A Life Dedicated To Entertainment: George Moffett Passes
George Moffett, one of the entertainment industry’s most respected and beloved talent buyers, passed away Sunday, May 14, at Genesis Hospital in Zanesville.
A statement from Variety Attractions, the company Moffett founded in 1961, remembers him as “a unique individual, and in the country music community and county fair industry, thousands of people considered him a friend. It would be hard to access the number of lives he touched in his 55-year career.”
Moffett is credited with creating career opportunities for many country artists when the genre had not yet taken off.
As Toby Keith stated in honor of him, “George, you put a lot of meals on the tables of the boys in the band and crew and diapers on their babies over the years.”
Trace Adkins took a similar line, “George, you fed my kids with all the dates you booked.” Randy Owen, member of Alabama, described Muffet as a “great friend.”
Moffett’s life is a testament to his love for entertainment. Attending Ohio State University, majoring in business, he played trumpet with a dance band and got the idea to secure dates for other dance bands.
He continued booking local bands in his sophomore year, when he transferred to Muskingum College. Muffett realized the need for a booking agency, so, after graduating, he founded Variety Attractions in 1961.
Muffett has booked artists including Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Alabama, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Trace Adkin,s and more from the beginning of their careers and throughout them. To date, Variety Attractions has booked over $1.2 billion in contracts since its inception, by its own admission, and now operates in 24 states.
His close business partner and friend Todd Boltin took over the running over the company throughout the 2010s, acquiring an ownership interest in 2014. Bolton said, “he was more of a father to me, than my dad ever was. I would not be in the position I am today without his confidence in me.”
Over the years, as Variety Attractions grew, Muffett was honored on numerous occasions by the Country Music Association, naming him the SRO Promoter/Talent Buyer of the Year four times. He was also the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Talent Buyer of the Year three times.
He received honors from many state fair associations, including being inducted into the Ohio Fair Managers Hall of Fame. He served three terms as a director on the Country Music Association board, and visited the White House under President Jimmy Carter.
Muffett was one of the founding members of the International Country Music Buyers Association in Nashville, along with his colleagues Don Romeo and Hap Peebles.
Now known as the International Entertainment Buyers Association, it’s recognised as a premier organization for talent buyers of all genres. He served on the IEBA board of directors for 30 years, received the Founders Award in 2010, and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2018.
“George was a man who found his passion and lived it daily, as he dedicated his entire life to the entertainment business. He had a natural sense of caring for his clients and colleagues. Those who knew him can attest to that,” Variety Attractions’ statement reads.
He is survived by his wife Shirley (Williams) Moffett; daughter Amy (Rob) Gray; two granddaughters Megan (Gray) Van-Dyke; and Elaine Gray. His legacy will live on through the George Moffett Scholarship that is endowed at Belmont University in Nashville.