As anyone with half an eye, a quarter of an ear and a third of a TV set knows, an awesome array of this country's top pop music stars got together recently for a recording session to benefit African famine relief. The somewhat historic 10-hour gathering has been captured in a new paperback Perigee book by David Breskin, Cheryl McCall and Robert Hilburn, titled, as is the record, "We Are the World" ($5.95; due April 22). The package includes lyrics and music, photos, interviews and Garry Trudeau cartoons. The Putnam Publishing Group has announced that it and a number of bookstores, including the Waldenbooks and B. Dalton chains, will be joining the record folk in donating their profits to the same worthy cause.
Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, in addition to appearing on "We Are the World," are among the 13,000 music makers whose biographies appear in the seventh edition of "Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians" (Schirmer: $95). Theodore Baker compiled his first "Dictionary" in 1900. The emphasis was, and has been, on classical music composers and performers, but Nicholas Slonimsky, who has edited the dictionary since 1958, notes in the preface to this edition that he decided "to include a number of rock 'n' roll musicians, crooners, songstresses, movie stars who occasionally sang, in fact everyone with an operative larynx short of singing whales."
EVENTS-- Today: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Loyola Marymount hosts a used book sale at the Charles Von der Ahe Library in Westchester (Loyola Boulevard at West 80th Street). . . . 1 p.m., Michael Utvich, president of the Freelance Network, discusses free-lancing at a Network meeting at 132 S. La Jolla St.; 658-8538. . . . 3 p.m., poets James Krusoe and Ed Smith read at the Permanent Contemporary Art Gallery in Silver Lake (2901 1/2 Rowena Ave.); $3; 661-7197.
Monday: noon, Ken Libo ("We Lived There, Too") speaks in Fine Arts 220 at Cal State Northridge; (818) 886-5101. . . . 7-10 p.m., Rita Lipkis begins a 12-week children's lit course for UCLA Extension; 206-8456. . . . 7-10 p.m., editor-author Yaffa Draznin begins a nine-session class in manuscript proofing and copy editing for the UCLA Writers Program; 825-9415.
Tuesday: 1:30 p.m., Fred Hofeld reviews David Fisher's "The War Magician" at Santa Monica Public Library (1343 6th St.). . . . 6:30 p.m., Nancy Shiffrin appears on the Poetry Connection (KPFK-FM). . . . 7 p.m., Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko reads in USC's Davidson Conference Center; 743-8255. . . . 7-10 p.m., author-editor Bayla Winters chairs a nine-week writing workshop for UCLA Extension at Scott United Methodist Church in Pasadena; (818) 846-1879.
Wednesday: 2 p.m., James Ragan reads his poetry in the Topping Student Center, USC; 743-4511. . . . 6:30 p.m., Lee Hogan Cass and Karen Anderson begin a week of what-to-wear workshops based on their "Look Like a Winner!" (Putnam) at the Broadway, Century City. . . . 7-10 p.m., Julian Myers, VP, Hanson & Schwam Public Relations, starts a nine-session class in all aspects of entertainment PR for UCLA Extension; 825-9971. . . . 8 p.m., poet Thea Other reads at Galeria Ocaso (3321 W. Sunset); 660-8084. . . . 8 p.m., Marilee Zdeneck ("The Right Brain Experience") talks to the Writers' Club of Whittier at the Whittier Rec Center (7630 S. Washington); 945-8205.
Thursday: 2-3 p.m., Joanna Barnes signs her "Silverwood" at Warwick's in La Jolla (7812 Girard Ave.). . . . 7 p.m., Rebecca Newman begins her Dedicated Writers Workshop for UCLA Extension Writers Program; 925-9971.
Friday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Friends of the Santa Ana Library hosts a book sale at the Library (26 Civic Center Plaza), continuing Saturday. . . . 8 p.m., authors Barbara Einzig and Dodie Bellamy read at Beyond Baroque in Venice (681 Venice Blvd.); 822-3006.
Saturday: This is the last day to register for the Third San Diego Writers/Editors Conference, April 19-21 in Rosarito Beach, B.C., Mexico; call Betty Smith, (619) 449-0968. . . . 1-4 p.m., the annual Spring Open House takes place at CalArts in Valencia; (805) 255-1050, ext. 2165. . . . 2-4 p.m., a publication party for David Trinidad's "Monday, Monday" takes place at A Different Light in Silver Lake (4014 Santa Monica Blvd.).
FINALLY--In "Inside Spinal Tap" (Timbre Books: $12.95, paperback; May), Peter Occhiogrosso has put together photos, interview transcripts, lyrics and other paraphernalia pertaining to last year's mock rock documentary film, "This Is Spinal Tap." In one of the interviews, the group's Nigel Tufnel responds to a query on his last-read book. "Well, I'm still reading it, OK? I'm trying to get through this 'Book of Lists,' and it's . . . confusing because you can't remember anything. I'm about a quarter of the way through, and I have to go back all the time. I can't really progress farther than that 'cause it seems I can't remember what it listed where. It's been close to a year, but that's the last book officially. Before that I tried to read 'The Book of Kells.' "
Send material for Book Notes, including poetry readings, to Dick Lochte, P.O. Box 5413, Santa Monica, Calif. 90405, no later than 10 days before issue date.