Resident Michael Austin at the radio station

Tune in to WVLP 98.3 FM in Valparaiso, Indiana, on Tuesday mornings from 11 a.m. – noon, and you will hear Michael Austin, a resident at Life Care Center of The Willows in Valparaiso.


Austin is the host of “Earworm Soup,” a show on the community radio station that features different genres of music, focusing on a different year for each show. His debut on Aug. 11, 2015, featured hits from 1985.


To give you an idea of the variety of music Austin covers, his show for 1974 included songs by Jethro Tull and Kool and the Gang, and his selections for 2015 included tunes by Reba McEntire and Bruno Mars. He sprinkles facts about the artists in with the music.


Austin also brings in associates and volunteers from Life Care Center of The Willows to talk about how Life Care has impacted their careers and their lives. Among these guests have been Queenie Ngileb, assistant director of rehab at the facility, and Tom Sparacino, bus driver.


Life Care Center of The Willows is a sponsor of WVLP, and Austin’s radio experience started when he began recording underwriting spots for the center in 2013. He lives with the challenges of muscular dystrophy, but during the past few years his time at the station has helped him gain confidence and grow as a public speaker.


Austin said a quote from the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” resonates with him: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” “Earworm Soup” is Austin’s way of doing just that.


“It’s a great opportunity to play music and introduce people to music they may have never experienced before,” said Austin. “Preparing the show has opened my eyes to so many different genres and styles of music, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know the people I’ve been working with.”