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Breslin celebrated for bringing 'honor' to his press pass

Generations of New York journalists and political leaders joined Jimmy Breslin's family Wednesday in celebrating the life of the pugnacious Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who championed the downtrodden and battled corrupt public officials for more than five decades.

Breslin, who died Sunday at age 88, was remembered as a peerless prose stylist whether he wrote about sports stars, gangsters or a bit player in a national tragedy.

Michael Daly, the Daily Beast correspondent who like Breslin was a longtime columnist at the Daily News, held up a New York City press pass and said, "Nobody ever brought more honor to this pass than he did."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recalled Breslin's long friendship with Cuomo's late father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, dating to 1969 in Queens. He said that if his father were still alive, "He would say Jimmy was an artist and his pen was to paper what Picasso's brush was to canvas."

Cuomo said that as an 11-year-old boy, he found Breslin "just plain scary," echoing remarks by other speakers who described the gruff demeanor that belied Breslin's deep love for his family.

Breslin's son Kevin Breslin surveyed the packed pews at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on Manhattan's West Side and said, "Thank you for coming because I'm not sure he would come here for any of us."

Kevin Breslin recalled the time a neighbor came over to wish his father a merry Christmas and his father responded, "Yeah, kid? What's so merry about it?"

Breslin's widow, former City Council member Ronnie Eldridge, described their marriage in the same church 34 years ago as the union between a Jewish widow with three children and an Irish Catholic widower with six children who "just seemed to get each other."

She said Breslin continued to write tirelessly in his later years although he never understood the internet and had trouble pulling up the latest version of a story on his computer.

"He never wanted to let a day go by without working," Eldridge said.

Breslin wrote more than 20 books as well as countless columns for the Daily News and other New York newspapers.

He covered President John F. Kennedy's funeral by interviewing the gravedigger, and he won a 1986 Pulitzer Prize for commentary that included a column that used one man's story to shine a light on the AIDs epidemic.

Other political figures at Breslin's funeral included Former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger.

But Breslin's closest associates included bookies and bail bondsmen .

A young Kevin Breslin was once hustled to criminal court and instructed to sit in the front row at the arraignment of one of his father's friends, Fat Thomas.

"The judge says to Fat Thomas, 'Excuse me, do you have any family members here?'" Kevin Breslin recalled. "Fat says yes. That was my cue. At that point I waved at the judge. Fat Thomas was immediately released, and everybody thought I did a marvelous job."

Breslin became part of a news story in 1977 when he received several letters from serial killer David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz.

Berkowitz said he found Breslin's column "very informative." Breslin called Berkowitz "the only killer I ever knew who knew how to use a semicolon."

Breslin celebrated for bringing 'honor' to his press pass

Generations of New York journalists and political leaders joined Jimmy Breslin's family Wednesday in celebrating the life of the pugnacious Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who championed the downtrodden and battled corrupt public officials for more than five decades.

Breslin, who died Sunday at age 88, was remembered as a peerless prose stylist whether he wrote about sports stars, gangsters or a bit player in a national tragedy.

Michael Daly, the Daily Beast correspondent who like Breslin was a longtime columnist at the Daily News, held up a New York City press pass and said, "Nobody ever brought more honor to this pass than he did."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recalled Breslin's long friendship with Cuomo's late father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, dating to 1969 in Queens. He said that if his father were still alive, "He would say Jimmy was an artist and his pen was to paper what Picasso's brush was to canvas."

Cuomo said that as an 11-year-old boy, he found Breslin "just plain scary," echoing remarks by other speakers who described the gruff demeanor that belied Breslin's deep love for his family.

Breslin's son Kevin Breslin surveyed the packed pews at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on Manhattan's West Side and said, "Thank you for coming because I'm not sure he would come here for any of us."

Kevin Breslin recalled the time a neighbor came over to wish his father a merry Christmas and his father responded, "Yeah, kid? What's so merry about it?"

Breslin's widow, former City Council member Ronnie Eldridge, described their marriage in the same church 34 years ago as the union between a Jewish widow with three children and an Irish Catholic widower with six children who "just seemed to get each other."

She said Breslin continued to write tirelessly in his later years although he never understood the internet and had trouble pulling up the latest version of a story on his computer.

"He never wanted to let a day go by without working," Eldridge said.

Breslin wrote more than 20 books as well as countless columns for the Daily News and other New York newspapers.

He covered President John F. Kennedy's funeral by interviewing the gravedigger, and he won a 1986 Pulitzer Prize for commentary that included a column that used one man's story to shine a light on the AIDs epidemic.

Other political figures at Breslin's funeral included Former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger.

But Breslin's closest associates included bookies and bail bondsmen .

A young Kevin Breslin was once hustled to criminal court and instructed to sit in the front row at the arraignment of one of his father's friends, Fat Thomas.

"The judge says to Fat Thomas, 'Excuse me, do you have any family members here?'" Kevin Breslin recalled. "Fat says yes. That was my cue. At that point I waved at the judge. Fat Thomas was immediately released, and everybody thought I did a marvelous job."

Breslin became part of a news story in 1977 when he received several letters from serial killer David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz.

Berkowitz said he found Breslin's column "very informative." Breslin called Berkowitz "the only killer I ever knew who knew how to use a semicolon."

RaeLynn Honors Husband Josh Davis With Song on 'Wildhorse'

There's a song on RaeLynn's new Wildhorse album that she struggles to sing live. During "Diamonds" she takes a moment to honor her husband Josh Davis, who's currently in boot camp. Continue reading…

Review: Even 'Middle of the Road' a blast with Eric Gales

There's nothing bland about "Middle of the Road," former teenage prodigy Eric Gales' 15th studio album ripe with funky blues-rock and blazing guitars.

Lyrically rooted in Gales' sobering up, the disc features guest spots by Gary Clark Jr. and older brother Eugene; a songwriting collaboration with Lauryn Hill; and a Freddie King cover.

Gales, whose playing of a right-handed guitar upside down and left-handed has to be seen to be fully appreciated, also performs bass duties, joined by his wife, LaDonna Gales, on soulful backing vocals.

Opener "Good Time" is secular gospel with a magnetic guitar riff, pure energy and passion. His sobriety and new outlook on life are present already in track two, "Change In Me (The Rebirth)," where Gales makes his mea culpa clear — "I got tired of doin' bad, now I'm doin' good."

Clark Jr. joins Gales on "Boogie Man," a song recorded by King, and Gales said Hill's help was crucial with "Been So Long," another of the songs with a positive mindset.

Gales takes Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, a 16-year-old guitarist from Mississippi, under his wings on "Help Yourself," while his own erstwhile mentor, older brother Eugene Gales, wrote and plays guitar on "Repetition."

Instrumental "Swamp" ends the album, a wild guitar tour-de-force that Gales describes as a "jam band, church-oriented sort of song." Even if taken as an expression of diversity in worship, it will sound just as formidable to non-believers.

Congress Voted To Abolish A Rule Protecting Some Alaskan Wildlife

The Senate voted 52 to 47 to repeal an Obama-era rule on hunting predators.

Box office reaches new record, but international sales flat

The Motion Picture Association of America said Wednesday that the worldwide box office reached a record $38.6 billion in 2016, though international revenues were essentially stagnant.

The MPAA's annual report showed a global increase of .5 percent in ticket sales from 2015. While China, the world's second-largest market after the U.S., has long been a priority of Hollywood, it dropped 1 percent last year with $6.6 billion in ticket sales.

Box office in North America hit a record $11.4 billion, although the increase of $300 million was due largely to rising ticket prices. About 11 percent of North Americans, the MPAA said, are frequent moviegoers — those who go to the theater at least once a month. They make up 48 percent of all tickets sold.

About 71 percent of the U.S./Canadian population went to the movies at least once in 2016, up 2 percent from 2015.

Among the year's biggest box-office hits were "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," ''Finding Dory" and "Captain America: Civil War" — all of them, it's worth noting, released by the Walt Disney Co. The MPAA noted that three of the top five grossing films drew a majority female audience.

"Even with an incredible variety of viewing choices available to audiences, cinema remains the premier way to experience the magic of our movies," said MPAA chief Chris Dodd. "And the good news is, there are positive signs for growth in the future."

Other notable conclusions from the report include:

— Younger moviegoers increased. The biggest jump was for 18- to 24-year-olds, who went on average 6.5 times in 2016, up from 5.9 times in 2015.

— The appeal of 3-D continued to slide. Sales of 3-D movies fell about 8 percent to $1.6 billion, even though there were 30 percent more 3-D releases.

— African-American and Asian moviegoers continue to increase. Per capita, Asians/Other Ethnicities go more than any other group, seeing on average 6.1 movies a year.

___

This story has been corrected to show the Chinese box office declined 1 percent, not 3 percent.

Box office reaches new record, but international sales flat

The Motion Picture Association of America said Wednesday that the worldwide box office reached a record $38.6 billion in 2016, though international revenues were essentially stagnant.

The MPAA's annual report showed a global increase of .5 percent in ticket sales from 2015. While China, the world's second-largest market after the U.S., has long been a priority of Hollywood, it dropped 1 percent last year with $6.6 billion in ticket sales.

Box office in North America hit a record $11.4 billion, although the increase of $300 million was due largely to rising ticket prices. About 11 percent of North Americans, the MPAA said, are frequent moviegoers — those who go to the theater at least once a month. They make up 48 percent of all tickets sold.

About 71 percent of the U.S./Canadian population went to the movies at least once in 2016, up 2 percent from 2015.

Among the year's biggest box-office hits were "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," ''Finding Dory" and "Captain America: Civil War" — all of them, it's worth noting, released by the Walt Disney Co. The MPAA noted that three of the top five grossing films drew a majority female audience.

"Even with an incredible variety of viewing choices available to audiences, cinema remains the premier way to experience the magic of our movies," said MPAA chief Chris Dodd. "And the good news is, there are positive signs for growth in the future."

Other notable conclusions from the report include:

— Younger moviegoers increased. The biggest jump was for 18- to 24-year-olds, who went on average 6.5 times in 2016, up from 5.9 times in 2015.

— The appeal of 3-D continued to slide. Sales of 3-D movies fell about 8 percent to $1.6 billion, even though there were 30 percent more 3-D releases.

— African-American and Asian moviegoers continue to increase. Per capita, Asians/Other Ethnicities go more than any other group, seeing on average 6.1 movies a year.

___

This story has been corrected to show the Chinese box office declined 1 percent, not 3 percent.

Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett + More Added to 2017 ACM Awards Performers

Keith Urban and Thomas Rhett are just two of the superstar names that have been added to the list of performers at the 2017 ACM Awards.

Continue reading…

Faith Hill Embracing Smile Lines, Turning 50 in 2017

It’s a milestone year for Faith Hill. The singer turns 50 in September, but it doesn’t faze her. She feels that if she stresses about it, it’ll send the wrong message to her daughters. Continue reading…

Sam Hunt, Reba McEntire and More Added to 2017 ACM Awards Performance Lineup

More artists have been added to the lineup of performers for the 2017 ACM Awards!

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