rawlings, and he never looked back.
As a local emcee who could also sing, Rawlings performed a record
3,128 consecutive shows at the old Thunderbird Hotel. Such roles ceased
to exist in the modern mega-showroom era.
In 1953 Rawlings added to his entertainment resume by becoming the
sales and convention director at the Thunderbird. Four years later he
was hired as assistant manager of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors