Archive for May, 2012


Receiving The Gracie Award in Beverly Hills

May 26, 2012


John Bathke’s 2012 Gracie Award

A huge honor for ON THE SCENE this week in Los Angeles. Our show received the national Gracie Award bestowed by the Alliance for Women in Media, an organization that recognizes programming for, by and about women.

I accepted the award in Beverly Hills at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Wednesday. My interview with Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love received the award for Best Interview, a selection made by judges from submissions by tv stations and production companies across the United States. So this is no small deal and we couldn’t be more proud.

And to be able to accept the award at the Beverly Wilshire, one of the most famous and posh hotels was no hardship either, I must admit.

If you follow me on twitter @JohnBathkeLive then you got my updates throughout the week from L.A.

A tremendous week in L.A. and more coming next week on twitter…so become one of my tweeps and don’t miss out!


Three Spins of ON THE SCENE Sunday With Jim Norton

May 20, 2012

Thanks, the blog is really active this weekend. I see from the list of searches a lot of you are looking me up online because of my interview with Gloria Gaynor on the death of Donna Summer and also those of you wanting to know more about my ON THE SCENE interview with comedian Jim Norton and also the segment on the Bruce Springsteen exhibit.

The show runs again Sunday 8:30 AM, 11:30 AM and 4:30 PM.

Please check the past couple of blog posts for some behind the scenes info on my Norton interview. I watched it again today along with a lot of you and I have to say how great it is to interview comedians and how refreshing when somebody will talk about anything and own their feelings.

The Norton interview will be posted online in a couple of weeks.


More On Jim Norton, And The Bruce Springsteen Exhibit ON THE SCENE

May 19, 2012

For those of you tuning in this weekend for the ON THE SCENE encore featuring my interview with Jim Norton and the tour of the Bruce Springsteen exhibit at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, here’s some behind the scenes if you’re interested.

First, Jim Norton. We shot the interview at Caroline’s Comedy Club in Times Square where he was appearing. It was the first time we’d met. In preparing for the interview I had watched his comedy performances and some other interviews he’d done on Youtube. My first words to him were, “I feel like I could talk to you about anything.” And he said, “pretty much.”

That’s all I needed to know.

By the third question we were in deep, Jim reveals a lot of his early struggles to become a comedian, his self-doubt, sex addiction, you name it. I think he’s a very smart guy, driven, and compelling to listen to in this interview because he talks about real things. This interview is the longest segment in the (nearly) 7 year run of ON THE SCENE, that’s how interesting I feel this interview is. As an interviewer, I believe it’s one of the best I have done, ever.

Did you like the tour of “From Asbury Park To The Promised Land: The Life And Music Of Bruce Springsteen” at the Constitution Center?  Tony Amato, the Jersey Shore rocker who came up in the music scene with Springsteen really makes this piece. He was great to hang out with and he knows the stories behind everything in that exhibit. It’s called authenticity.

Of course, if we were spending so much time talking about Springsteen in this show, where else could I host it from other than the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. It’s the quintessential New Jersey rock venue and Springsteen has electrified that stage many a time over the decades with his surprise visits.

I hope the show takes you into the world of these two entertainers, that you learned a few things and discovered you want to learn even more. And that I asked questions that kept you interested.  If I achieved that, I’m proud.

The Norton interview and Springsteen piece will be posted online in a couple of weeks.


Gloria Gaynor Remembers Donna Summer With Me

May 18, 2012
Donna Summer Remembered

Donna Summer Remembered

Donna Summer’s death has taken a lot of people by surprise including Gloria Gaynor. I spoke with her by phone today from Morocco where she is performing.  In fact, she learned of Summer’s death when my station made  a call to her to arrange an interview.

When it comes to disco there are two names that eclipse all others: Donna Summer and Gloria Gaynor. So I am thrilled that Gloria took time to speak with me about such a close peer.

Gloria told me that she first met Summer when they both appeared on a tv show together in California in 1970s. She said her favorite Summer song is “MacArthur Park” because she believes of her hits this song shows Summer’s depth and breadth as an artist. Gloria also told me that she plans to sing a tribute to Summer in her upcoming concerts.

I think as it’s explored more, the lyrics to all those Donna Summer hits pigeon holed as (albeit booty shakin’) dance music of the disco heyday will be given a second look. “She Works Hard For The Money” is an anthem  of female empowerment that came at a time when not only more women entered the workforce, but more women were single mothers holding a full time job and raising children. “Hot Stuff”, well, there’s no question what she’s singing about. But remember when it was released: 1979, more than a decade after the women’s liberation movement of 1960s and just as the United States was about to take a conservative turn culturally and politically.  On the surface it’s a club song about sex but I like to look between the drum process. It’s a song that says what everyone with blood in their veins has felt and desired and why shouldn’t a woman be able to sing about it?

I asked Gloria how she thought Donna Summer will be remembered.

“As an artist who warmed the heart and moved the body.”

No one could say it better.


Blind Painter Bojana Coklyat…Be Inspired

May 17, 2012

I see that Yahoo News just featured blind painter Bojana Coklyat in a story. And as a result a lot of web searches are leading people to my blog at website to find out more about her.

I’ve interview Bojana twice, most recently last year for ON THE SCENE. In fact our interview was nominated for a New York Emmy Award a couple months back.

Bojana lost her much of her eyesight due to diabetes when she was in her late 20s. She’s legally blind. Yet she doggedly learned to paint again. To see her story please go to the Credits page of this website.

Do something for yourself today. Watch Bojana’s story and feel inspired about life.


Tweet You Tweet Me

May 15, 2012

If you haven’t checked in lately or this is your first time, I’m now on Twitter at!/JohnBathkeLive so hit me up!  Follow me sounds sooo pretentious.

It’s a great way to see what I’m up to more immediately and I get to crack a few jokes.  So I like it.

Also, ON THE SCENE featuring my interview with comedian Jim Norton and our trip to the exhibit Asbury Park To The Promised Land: The Life And Music Of Bruce Springsteen gets an encore spin at 8:30 AM, 11:30 AM and 4:30 PM Saturday and Sunday, May 19th and 20th on News 12 New Jersey.

This Jim Norton interview is compelling and if you’re local please watch because fans of his told me how they’ve never seen this side of him before and found it fascinating.


ON THE SCENE Encore: Comedian Jim Norton, Springsteen Exhibit

May 11, 2012

Just want to let you know there’ll be an encore of the ON THE SCENE episode featuring comedian Jim Norton and my visit to the Springsteen exhibit at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Tune in May 19th, 20th at 8:30 AM, 11:30 AM or 4:30 PM on News 12 New Jersey.


Regis Philbin On Fire!

May 3, 2012


Sharing A Laugh With Regis!

It’s not every day I get to interview one of my idols but today I did. I met and interviewed Regis Philbin for the first time.

As an interviewer I cannot help but be in awe of Regis’ longevity on the air and how he made entertainers, athletes, politicians and just the average folks he would interview feel at ease. He can talk to anybody and that is the gift of a great interviewer.

So it was a loud, poppin’ oh so Regis give and take, he brought out the humor in me and I in him, I think, so when this piece airs tomorrow I think people will enjoy it a lot.