Musician (magazine)

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CategoriesMusic magazine
FounderSam Holdsworth, Gordon Baird
First issueOctober 1976
Final issue1999
CountryUnited States

Musician was a monthly magazine that covered news and information about American popular music. First 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.[1]

Subtitled "The Art, Business and Technology of Making Music", it became known for its extended and thorough articles about the stars of rock music. It was not intended as a fan magazine, but as a publication about the musician's craft, and as a result, it earned it the respect of people in the music business.[2] As Holdsworth told an interviewer in 2003, the magazine "created a level of trust that made the musicians feel they were talking with peers".[2] In the same article, he said that Musician was also known for unearthing details 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.[2]

Musician never gained a wide following, although it had a devoted readership. It was respected by critics for the quality of its writers; among the best-known writers for Musician were rock critic Lester Bangs and soon-to-be film director Cameron Crowe.[3] It was later renamed Musician, Player & Listener and was headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts.[4][5]

Holdsworth and Baird sold it in January 1981 to the company that owned Billboard magazine.[4][5] Holdsworth and another company executive bought it back in 1985, and ran it until selling it again in 1987.[2] The magazine folded in 1999.


  1. ^ Edgers, Geoff (July 20, 2008). "Artist is bitten by desire to put greenheads on canvas". The Boston Globe.
  2. ^ a b c d Frenette, Liza (June 1989). "BPI's entertainment architect - Billboard Publications Inc.; Sam Holdsworth". Folio. Archived from the original on May 19, 2005.
  3. ^ Gordon, Ken (November 2003). "A Great One Remembered: Musician". Folio.
  4. ^ a b Dougherty, Philip (January 19, 1981). "Billboard Buys Magazine". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Billboard Publications Buys Musician". Billboard: 8. November 22, 1980. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 16, 2017.