Center for Living and Learning

Van Nuys, CA — In 1963, Raymond Allen Burlew III, at the age of 13, promoted the record “Hot Pastrami” by the Darrtell’s. Mr. Burlew made the rounds of different radio stations, showing up with a hot pastrami and soda in one hand and a record in the other. The program directors loved the idea and the song became a hit. Next Mr. Burlew toured with The Seeds, The Grass Roots, Buddy Miles and Dorsey Burnett as road manager.

Mr. Burlew has been known as the “go to” man who has been called into situations to turn things around. For example, when the Troubadour’s doors were closed for two weeks because no one wanted to play there, Mr. Burlew booked David Carradine to perform at the venue and today the Troubadour is still open. Mr. Burlew produced such shows as David Clayton Thomas, Chaka Khan, Linda Ronstadt, Bette Midler and James Taylor just to name a few.

Center for Living and Learning
Center for Living and Learning

Raymond Allen Burlew III has also been featured in videos with Snoop Dogg, Young the Giant, the Doobie Brothers and Lenny Kravitz. Today Mr. Burlew is assisting The Center for Living and Learning by planning their first ever benefit concert. The organization serves disadvantaged job-seekers throughout Los Angeles. Mr. Burlew, a graduate of the Job Search Preparation Program who credits the organization with helping him to renew his drive to pursue his dreams, explains, “Giving back to an organization that has assisted me in my career like no other since Doug Weston is very important.”

Center for Living and Learning sets itself apart from other organizations by specializing in the most difficult to place and by having all staff who are graduates of the Apprenticeship Program, including the Executive Director. Maria Alexander, Executive Director, who came to the center in 2002 while in the final phases of residential drug treatment. She had been homeless and lost everything including her children, and yet could not stop using heroin.

Ms. Alexandra states, “Residential drug treatment saved me from my addiction, but when it came to find a job and re-enter society I was lost. Center for Living and Learning helped me to build a whole new life, which included not only a job and computer training, but legal assistance to get my children back and help getting housing. Today I am the Executive Director and completely dedicated to helping others like me succeed.”

The staff who oversees the program can help those with a history of drug abuse, incarceration, domestic violence and various other problems to succeed because they have been through the same problems themselves. Any assistance with talent, promotion, donations or volunteers should be directed to Rhonda Caughey at 818-781-1073 or For more information on the Center for Living and Learning or its services, visit or

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