FINAL NOTES: The third annual "Salute to the American Songwriter" is set for Nov. 21 at the Wiltern Theatre. Among the songwriters scheduled to perform are Kris Kristofferson, Randy Newman, Thom Bell, Stephen Stills, Lamont Dozier, Billy Vera, Roger Miller, Richard & Robert Sherman and Jay Livingston & Ray Evans. The annual event is sponsored by the 7,000-member National Academy of Songwriters.
"This concert is the very soul of the NAS," said academy chairman John Bettis, writer of such hits as Madonna's "Crazy for You" and Michael Jackson's "Human Nature." "The point is seeing great songwriters from every era and every style of writing gathered on a stage together just in the interest of excellence and achievement in songwriting."
Darryl Strawberry, outfielder for the New York Mets, has cut a pro-baseball, anti-drug rap record, "Chocolate Strawberry." The ex-Crenshaw High phenom cut the record with Kengol Kid from rap group U.T.F.O., and plans to release it on his own Strawsome Records.
Cleo Laine is recording an album of Stephen Sondheim songs with Sondheim's arranger and right-hand man, Jonathan Tunick.