Musician (1976–1999) was a monthly magazine that covered news and information about American popular music. Initially called Music America, it was founded in 1976 by Sam Holdsworth and Gordon Baird. The two friends borrowed $20,000 from relatives and started the publication in a barn in Colorado.
Subtitled "The Art, Business and Technology of Making Music", it became known for its extended and thorough articles about the stars of rock music. Musician was not intended to be a fan magazine—the founders envisioned it as a publication about the musician's craft, and as a result, it earned it the respect of people in the music business. As Holdsworth told an interviewer in 2003, the magazine "...created a level of trust that made the musicians feel they were talking with peers". In that same article, he noted that Musician was also known for finding out the little things that the average magazine did not—such as why a musician chose a particular brand of instrument, or what was the inspiration for a certain song.
But Musician never gained a wide following, although it had a devoted base of fans. The magazine was respected by the critics for the quality of the writers—among the best known writers for Musician were rock critic Lester Bangs and soon-to-be film director Cameron Crowe. It was later renamed Musician, Player & Listener and was headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Due to the expense of running it, Holdsworth and Baird sold it in January 1981 to the company that owned Billboard magazine; but Holdsworth and another company executive bought it back in 1985 and they ran it until selling it again in 1987.